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Nikolas: from Hong Kong to Venice with The Shape of Water Summer School

Posted On 30-08-2023

Nikolas is one of the people who recently came to Venice to take part in the first edition of the Arts in Venice Summer School 'The Shape of Water'. We talked to him at the end of the programme to get a feedback on the whole experience.

Hi, can you please introduce yourself?
Hello! My name is Nikolas, a Dr.techn. Candidate at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. I am currently based in Hong Kong due to my research on architectural leftovers in high-density cities.

How did you first find out about the Arts in Venice Summer School The Shape of Water?
Simple: a general email from the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna International Office.

Please, describe the Summer School in three words.
Unique, intense, inspiring.

Are you happy with your experience?
Absolutely; I was looking forward to stay in Venice for a longer period of time but the intensity and insights that I have received through the programme were far beyond my expectations.

Can you please choose one lecture/activity that you especially enjoyed and tell us something about it?
Personally, I feel there are more highlights than just one, but as an architect, I have particularly enjoyed Prof. Alvise Mason’s fieldtrip to the Venetian Organs. Even though other lectures and trips have shown me Venice in a brand-new light; but Mason’s fieldtrip was simply unique. To be able to walk behind the stage of different churches while see and hear different organs and their acoustics is an incomparable experience. This is what makes this summer school so special – experts showing you insights of Venice that are usually reserved (and sometimes not even accessible) to locals.

Something fun or unexpected which happened during your two weeks in Venice?
Our fieldtrip to Sant'Erasmo was unexpected as I did not know how much vegetables, fruits, and unique species do grow directly in Venice. This was topped with a personal dinner experience by a renowned chef – priceless local delicacies indeed.

How was living in Venice and share this experience with other participants?
It was not my first time in Venice, but the first time for such a long period. I got along very well with everyone and some indeed became my friends to whom I still hold and treasure our contact.

Where did you find accomodation?
I’ve followed the Summer School recommendation and stayed at the Ca' Foscari University campus in San Giobbe. Highly recommend and would stay there again any time soon.

What's next after the summer season?
Currently back in Hong Kong to wrap up my doctoral research on architectural leftovers.