Sam Gordon: Looking Ahead!

…while also making the most of the present.

I have officially been in Copenhagen for a month, and man has time gone by fast! This is the point where days start to blend together, as I now have a pretty consistent week day routine because I am so busy with architecture studio work. Wake up (or at least try to) at 7:30, class at 8:30 and until the mid-afternoon, find something to do in the late afternoon and evening whether that be studio work or leisure, and then repeat the next day. Now as long as I do not have studio work to do, the afternoons are my favorite time, as it is at this time when I can be creative with how I spend my day.

I am currently sitting in another one of my favorite cafes in the city: the Studenterhuset. The Studenterhuset (translates to the ‘student house’) features indoor and outdoor sitting space, cold drinks, and good music (depending on when you go). Students in the area, both Danish and international, receive a discount on everything! They also have weekly events. On a couple of Tuesday nights I have gone to the Studenterhuset’s swing dancing session. Here, they give you a 45 minute introduction and lesson, and then they put on the music and have you dance away. Despite the fact that I am awful at dancing, it’s still a lot of fun. I even met a new German friend while I was there!


We just wrapped up our first assignment in the architecture studio on Monday! We were split up into groups of four with each of us coming from a different realm of design (interior, urban, regular architecture, etc), and were assigned a building that we will visit on our study tour next week. My group was assigned the Muuratsalo Summer House, designed by famous Finnish architect Alvar Aalto. We were given a section and elevation (analytical site diagrams) of the building, and then told to build a model and create a presentation for it. After several days of hard work, we were able to wrap it up on Sunday, and presented to the rest of the class on Monday. This was a total learning experience for me, as in my limited studio experience I have never had to make an exact replica of a specific building before. Most of my assignments have been self-designed. I was very lucky to have a couple of graduate students in my group from who I was able to learn from.

This morning my Architecture Foundations Studio met for the first time, and we were given the instructions for our second assignment. Assignment 2 requires us to design a small outdoor pavilion for the King’s Garden (Kongens Have), which I mentioned briefly in my last post as one of my favorite leisure spots. This afternoon we visited the site as a class and did some brainstorming sketches. I will keep you all updated on this.

Looking ahead

As I sit here in the Studenterhuset on my laptop, I have decided to come up with a brief list of things I’d like to keep in mind or do for the remainder of my time here:

Truly know the city

> When I return to the States, I want to be able to say I truly know the city of Copenhagen, both spatially and culturally. If one was to ask me about a specific neighborhood in or around the city, I want to be able to say something significant about it from personal experience. Known in the past for being a much more “grungy” neighborhood, the neighborhood of Vesterbro sits just west of Copenhagen’s downtown. Vesterbro is known both for its unique nightlife and cozy cafes. I would like to experience and explore it at some point soon!

World Cup

> I hope to find a favorite sports bar to cheer on the United States men’s soccer team over the course of these next few weeks! For the United States’ first two games, I hung out at The Dubliner, which is an Irish pub in Amagertorv on Stroget. I watched a few other games in my kollegium common room with some of the Danes on my floor. It’s a lot of fun watching soccer/football with the Danes, as they truly love the sport a lot more than most Americans do and have a lot of good insight on it, as a lot of them play the sport themselves.

‘Gotta keep bumpin’’

> It’s a favorite song lyric. Essentially, I want to make the most of my time here. I don’t want to become a complacent resident visitor of the city. I want to continue taking advantage of all the experiences I can while I am here. New friends, new experiences, and even greater times lie ahead!

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