During my third year of architecture I went abroad from Spain to United states studying a year in New School of Architecture, San Diego. It was a big difference adapting from a graphical and computer-based modern way of studying to an old-school system where handdrawing, modelmaking were more the focus. Personally I think that each way of thinking as long as one put in hard work teaches you something new.
Most subjects in this university was more straightforward focusing on how to relate to real life concepts rather than a conceptual utopian idea which was a nice contrast to our Spanish university. First project to represents a zero energy house in Arizona adapting to the dry and warm desert creating a submerged house being cooled by the thermal mass of the ground minimizing surface area using various techniques such as jaloussi windows and dimensioned overhangs to optimize the sun angles to avoid heat in the summer while getting more heat in the winter following the suns movements.
Second project was how to fit a welcome center in a specific plot having x amount of m2 for each thing into a building any my idea involves creating a building trying to create a deep connection to our 5 senses rather than just be something visual which tends to be modern architecture (this was 2015) that constitutes large boxes of concrete with big white windows and the main difference is sort of a rotation and alignment of these concrete boxes. It pays homage to traditional muslim architecture where smell, touch and sound plays a big part of the architecture.
Below are some pictures of Alhambra in southern Spain serving as an inspiration albeit very different in form.