A World Tour Journey

-Backpacking. Searching. Designing -

A Transit Proposal: Hometown Roots Re-Examined

My favorite home is a backpack.

In the Spring of 2010, I was one of 40 students chosen to participate on one of the College of Architecture and Planning’s premiere quadrennial study abroad experience: The World Tour PolyARCH4. Trekking through a total of 27 countries across Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia, students from all of the college’s departments learned together by blending course work into an intense day-by-day itinerary; we visited places, spaces, design professionals, buildings, gardens, and vernacular environments - urban, rural, and natural. Globalization and design, history and theory of architecture, design sketching, and studio design were courses undertaken through the duration of the study abroad.

 With the “world” as the classroom, my curious mind wrestled with sketchbooks, traditional drawing media, and a collective dedication for ‘design’ to actuate more sustainable environments - compiled in a rich learning environment soars ‘on-the-fly’. Daily research, analysis, observing, reacting, recording, reflecting, and design experimentation frame the learning mosaic.

 I maintained an en-route record of observations, speculations and interpretations related to what they view as possible principles, standards, and guidelines that have driven or could drive “sustainable” design and planning. My theories were developed by closely observing and analyzing objects, spaces, places, built-environments and behaviors within.

To view a sampling of pictures and sketches from my travels, please visit:

Sketching Samples

World Exposure

For more information on World Tour, please visit:

Ball State University: College of Architecture + Planning: World Tour

Class Blog WTP4


My experience on World Tour taught me how iconic design, which defining our architectural era, must still integrate this timeless art-form of place-making in order to be successful. I cataloged all of my reactions and explorations from this backpacking trip into a design library of sketches. The result was a formulation of my own contextual narrative about people and place; a transliteration of a pattern of process and observation into another of circulation and place-making.

These are design experimentations, scanned from my en-route sketchbook, that were used to develop the framework for a charrette about applying these principles to a design in my hometown.

 This unique travel-based design-studio built towards a final studio charette project wherein I re-developed a site in my hometown of Carmel, IN. Utilizing the design principles I discovered en-route, I demonstrated the development of great public architecture and public spaces in a transit hub infused with global sensitivities and precedents from my design library. The scope of the project was to redevelop a 375,000 sq. foot piazza that included a station, plaza, parking, pathways and refurbishing existing structures on the site. I used precedents from my studies and sketches on World Tour; mainly from studying various public transit centers in Germany and China as well as the Piazzo del Campo in Sienna, Italy. 

The result was developing the idea of a unique public space for the people of Carmel, weaving various programmatic elements together and creating a memorable destination within its identity as an art district.

And, incurable wanderlust.


A big thank you to Les, Rod, Ball State University CAP and Contemporary Tours for putting on this amazing program!