batch of the happy llamas

Testimonials

From discussions with industry experts to observing the sites visited on the trip, here’s what our alumni have to say about our courses. A small step towards a sustainable future!

Digital Sessions on Architecture

To begin with, I’d like to say that I am so happy the workshop turned out to be so interactive. Even though we had a group of people from different years of experiences, Rosie managed to make us all a part of the discussions. She made the sessions very interactive and fun. To attend an online workshop and still get to have group projects, talks, Q&A sessions, soil testings, etc, it was absolute fun and very well organised. It was a very involved one week long workshop. Honestly, I love hands on work hence I was a little skeptical about attending an online course but I am so happy that I did. I would love to be a part of anything that’s a little more in detail,specific to mud techniques- it’s samplings, composition, construction details, trials and errors, everything! Looking forward to exploring that very soon. Thank you so much!
girl smiling
Shimoli Shah
Architect
(Participant - Introduction to Natural Building, May 2020)
The Introduction to Natural Building course was very efficiently curated given all the technical difficulties of online teaching. Rosie is very approachable and is a good teacher. I could only attend 4 of the classes of the Natural Building digital course, and experienced the rest through the recordings. Had a wonderful experience with the sessions I attended, though - it was informative and the break out rooms really took the edge off and helped us interact in a better way with other participants. The presentations & the reading materials shared were very useful as well. The openness towards sharing resources and walking through the projects was great and really appreciative. It helped me develop a critical eye while looking at any project or starting a new design work. That's one of my main takeaways from the course.
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Prarthana Murali
Architect
(Participant - Introduction to Natural Building, May 2020)
The online format was pretty new to me but I think that the fact that there was a small ice breaker session was pretty cool. The details in formatting the sessions were well thought out. Rosie was hands on, answered all our queries and was basically a great facilitator! Also the fact that she was available for discussion even offline and was so enthusiastic about sharing added information on the Whatsapp group was really appreciated! Although I had already attended a few other hands-on workshops on mud architecture before, even then I got to learn a bunch of things like the VerSus wheel. One could clearly see all the planning and work that went into putting the course together and it was totally worth it. Overall, I had a great experience.
girl smiling and wearing scarf
Mithali Rao
Architect
(PARTICIPANT - INTRODUCTION TO NATURAL BUILDING, MAY 2020)
The 7 day long course on Natural Building has been a great experience where I gained an in-depth knowledge about natural building materials and techniques. The study material was well put and presented and so were the illustrations and accompanying explanations. It was great to learn from someone who has quite extensively studied as well as continuously practised with these materials and techniques. The course was kept pretty interactive and at no point did it turn boring. Rosie has been a patient mentor with concise yet well explained material and other insights into whatever we were learning. Overall amazing experience, and a 10 on 10!
girl wearing glasses and smiling
Sadhya Bhatnagar
Architect
(Participant - Introduction to Natural Building, May 2020)
The spirit of The Happy Llamas & Masons Ink was felt throughout the sessions. Learning through a semi formal way of teaching was really productive & efficient for me. I wish I could get teachers & management like this earlier. Interactions with Rosie felt right balance between lectures, interactions, Q&A and assignments. She was genuine while sharing her work, philosophy & teachings. I would definitely be interested in the follow up course!
man wearing glasses and smiling
Rajeev Purohit
Architect
(PARTICIPANT - INTRODUCTION TO NATURAL BUILDING, MAY 2020)
I've always been hesitant to do any hands-on work with mud, despite it being one of my favorite materials, due to my allergies. This was the first time where the course content was such that I could participate, so that part was really exciting for me. I learnt a lot of new details (the VerSus wheel, techniques of using mud etc.) as well. I liked Rosie’s method of teaching and how she ensured those who are not familiar with the subject matter at all were also able to understand everything. I also like that we managed some hands-on work despite having to learn it online and being stuck at home! It's nice to see how we're adapting to the isolation period and making the most of what's available to us!
girl wearing glasses and smiling
Ragini Jain
4th Year, School of planning and Architecture, Bhopal
(Participant - Introduction to Natural Building, May 2020)
The entire experience of the digital course on Natural Building was a wonderful one. From the sessions to the virtual hands-on experience, the presentations, the break out room activities.It was all amazing. Rosie has so much knowledge and experience to share with everyone. She is amazing to listen and learn from. Loved every bit of the course, definitely a 10 on 10!
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Megha Suthar
Architect
(Participant - Introduction to Natural Building, May 2020)
The digital course on Natural Building was my first workshop ever about Earth Architecture. I had a wonderful time. And all the classes were so well-organized! I had a wonderful experience with Rosie, and even though it was an online course, I'm super motivated to read, apply these techniques and attend more workshops about this in the future 🙂 Overall, the experience has been great.
happy llama
Arpita Kothari
Architect
(Participant - Introduction to Natural Building, May 2020)
I was really happy to be a part of the digital course on Natural Building. The presentations were interesting and it was so cool to work in groups and communicate with other participants. It was pretty dynamic and particularly for me, it was the best way to work on my English and get a glimpse of the Indian Architecture. Overall, a 10 on 10!
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Hélène Ferrat
3rd year, ENSAL (École d'architecture de Lyon), Lyon
(PARTICIPANT - INTRODUCTION TO NATURAL BUILDING, MAY 2020)
The digital course on Natural Building has been a really fun learning experience. I must say it was very well organised. Rosie, the tutor was really engaging and kept it interesting throughout. The exercises carried out were quite informative and this course did act like a stepping stone for me to work more towards sustainable architecture. I would also like to appreciate the efforts put in to carry out the small hands-on session despite it being virtual.
happy llama
Shraddha Haverishettar
5th year Architecture student
(Participant - Introduction to Natural Building, May 2020)
The entire 7 day session on Natural Building was planned in a very systematic and balanced way! It also included interaction with various participants coming from different parts of the country and was followed by a perfect balance of students and professionals which made the experience all the more interesting! The entire team of Rosie and her colleagues had great energy and enthusiasm, with very lively interactions!
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Rashi
Architect
(PARTICIPANT - INTRODUCTION TO NATURAL BUILDING, MAY 2020)
I learnt a new concept like Versus wheel and was able to discuss a lot of concepts with Rosie and other participants. I had a very good learning experience. I was introduced to interesting projects and ideas of many architects. Rosie's explanation of their projects inspired me greatly. My experience with Rosie was very informative and enjoyable. Especially the live examples that she gave helped a lot.
girl smiling and wearing nose ring
Srinidhi Sriraman
Architect
(Participant - Introduction to Natural Building, May 2020)
The course has been planned well, starting from basic concepts to details of the material. It's apt for students & freshers. Rosie is very insightful, simple to understand, and interactive 🙂 in short, awesome!!
woman smiling
Urvashi Purohit
Architecture professor
(Participant - Introduction to Natural Building, May 2020)
I learned many new things from the classes, and got a new perspective on sustainability. Rosie is friendly, approachable and can explain things in a simple way. I also like how she structured the classes.
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Nirupama KS
5th year Architecture Student
(Participant - Introduction to Natural Building, May 2020)
The digital course on Natural Building was an interesting one. Learned a lot about mud as a material, and more on sustainability. As a student it was an important experience to help me understand more in what direction I would like to proceed as an architect.
Srishti Baid
4th Year, Vastu Kala Academy, Delhi
(PARTICIPANT - INTRODUCTION TO NATURAL BUILDING, MAY 2020)

The Architecture Experience

The overall experience was excellent. In all the places we visited, the learning experience was highly intuitive. The credits for that could be given to the technological advancements in Singapore, and also to the amazing people who accompanied us on this trip. We got to dive into the Urban development and housing aspects of Singapore. My experience with Reena was amazing. She helped and guided us about everything, and helped us in understanding all the aspects. All the experiences were actually very well integrated, and they complimented each other. So personally, I liked the entire experience. Definitely a 10 on 10!
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Krashang Goswami
4th Year, DIT Dehradun
(Participant - Singapore, December 2019)
To read and attend lectures about urban development is one thing but to actually witness it in person is incomparable. Visiting the URA Centre and the HDB Hub, with their interactive, ultra-informative exhibits and proposals, showed me just how multi-disciplinary and collaborative urban study really is. The knowledge gained through the long, interactive heritage walks made up for the exhaustion we had to endure in the process! I'd definitely recommend The Architectural Experience trips to my friends and peers.
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Tejesvini S R
4th Year, SRM SEAD, Ramapuram, Chennai
(Participant - Singapore, December 2019)
Coming as a student to learn and coming as a tourist are completely different experiences. As a student, in the past few days we covered nearly the entire planning of Singapore. We visited a lot of informational places associated with urban planning which gave us a better understanding of the by-laws, thought process, innovation & technology, sustainability and future planning of Singapore. We got to see how Singapore is a good example of urban planning and sustainability. Our interactions with Reena were also so informative. She shared a lot of resourceful information and experience which was really helpful for us. Definitely a 10 out of 10!
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Nadia Alfia Solomon
4th Year, SRM SEAD, Ramapuram, Chennai
(PARTICIPANT - SINGAPORE, DECEMBER 2019)
The planning of the whole trip was great. Commuting from one place to another was also easy for us. Each and every place visited was very useful and informative, specially the URA and HDB hubs. The flexibility we got was also a huge plus. On the whole the trip was both fun and a great learning experience.
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Arijeet Roy
3rd Year, Sathyabhama University, Chennai
(PARTICIPANT - SINGAPORE, DECEMBER 2019)
If I had planned a trip to Singapore with my family, I wouldn't have seen places like Tiong Bahru, Queenstown, and Toa Payoh. This Experience was truly informative and will be very helpful for our semester Urban Design project. We were able to think and analyze the planning, living, needs of people, sustainability, etc. from a different perspective. Reena was able to guide us all the course and was very helpful and approachable. The walking tours were very informative too!
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Mohanapriya M J
4th Year, SRM SEAD, Ramapuram, Chennai
(PARTICIPANT - SINGAPORE, DECEMBER 2019)
This study trip was great as an experience. It was so informative. Visits to the URA and HDB hubs were the highlights. I got to see how sustainability is considered as main approach in each and every design in Singapore, and got a lot of exposure. Reena was also very friendly. And now I'm leaving with a lotta memories along with knowledge. 10 out of 10!
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Aishwarya Ramesh
4th Year, SRM SEAD, Ramapuram, Chennai
(PARTICIPANT - SINGAPORE, DECEMBER 2019)
Studio and site visits were very well organised but what I loved the most were the interactive sessions that we had with various artists and architects in Sri Lanka. Conversations with them were an extremely enriching experience. I got a better understanding in material selection, and the integration of nature in the landscape was eye opening. Prithy and Kshitija curated the experience extremely well and I got to learn a lot from them. About the places as well as the field in general. It was a great experience altogether! Very well planned especially keeping in mind the fact that we were here for a decent number of days and have almost covered everything ranging from the historic places to the modern ones. This trip was worth the money and will definitely influence my design in the future.
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Shhrruti Jain
Architect
(PARTICIPANT - SRI LANKA, OCTOBER 2019)
I had wanted to visit Sri Lanka for a while now and see some of the Tropical Modernism examples that I had always read about. So coming on this trip was a dream come true. The visit to the Heritance Kandalama hotel and Lunuganga estate were the highlights. I also got to see the sustainability measures taken at the Cinnamon Bey hotel. Both the curators were very friendly and humble. I got to meet a lot of interesting and cool people and I am gonna leave with a lot of memories but even better than that is the experience I have had.
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Govind Dinesh
Graduate, TKM College of Engineering, Peroor
(Participant - Sri Lanka, October 2019)
The Architecture Experience Sri Lanka was amazing. Prithi and Kshitija were amazing mentors. They explained things really well, making us observe and question every small detail. Meeting the architects and artists like Laki Senanayake made us step out of our comfort zone. These interactions helped us understand the importance of sustainability and modernism and how they go hand in hand in today's time. How Sri Lanka incorporates so much of nature in their design. I also saw live interpretations of landscaping. Meeting new people and working with them helped me gain their perspective and experience. I am going back with loads of memories of culture, food, new friends, mentors and lastly of an amazing architectural experience. Definitely 10 on 10!
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Shivika Sharma
4th Year, JAMIA MILIA UNIVERSITY, DELHI
(Participant - Sri Lanka, October 2019)
I loved the interaction with Takashi Niwa about parametric bamboo. In terms of places visited, I liked Naman Retreat the best, the way it was designed, their use of bamboo in a contemporary and urban style, the usage of green, vernacular architecture in the entire resort was nice. I could find similarities in what I saw and the subject of history of western architecture (buddhist architecture). Even the cafe 43 factory coffee roaster was similar to the project I am working on for the design subject. Observing so many similarities and what we could take home from them was the best part, like the design on the lines of sustainable architecture, usage of natural light in Terra Cotta studio, all this gives me an idea on what my masters in sustainable architecture might entail. I really loved the way how this tour turned out in understanding sensibilities of the place and how they influence architecture, and would definitely give this course a ten on ten.
Mohammed Irfan
3rd Year, GITAM School of Architecture, Vizag
(Participant - Vietnam, July 2019)
I loved meeting the local architects in Vietnam which otherwise I wouldn't have been able to meet. I liked how the trip was planned (good balance of intensive and ease). I would prefer more architectural knowledge of public places. Mohor is a great guide with a lot of patience and practical knowledge. The projects we saw had architectural design aspects which I had studied in college but didn't know the real life interpretations of. For example, Bêtania was a very budget friendly project, and they had a rain water harvesting system which was good to know. I also got to see passive architecture in Cuckoo House. I loved the visit to the Cam Thanh community centre, and would've loved to interact with end users of the site.
Ramya Mudapaka
4th Year, School of planning and Architecture, Hyderabad
(Participant - Vietnam, July 2019)
Visiting structures and then interacting with their architects helped understanding the structures in detail. I got to understand more about vernacular architecture, and understanding different ways on how to plan services. My design subject case study is to design a high rise structure, for which this trip helped (particularly the Tropical Space studio visit). The use of materials by Tropical Space gave an understanding of sustainable architecture, rain water harvesting, double room systems, usage of low cost and sustainable material like bamboo. This trip also gives me different approaches towards the subjects. We even interacted with 1+1>2 architecture studio to look at an exchange program with our college. Meeting people from different parts of India was fun and I had a great time with all of them. Mohor did a real good job. Overall it was a good learning experience.
Nimit Patni
4th Year, L.S. Raheja School of Architecture, Mumbai
(Participant - Vietnam, July 2019)
This trip was a great learning experience. We learnt about the stages of development in urban planning. I particularly liked the visits to the HDB and URA hubs, along with visits to contemporary buildings. The Experience was well organized and well scheduled.
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Sneha C N
3rd Year, Sathyabhama University, Chennai
(Participant - Singapore, December 2019)
The site visits, studio visits, the trip overall was great. It was a wonderful learning experience. It was really nice meeting the curators and they curated an amazing experience. I saw a lot of modern buildings like Kandalama hotel, how they use old techniques to be sustainable, like using open ventilation. Overall, it was a very well curated trip, worth the money and a really good experience.
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Ragini Jain
3rd Year, School of planning and Architecture, Bhopal
(Participant - Sri Lanka, October 2019)
The Bangalore workshop was informative with good inputs from the panelists. The trip was well curated and planned. The vegetarian food was well figured out (which is hard for a place like Vietnam). The places were also great. We had to rush a bit to get to certain places due to the packed itinerary, but it was worth it. This Experience gave me opportunities to network in Vietnam too, and that was really nice.
Kkanche Ratadia
4th Year, M S Ramaiah School Of Architecture, Bangalore
(Participant - Vietnam, July 2019)
The Bangalore workshop was good, and I got good insights from the panelists, including the different aspects of sustainability. Studio visits were great, and the fact that we got to see the firm and meet the architects was brilliant. Learning sustainability in Vietnam was great, and perfectly suited the topics of discussion. I would wish for a day or two for leisure sightseeing, but the planning was good, sometimes it got but hectic but mostly well balanced. I would highly recommend this experience to others.
Gyles Ferrao
3rd Year, Goa College of Architecture, Goa
(Participant - Vietnam, June 2019)
The panelists were really considerate of our requirements and everything went well. The experience was really good and helpful. Meeting new people helped me understand their views and perceptions in different topics in architecture. And the studio visits helped me understand a lot of topics related to technicality and sustainability, specially the visits to Takashi Niwa and bhA architects. It was also great to interact with other colleges’ students, and exchange portfolios.
Deepali Naidu
2nd Year, BMS college of Architecture, Bangalore
(Participant - Vietnam, July 2019)
The Architecture Experience was a great experience as I got to know what analysis actually was. Sustainability refers to solving existing problems, and not just installing solar panels! The stay and visits were planned well. Mohor shared a lot of her own experiences as a student which also helped. I got many of my architecture related doubts cleared which I couldn't solve before, along with an understanding of functionality and aesthetic. I got many questions answered and I'm satisfied.​
Pauras Narvekar​
3rd Year, Goa College of Architecture, Goa
(Participant - Vietnam, June 2019)
The Bangalore workshop was informative in more than one way, the feedback that was given opened multiple directions and ideas. That the panelists belonged to different sectors helped. Logistically little improvement would be good even as food was very well taken care of, but the experience over and all was great in sense of timing. There was plenty to learn and even getting local guides made it better and informative. Important aspect was to observe and question; and all the questions were proactively answered. And the studio visits were obviously priceless.
Megha Sahu
3rd Year, School of planning and Architecture, Bhopal
(Participant - Vietnam, July 2019)
The Architecture Experience Vietnam was a very good trip which was extremely informative. I loved our interaction with Takashi Niwa - he explained everything and answered all our questions. I also got to understand concepts like ventilation, rooftop vegetation, differentiating spaces, which I can use in my college project too. The usage of bricks in Cuckoo House, Terra Cotta Studio was very interesting. I also got to understand other students' approach to architecture, and am even making a presentation of what I learnt on this trip, for my college. With all the places I've been to and all the people I've met, it's definitely a trip I would always remember!
Saptarshi Ghosh
3rd Year, Sathyabhama University, Chennai
(Participant - Vietnam, July 2019)
In terms of learning, The Architecture Experience Vietnam helped me a lot as I’m also doing my dissertation in this area of study (sustainable architecture), so it helped me save a lot of time and also to mention a different point of view from other participants. Planning wise, it was very well planned and organised which lessened the worries about travelling and helped us concentrate more on the architectural experience. I look forward to another tour with The Happy Llamas in the future.​
Oweena Fernandes​
5th Year, Goa College of Architecture, Goa
(Participant - Vietnam, July 2019)
The Bangalore workshop was great. It helped us understand what exactly to observe while traveling. I liked visiting studios as it gave us an opportunity to actually understand the design concepts used by the architects. I feel I can take back quite a lot from this trip. My understanding of architectural spaces and design has improved. The shortlisted architecture firms which we visited were quite impressive. Also we were given free time to explore the food culture and streets by our own which made the tour way more interesting.
Saurabh Tubki
3rd Year, Goa College of Architecture, Goa
(Participant - Vietnam, June 2019)
The experience was great. Mohor helped a lot and made us question things more. She always answered our doubts and was fun too. The planning and organisation were good, with enough breaks. Personally, I would like to cover more places in a day but with the group, it worked well. Meeting the various architects was the highlight of the trip. Because communication was a general problem, students on future batches should download Google Translate.
Mani Makhija
4th Year, School of planning and Architecture, Bhopal
(Participant - Vietnam, June 2019)
The panelists gave us very useful information on how to go about the project and helped us set clear goals. Inspiring. Mohor is very cooperative and inspiring. She helped us a lot with the projects. She made us understand a lot of intricate information and helped us understand what we were trying to achieve through this tour. Thumbs up! One of the best experiences of my life. Taking back a lot in terms of educational and moral values. I would rate it ten on ten!
Mohita Dasgupta
4th year, Amity School of Architecture & Planning, Kolkata
(Participant - Vietnam, June 2019)
All of the visits were well planned, only wanted more heritage visits as well! The learning part was great, and the studio visits were a highlight! The itinerary was well planned though there could've been a bit of wiggle room. We missed out on a few places that could've been in the itinerary, like the open hand bridge. But I loved learning about the history of the cities and seeing the sustainable side of the sites visited and related to them through the explanation of the architects who designed the sites. I also saw real life interpretations of theory learnt in school, which cleared a lot of concepts.
Srishti Baid
3rd Year, Vastu Kala Academy, Delhi
(Participant - Vietnam, July 2019)
The Bangalore workshop was good. We had interesting discussions and the panelists also gave us insights regarding our work, which we can work on further after the trip. Mohor is very enthusiastic, and she can teach and also made us interact with each other. She inspired us on how to observe things and communicate with other people. The trip was awesome, all the way from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City. We got time to explore the city ourselves during dinner. The logistics were planned efficiently too, and overall this trip gave me many things - new experiences, new friends, new learning! Thanks to The Happy Llamas team to coordinate the workshop wisely.
Rahul Soni
5th Year, Anant National University, Ahmedabad
(Participant - Vietnam, July 2019)
The Architecture Experience Vietnam was a great experience for me since before this, I felt a little out of place and wanted motivation to move ahead - so this trip really helped me with that and helped me understand my profession better. It was good to see sustainable architecture in real life, and see real life interpretation of subjects like building construction and architectural design. I also loved interactions with fellow participants from all parts of India.
Sagarika Kaushik
4th Year, Vastu Kala Academy, Delhi
(Participant - Vietnam, July 2019)
Studio visits and site visits are where we got to learn the most, and they were very informative. The language was somewhat of a barrier at the studio visits but we learnt as much as we could from the drawings, etc. I would’ve wanted more contemporary structures covered, but it was a good tour overall.
Tanvi Pagare
4th Year, L.S. Raheja School of Architecture, Mumbai
(Participant - Vietnam, July 2019)
I loved the studio visits, and this trip gave me a lot of variations in material selection. The local architects in Vietnam helped shape the vision on what sustainable architecture is. Mohor was awesome and I learnt a lot from her. She stepped up to whatever role was expected of her from learning to tour guide to mentor. The learning part was good, and I bonded with a lot of people from different parts of the country.
Dielle D'sa
4th Year, L.S. Raheja School of Architecture, Mumbai
(Participant - Vietnam, July 2019)
The best part of the itinerary which attracted me to be part of the tour was the architect studio visits and site visits to their projects/sites. Apart from that I also noticed the places were inspired by their heritage, which we also visited.The link between studios and heritage were clearly visible. The tour was planned with experience and I was satisfied. There were some issues due to delay of flights, but it was beyond anyone’s control. As an architect to be, it was a good trip.
Milap Ganatra
5th Year, Anant National University, Ahmedabad
(Participant - Vietnam, July 2019)
I got to understand construction more clearly, and learnt a lot more about project management (finances) at the 1+1>2 architecture studio visit. The project Sentia school by 1+1>2 architects was a good example to understand incorporation of sustainability in a commercial building. I hope the projects we were working on were a bit smaller so we could spend more time exploring in Vietnam, and more breathing space between site visits.
Aditi Chaudhry
Graduate, I.E.S. COLLEGE OF ARCHIECTURE, Mumbai
(Participant - Vietnam, July 2019)
This trip was good exposure. Understanding the thought process that goes behind a project was very nice to understand at the studio visits. Mohor was very friendly and had enough knowledge to explain everything. She managed to keep everybody together and manage the schedule. The trip was just how I expected it to be. It was lovely going to different places, meeting new people, understanding their culture and ways of living along with architecture.
Riya Kumari
2nd Year, Vastu Kala Academy, Delhi
(Participant - Vietnam, July 2019)
I loved the site visits, studio visits and walking tours. I wish there was a free day in Da Nang for other activities. I gained a lot of exposure about different techniques of construction and designing for energy efficiency. Overall a great learning experience.
Saksham Walia
2nd Year, Jamia Milia University, Delhi
(Participant - Vietnam, July 2019)