School of Architecture and Planning Alumnus Shares How Study Abroad Changed their Lives

Architecture studio in Barcelona offers invaluable opportunity to live, study and learn in another culture

Aaron Krolikowski in Tanzania.

Kerron Miller (BPS '99, MArch '01) says seeing Barcelona's distinctive designs in person helps you "understand your own sensibilities."

Published August 24, 2017

By Charlotte Hsu

Hundreds of UB students study abroad each year, and for many, it’s an experience that changes not only their perspective of the world, but also what they do with their careers. Kerron Miller (BPS '99, MArch '01) is among 11 UB alumni who shared how their time abroad influenced his or her direction in life. Read the full feature article. 

“The great works I saw in Barcelona have traveled with me through my professional experience in the sense that they affect the way that I view things when it comes to design and culture.”
Kerron Miller
BPS '99, MArch '01

Kerron Miller, BPS '99, MArch '01

Study Abroad Location: Barcelona, Spain (summer 1999)

Why I went: I went at the end of my senior year, and extended my stay for close to three months or thereabouts. For me, it was an opportunity to experience, live, study and learn in another culture. The history of architecture in Barcelona was extraordinary.

Provocative design: One thing that comes to mind often in Barcelona are the works of Antoni Gaudí, the famous Spanish architect, who employed geometric patterning heavily in his designs in a lucid and organic manner. Even though I appreciated his design sensibility in terms of the spatial qualities and interesting lines, I was able to understand his work much more in depth by actually having been there.

Seeing such distinctive designs in person makes you a bit more in tune with your own work — helping you understand your own sensibilities and be a little more provocative in some sense.

A lasting influence on design: The great works I saw in Barcelona have traveled with me through my professional experience in the sense that they affect the way that I view things when it comes to design and culture.

My office has just completed the NYU-DC academic building in Washington, D.C., and while most of the building profile is very orthogonal, the main façade has a series of undulating glass fins that add much fluidity to the façade from varying points of view.

Obviously, while not a close comparison to any of Gaudí’s work, the underlying precept was of engaging a thoughtful, rigorous geometric system that allowed itself to be experienced from multiple vantage points.

Study abroad advice: I would encourage every student, whether it’s in architecture or in another department, to study abroad because it really elevates your way of thinking, and your understanding of other cultures.

To experience the culture and art of any foreign country that one goes to is an amazing experience. When you see it firsthand, you feel it, and it really drives the fire or passion within you in terms of what it is that you are studying.

For me, Barcelona was a good place to do that. There are many other options, depending on what your interests are.

Buffalo Embedded in the World

With the largest study abroad program at UB, the School of Architecture and Planning offers diverse exchange programs and global summer studios across the globe, from Estonia to Japan to Costa Rica. Explore your options for the global study of architecture and planning at the School of Architecture and Planning.