As my internship with The Grid is ending and the last month of the year 2013 goes by, I find myself standing at another one of life's many crossroads. It is a bit ironic that the end of my blogging experience for Milan is due as I am about to leave the city that was my home for two years.
The last six months as an intern for The Grid were incredibly fulfilling. I am forever grateful to Renee van Staveren for the opportunity and all her advice during this time. I also want to mention that without the consistent remarks and comments of my editors, especially Elizabeth Bastian, I would have never improved some of my writing weaknesses.
The Grid from Milan: Maxwell Vidaver and Alexandra Serbana
But above all, I owe all of this to the one of my best friends, Maxwell Vidaver, a former blogger for Milan. It is through him that I discovered the wonders of Global Site Plans, and it was him who encouraged me to apply for this opportunity. In some way I felt that we became a team, and my duty was to continue his work. And since he managed to cover almost all the important projects going on in Milan, from its development plan to Expo 2015, I felt that I could get a little creative.
I loved the idea of being able to communicate little details that I notice in this city, as a resident, and apply them to environmental and planning principles. In some ways, my writing was developed from personal emotions that I experienced, ones that I consider valuable for those who want to get a peek at Milan’s dynamics. ‘Fashionable Milan’ represents the things that I love about this city, the design, and the share of events it has to offer. The Italian Rush was a subject that came to my mind over a coffee with my friends reminiscing about how loud this city is, and how that sound defines its lifestyle. PoliGarden was inspired by the thesis and work of two of my friends, in collaboration with the project Campus Sostenibile, while the comparative design of the two campuses was a mix of personal opinion and the cumulative talks I had with friends who studied at both locations.
The idea of The Grid and having people write about their experiences in different cities is something that I consider to be amazing, not only from the point of view of a planner but also as a traveler - someone curious about what's out there. The Grid offers a peek into places all over the world.
The map is your best friend: October 2011, first days in Milan
At this point, I have no idea where I’ll be next year and which city I’ll get to experience next. But I do know that I wish for another chance to share it with The Grid community. This internship is a chance to mix creativity, professional skills, get amazing feedback, and the fun of experimenting something new altogether. I encourage, especially those who are passionate for writing, to apply. And also, I hope some of my friends from back home will rise to the challenge, because Bucharest, and many other cities in Romania deserve to have their stories told, and unfortunately at this moment I am not the one for that job.
And because it is almost a new year - one must try to guess what the future will bring. My guess for the future of The Grid is that it will represent the gateway to cities review. People will use the experiences of others to evaluate different issues, research quick projects, and even lifestyles.
Merry Christmas to everybody and an amazing year ahead for all The Grid community! All my best wishes for the future!
Credits: Images by Alexandra Serbana. Data linked to sources.