Paula Sevilla

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Humanitarian Virtual Reality

In A Sense of Place, 12. SOP 2.0 by Paula Sevilla2 Comments

Humankind’s ability to develop technology like Virtual Reality is both breathtakingly beautiful and horribly scary, because we are still not quite sure whether we can control everything that we are now creating, and can in no way be aware of the social consequences that these advancements will bring. Will this be an end to traveling? Will this be how we …

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Who Would Have Thought?

In A Sense of Place, 10. Placemaking by Paula Sevilla1 Comment

As both a history and an urban planning geek, there are few things that excite me more than the successful adaptation of historic buildings to modern city life. I have been lucky enough to live in a city where there is plenty of room for such an endeavor. Madrid’s buildings have stories that often go back hundreds of years, and …

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Before AC, There Was the Patio

In A Sense of Place, 8. The Vernacular Landscape by Paula SevillaLeave a Comment

In our obsession with being modern and our amazement and what technological advancements have enabled us to create, we sometimes forget that, before humans had access to such elaborate tools and mechanisms for constructions, they were often able to produce successful results with much simpler techniques. Aesthetic value aside, it is common to realize when studying ‘vernacular’ or traditional architecture …

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Parisians Know Best

In A Sense of Place, 4. The Social Life of Places by Paula Sevilla1 Comment

The French are historically known for their well-organized, perfectly symmetrical designs of gardens and public spaces, and the Jardins de Luxembourg, located at the rear of the Senate, are no exception. The center of the large round fountain is perfectly aligned with the central structure of the 16th-century palace, as well as with the center of the grass lawn located …

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Where the Streets [Need] No Name

In A Sense of Place, 3. City Form and Orientation by Paula Sevilla1 Comment

One of Costa Rica’s most famous slogans is “Zero Stress,” as exemplified by the image of the sloth, the sway of a hammock, or the soothing sound of the waves in advertisements for tourists. While living there, my family and I sadly struggled with this motto, given our European obsession with punctuality and precision. This challenge was hardest when we …

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No Place Like Jerusalem

In A Sense of Place, 2. The Spirit of Place by Paula Sevilla1 Comment

Edward Relph in “Reflections on the Emergence, Aspects and Essence of Place” states that “It is through places that individuals and societies relate to the world, and that this relationship has the potential to be both profoundly responsible and transformative.”   Indeed, millions of visitors every year travel to this city in search for their roots, for a sense of connection to history …