Hello all, sorry for posting a bit later than usual, but I was gone a whole week on an academic field trip in PARIS. How amazing is that? First off, the city totally exceeded by expectations, and for traveling with 27 people, it went so smoothly. Because it was academic, everything we did had to relate to what we are currently studying in Interior Design classes. It seemed a bit like it would be tiring and boring at first, but this trip really taught me how to travel as a designer and not just a tourist. Everything that we did really taught me about Paris- what it is made out of, how it works, why it works, etc. It presented me with so many cool opportunities that I would never have gotten had I just been roaming around and looking at the sites just to check another monument off my list. For example, I saw the Eiffel tower, but we discussed it from a design standpoint. I learned about the architect and everything that took place that turned the tower into the icon of Paris. We were also given two days at the end of the trip for our own travels and to finish up our independent studies we did of retail design. So with that, here are some highlights of my Paris trip from a design standpoint.
The cool part about being in a fashion capital was that we got to go really in to depth with retail design psychology (i.e. how to create brand loyalty, the changes one makes within store locations to appeal to that specific demographic, codes for altering historical buildings, etc.). This particular photo is from the pre-opening behind the scenes tour we got to do of Hermes Paris. The store is built inside of a 1920's swimming pool and is totally amazing. I also got to visit and interview designers from Louis Vuitton, Givenchy, Fendi, and Chanel.
From a design standpoint, the Eiffel Tower is 300 times cooler. We talked about why it became an icon of the city, how it came to be, the ins-and-outs of the structure and how it physically works, and basically everything there is to know about it. To get there, we walked across that cool bridge from the movie Inception and we had a picnic under the tower. So actually it was the most romantic day of my life with 26 other people.
The Palace of Versailles was for sure the trip highlight. It was definitely a design geek out session, since it is the epitome of about five different styles of French design because it was used for so long by different royals. It was extremely beautiful and educational also in learning about the past monarchy and how each of the royals shaped French culture and the city into what it is today. I also recommend buying a ticket to the gardens. It was totally amazing in fall, but it made me want to see them during every season.
These three photos are from my two days of personal travel. As you can see I clearly made a good academic choice and went to Disneyland on Halloween. Not totally educational, but I got to dance with Disney villains and eat candied apples so I'd call it a win. The other two photos are from a famous French cemetery where Oscar Wilde is buried and Sacre Couer. Sacre Couer is an amazing church on top of a hill that gives a full view of the city of Paris. You can actually go as late as midnight so you can see the city in its full lit-up glory. There's also a really good crepe stand at the top of the hill for those of you who, like me, will be almost dead after just one flight of stairs.
If you couldn't tell yet, I LOVE Paris and am stoked to be going back for my own independent travels for CHRISTMAS. I will actually be attending the Christmas Eve service at Notre Dame, which is one of my life goals so YAY because Paris gave me so many things to check off the bucket list.
In a last minute turn of events, I was invited to visit a friend in Germany this weekend. So after two days of being home, I will be on a flight to Cologne, Germany on Saturday morning. I am visiting a brewery, the cathedral, and a CHOCOLATE MUSEUM. My next blog post depends on if I ever am able to snap out of my Post-Germany Food Coma, so wish me luck.
Have a week as wonderful as you all are.
I'm Liz Bixenman, an interior design student living in Rome for the semester. When I'm not doing schoolwork, you can find me wearing a cat shirt, reading a book, and most likely eating more carbs than I'm proud of.