Ujay Siddharth

Middlebury College

I found my academic experience at the Facultad de Arquitectura at Universidad ORT Montevideo to be extremely helpful to my Architectural Studies track here at Middlebury College. One of the primary strengths of the Middlebury architecture program is the emphasis the college places on hand-drawing building plans and sections. In the modern digital world however, much of architectural drawing takes place in online computer-driven programs. I found my experience at Universidad ORT particularly helpful because of the focus my professors put on developing technical skills of architectural design. I learned how to effectively use AutoCad to draw plans and sections which sped up my production process immediately. I also gained experience in 3D modeling programs such as SketchUp and additional rendering programs to create realistic 3D representations of my work. With tools such as these, I feel more confident in producing better work for the multiple design elements I will need in future architectural projects.

Additionally, I found that learning about architecture in a different socio-cultural environment very beneficial to how I viewed architecture as a discipline. Through attending a program based in South America, I was immediately exposed to a number of influential Latin-American architects and theorists, each with their own ideas of building/city construction and design. This broadened my perspectives of architectural form and use of materials and also changed how I designed my own projects. The program helped me understand non-Western concepts of architecture, something that is important to challenging dominant tropes in the discipline.

Overall, I consider my academic experience abroad at Universidad ORT Montevideo to have been very valuable in building my architectural knowledge. The program provided me with opportunities to improve my technical skills as well as build upon my theoretical knowledge of the discipline. I would highly recommend studying abroad in Universidad ORT Montevideo and learning in an academic environment different from our own.