February 26th, 2013
Department of Architecture of Epoka University welcomed on February 25, 2013 the “100 LAKES – Tirana & Rethinking Water-land” workshop, which was proposed By 51N4E, the Brussels based architectural office, to Epoka University and the Catholic University of Leuven (KUL), to bring together Architecture/Urbanism students and instructors from two universities. This project regards a strategic study on urban scale for the broader area of Tirana, the coastal Durres (where the main port is located) and Kruje (where the airport is located).
During his speech at the beginning of the workshop, the Rector of Epoka University, Prof. Dr. Remzi Altin thanked all the participants stating that Epoka University is a promoter and supporter of international workshops, projects and conferences. “As Epoka University we would like to be a Third Generation University, transforming the traditional teaching and Research University into an entrepreneurial university”, he said. According to Prof. Altin Epoka University pays a special attention to collaboration between universities, noting that the collaboration between Epoka University and Catholic University of Leuven (KUL) is just the beginning. “We as Epoka University are working to increase the cooperation between our universities by co organizing other projects. My colleagues are working to build up a tempus project with the Catholic University of Leuven”, Prof. Dr. Altin said.
Congratulating the organizers Prof. Dr. Altin stated that this is a valuable initiative and with a great importance to the students. “We want our students be focused not only on their lectures, but also on the opportunity for research and applying their knowledge. The “100 Lakes” project is also important for the environment and for water resources in Albania”, he added.
The Head of the Architecture Department at Epoka University, Assist. Prof. Dr. Sokol Dervishi, thanking the students for participation assessed that this kind of partnerships and cooperation between universities are very productive and fruitful for students of both universities. “This cooperation is very important for the students, as an opportunity to find data and make researches scientifically approached. It will be very important to collect and find ways to use and manage the collected data”, Assist. Prof. Dr. Dervishi said.
The existence of a large number of artificial lakes spread over the broader area around the capital, remnants of a communist-time project, is taken as a trigger to set up a study of the area as a whole. The study is aiming at scenarios for the future development of the area on different levels, with an underlying aim of a long term, positive vision.
The studio of "100 Lakes - Tirana" is guided by Bruno de Meulder, Programme Director, Maura Slootmaekers, Programme Coordinator, Freek Persyn, Tutor and Sotiria Kornaropoulou, Tutor.
The team of the Epoka University is represented by 9 (nine) Students of Architecture Department, in their 8th semester study and 1 (one) Master level student. "Rethinking Water-Land" studio project is guided by Sokol Dervishi, Head of Architecture Department, Ilir Nase, Instructor and Valbona Koçi, Instructor.
The team of the Catholic University of Leuven (KUL) is represented by 5 (five) students at their last term of Master of Science in Urbanism and Strategic Planning (MaUSP). They are also EMU students since MaUSP Programme is part of the EMU (European Postgraduate Masters in Urbanism). EMU students can apply to attend one or two semesters abroad at one of the partner universities - UPC Barcelona, TU Delft, or IUAV Venezia - to obtain the additional European Postgraduate Master of Urbanism.
The collaboration for the "100 Lakes project" initiated in October 2012, when Epoka University team led and conducted research, data gathering and filtered all relevant information. As envisioned, the purpose is to establish exchange moments between the students of KUL and Epoka University and the input of experts at crucial stages of the process, thus the start-up is an intensive 7 day Workshop [February 23 - March1, 2013]. During this period, city trips, discussions and brainstorming, consultations with local experts and field trips will take place. Back in their places, both teams will conduct studios with complementary themes.
A second meeting [Midterm Review, workshop and field trip] to take place in Tirana is planned in mid April, 2013. The Final Reviews, June 2013, will hopefully be in the format of a common presentation of both KUL & Epoka University students. The review might take place in Leuven/Belgium, or Venice/Italy as member of EMU programme. Depending on the possibilities, a broader communication of the result (small publication, public presentation on location etc) will be sought.
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