Interning Abroad

July 12, 2017

A guest post from landscape architecture student Luke Nichols.

This summer I decided to intern at Ting Song Library in China’s Hebei province. Ting Song Library is a cultural and social community designed and founded by a group of former design school classmates.

With its hospitality, design, and educational services, it supports the local tourism economy and offers villagers and their children a place to learn about traditional crafts (calligraphy, landscape drawing, etc.) and develop their English skills. Mei Jing, a graduate of the prestigious Tsinghua University and cofounder of Ting Song Library, has also started a design firm focusing on regional planning, architecture, and landscape design. As a design intern for this small firm, I have had a role in designing landscapes and architecture from concept to construction. Presently, I am designing my first home, which combines classical Chinese design concepts with modern materials and aesthetics. This process is teaching me the fundamentals of simple home construction as well as clarifying differences between our cultures.

A photograph of Luke Nichols.
Luke Nichols interning abroad in China’s Hebei province.

In my spare time, I lead a variety of English orientated activities during the Ting Song Library’s kindergarten and summer camp program. I am also using my pastry arts training to introduce a collection of authentic American pastries to their hotel and cafe offerings. The ability to help further Ting Song Library’s mission has been very rewarding. I am very lucky to be accumulating priceless experiences along the way.

This summer, all College of Design programs lead to Rome with our first open interdisciplinary studio Italian Design Studio: Blending Tradition and Innovation.

Administered by the Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI), the Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES) Certification provides developers with a comprehensive rating system to help them design and build more sustainable projects.

In 1980, Mr. Jing Qimin from Tianjin University’s School of Architecture visited the University of Minnesota’s School of Architecture for the first time. Unbeknownst to Qimin, it was the first step in what would become a lasting friendship between the two schools.