Roughly the first two weeks of the internship, Jennifer and I attended meetings with our advisor Rafael in order to discuss the direction of our research. With both of our topics changed and a language barrier, these meetings provided to be quite difficult. As well as the fact that we met only for an hour or so 3 times a week and left for the rest of the days to find our own research, teach ourselves, and locate our case studies in the city on our own. However, this proved to be quite an experience and with time we found a way to make the best out of the best situation.
As the weeks progressed and Rafael was continuing to grasp the concept of sustainability, our meetings became much more effective. We were very fortunate to have had the opportunity to tag along with a New York Architectural class that was studying abroad in Europe. The class was being given a tour of the Alhambra, which is the palace and fortress in Granada, as well as the location where our research was taking place. Their tour guide was Javier Gallego Roca (shown in image below), a famous architectural restoration Professor and luckily Rafael knew him very well and was able to get us on the private tour.
It was a great experience and we were able to learn about how the buildings were constructed, as well as how they adapted to the surrounding climate. Which is crucial to my research since I’m studying how these buildings in Granada have adapted to their climate, without consuming energy. It was also a great experience to have met students who were studying architecture and being able to see their drawing of the Alhambra. We even got the opportunity to network with Professor Roca, in case we had questions in the future with our research.