August 29, 2018 Sayegh Spends Summer Researching, Collaborating Abroad

Cullen Sayegh, a fifth-year Architecture student, spent his summer researching abroad in Europe and Asia as the 2018 Aydelott Travel Award recipient.

Sayegh was chosen for his proposal, “Architecture as Infrastructure: Investigating Spatial Networks.” Using his $20,000 award, Sayegh traveled to four historical architecture sites: The Trollstigen Visitor Center on the Geiranger-Trollstigen National Tourist Route in Norway; the Ouvrage Hackenberg in Veckring, France; the Humble Administrator’s Garden in the Classical Gardens of Suzhou, China; and the Angkor Wat Temple in Angkor, Cambodia.

sketch of Agnkor Wat

Spending about a week at each location, Sayegh completed his research by exploring the larger infrastructural networks of each of these sites. At each site, he spent his first few days interviewing people with professional connections to the site, and after gathering background information, he used his remaining time to investigate related sites, photograph, sketch and journal his findings.

Sayegh explained that he met a wide array of people while traveling, including local architects, guides, professors and volunteers.

“In Norway, I had the opportunity to meet with the architects that designed the Trollstigen Visitor Center,” said Sayegh. “A couple, one an architect and the other an interior designer, hosted me while I was in France. A local professor and architect took me out every day while I was in China, and a guide helped me navigate the many temples of Angkor, Cambodia.”

Because Sayegh studied a diverse set of cultures and sites, the contacts he made in each country were crucial but also one of his favorite experiences. 

Student with architect abroad

“Those were just a handful of people I met on the trip, purposefully and by accident, that made it such an enjoyable experience,” stated Sayegh. “Meeting these interesting people brought the buildings to life. It was so interesting to see how cultural characteristics were translated into the built environment.”

Students interested in applying for the 2019 Aydelott Travel Award should watch for an informational meeting in November 2018. Deadline for applications is in January 2019.

Want to read more about study abroad opportunities?

Check out the Haiti Project.