An encounter between places and people

An exhibition entitled ‘Omani Architecture in the Eyes of Omani and German Students’ showcasing water colour and freehand drawings of diverse landscapes and urban features in Oman was inaugurated at the Omani Embassy in Berlin (Germany) recently. The exhibition shows results of a joint Omani-German student field excursion conducted in March this year by Prof Gazmend Kalemi of the Department of Urban Planning and Architectural Design (UPAD) of GUtech and Prof Gerd Sedelies of Beuth University of Applied Sciences in Berlin, Germany.
A group of 10 German students from Beuth University and 10 Omani students from GUtech were involved in the elective course.
To be actively engaged with the place, the students travelled around Oman for ten days and captured with their pencils or water colors various places and prestigious landmarks such as the Royal Opera House, Old Muscat, Sur, Ruwi, Al Hamra and Misfah Al Arbiyeen.
“We were honoured to visit several wonderful and truly inspiring locations, where we tried to embody the atmosphere and to understand and respect the richness of Omani culture with drawings on paper,”  said Prof Gerd.
864489He added, “We combined together with students from Oman focusing on both contemporary architecture and historical features.”
“Art has a long-standing tradition in many architectural programmes around the world. The computer has had an enormous influence on architectural design in recent years,” shared Prof Gazmend Kalemi, who is teaching drawing to architecture students at GUtech.
Kalemi added, “However, freehand drawing is a very useful tool in order to capture different atmospheres as well as the visualisation of ideas,.”
“We do not teach a certain style of drawing but we try to encourage the students to find or believe in their own capacity of expression,” Kalemi added.
The field-trip was part of a cooperation agreement between both universities in order to enhance student exchange and knowledge transfer.
The UPAD Department of GUtech recently participated in an Architecture Summer School at Beuth University and is planning to promote similar field excursion in and around Berlin next year.
“We would like to enhance the common activities in drawing and architectural design between the German and Omani students so that those activities will be one of the most fruitful outcomes of their education,” said Prof Alexander Kader, Head of the UPAD Department.