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Architecture in Asia

Architecture in Asia
Spend 3 weeks traveling throughout Asia visiting architectural sites of historical and modern significance.
Seoul, South Korea; Tokyo, Japan; Osaka, Japan; Kyoto, Japan;
Language of Instruction: 
Winter Break
Academic Disciplines: 
Design & Planning
Program Type: 
  • Discover amazing modern architecture in the megacities of Seoul, Tokyo, Osaka and Kobe
  • Visit cutting-edge architecture firms in South Korea and Japan
  • Explore historical castles, temples, Zen gardens and Japanese tea houses in Kyoto and Himeji
Program Summary: 

With a history spanning across several millennia and a rich cultural heritage shaped by diverse religions and ethnic groups, Asia provides an unparallel context to experience people and places that are vastly different from the western world. In order to provide you the opportunity for expanding your horizons of architecture and life, this Asia Study Abroad Program will take you to a unique part of East Asia – Japan and South Korea. You will experience cultures and places that are based primarily on Buddhist, Taoist, and Confucianist principles, and are strangely intermixed with European colonial influences, as well as with postcolonial globalization. You will be exploring both historic and modern architecture in these countries and networking with leading Asian architecture firms.


Depart Kansas City: Tuesday, December 26, 2017

In Seoul, South Korea: Wednesday, December 27, 2017 – Tuesday, January 2, 2018

In Japan: Tuesday, January 2, 2018 – Sunday, January 14, 2018

  • Tokyo: January 2 – 6
  • Kyoto: January 7 – 10
  • Osaka: January 11-14

Return to Kansas City: Sunday, January 14, 2018


Students will spend approximately 06 days in South Korea and 12 days in Japan.  Most of the program will consist of planned group activities along with some free time.

Visits in South Korea (Seoul): Gyeongbokgung Palace Complex; Leeum Museum Complex by Mario Botta, Rem Koolhaas, and Jean Nouvel; House of Dior by Christian de Portzamparc; Dongdaemun Design Plaza by Zaha Hadid; Common Ground by URBANTAINER; Yap Seoul/Temp’L by Shinslab Architecture; Seoul City Hall by iArc; Floating Islands by Haeahn Architecture; Buk Seoul Museum of Art by Samoo Architects; Ewha Women University by Dominique Perrault; AMORE Sulwhasoo Store by Neri & Hu Design; Seoul Memorial Park by Haeahn Architecture; ChonGae Canal Restoration Project by Mikyoung Kim Design; and visits to architecture firms and many other historic and contemporary architecture.

Visits in Japan: Osaka (Chikatsu-Asuka Musuem, Rokko Housing, Mount Rokko Chapel, Church of the Light, Suntory Museum, and RAIKA Headquarters by Tadao Ando; Kansai Airport by Renzo Piano; Umeda Sky Tower by Hiroshi Hara); Himeji (World Heritage Site of Himeji Castle; Museum of Literature, Water Temple and Awaji Island Urban Design Project by Tadao Ando; Kiyoto (Nijo Castle; Ginka-kuji Temple; Kinka-kuji Temple; Kiyomizu-dera Temple Complex; Fushimi Inari Shrine, Koke-dera Temple; Philosopher’s Path; and many Japanese Tea Houses and Zen Gardens); and Tokyo (1964 Olympic Pavilions and St. Mary’s Chapel by Kenzo Tange; Collezione and 21-21 Design Gallery by Tadao Ando; Mikimoto and TOD’s Omotesando by Toyo Ito; PRADA by Herzog & de Meuron; National Art Center and Nakagin Capsule Tower by Kisho Kurokawa; Nezu Museum, Suntory Musuem and Baiso-in Temple by Kengo Kuma; Tokyo University Library by Shigeru Ban); and visits to architecture firms and many other historic and contemporary architecture.

Academic Information: 


ARCH 690 Architecture Study Abroad (6 credit hours) Required for all students.

ARCH 692 Documentation (3 credit hours) Optional. Check with program directors.

Arch 690 and Arch 692 for a total of nine hours fulfill the study abroad requirement for the School of Architecture, Design and Planning.


Students will stay in centrally located hotels in South Korea and Japan.


This program is open to all KU and non-KU students who have completed their first year of study. Priority is given to KU Master of Architecture students who have completed either ARCH 208 or ARCH 502. 

Program Faculty: 

Jae D. Chang is an Associate Professor and Interim Chair at the School of Architecture, Design and Planning of the University of Kansas. He also serves as the Assistant Chair for Graduate Studies in the Department of Architecture.  He received his Master and Doctorate in Architecture from the University of Michigan.  Dr. Chang has worked with universities and companies in the US and internationally on research in healthy environments and environmentally responsive design.

Kapila D. Silva is an Associate Professor at the School of Architecture, Design and Planning of the University of Kansas. He has taught at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, from where he received a doctorate in architecture, and at the University of Moratuwa in Sri Lanka, from where he received professional architectural education. Dr. Silva’s research, in its broadest sense, focuses on the social, cultural, and psychological dimensions of architecture, urbanism, and historic preservation,  with a specific focus on non-Western traditions. In narrower terms, his research has so far been on global heritage conservation and management, addressing theoretical and pragmatic issues related to UNESCO’s World Heritage Program, which attempts to preserve and manage historic monuments and sites with outstanding universal value. He is the co-editor of Asian Heritage Management: Contexts, Concerns, and Prospects (Routledge, 2013), Cultural Landscapes of South Asia (Routledge, forthcoming), and co-author of The Architecture of Tampita Viharas of Sri Lanka (Moratuwa University, 1997) and The Architecture of Ambalam Buildings of Sri Lanka (Moratuwa University, 2002).

For more information contact:

Jae D. Chang Ph.D., Interim Chair and Associate Professor
Department of Architecture

Kapila D. Silva Ph.D., Associate Professor
Department of Architecture


Summer & Fall Program Deadlines Extended for some programs.
See list of programs for more information.

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