They are 24 and 21 years old respectively, architecture students at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia's capital and largest city, and arrived at NOVA in early July under the Student Individual Research Projects (SIRP), promoted by EUTOPIA.
"We heard about the possibility in March, and we didn't rest until we found someone who would take us in," confess Neža and Lovre, stressing that the greatest difficulty occurred right at the beginning when they learned that, in order to be accepted in this type of mobility, it was necessary to find a mentor at origin and at the destination. Nothing to be discouraged about, of course - although they did rely a lot on the encouragement of Lovre, who knows a few design tricks and had collaborated on a few promotions on EUTOPIA in Ljubljana.
Now, welcomed at NOVA FCSH, with the guidance of Regina Salvador, they start by recognising that Lisbon's warm climate is always an attractive factor - and that the experience in this country on the other side of Europe is only not what they expected because... “it's better.”
For the first time in Portugal, they insist that this opportunity to hear the opinions of other people, who don't see the world in the same way, is their greatest asset. But not only: "we are managing to do something that architects don't always manage researching and writing about something, visiting something concrete at the same time".
Already the subject of their research could not be more fashionable: to evaluate the impact of Airbnb accommodations on the life of cities - to, in the end and by way of conclusion, propose a sustainable model that allows maintaining this type of short-term rentals in large cities. "The necessary regulation", she says; "a model that allows to enjoy the benefits and minimize the negative impact", he specifies.
Halfway through, they also confess that they simply loved Lisbon - "It's a city the right size, not too big, not too small. Besides, there's the beach", Neža points out, while Lovre remarks that "the streets fill up with people at the end of the day".
Adding to the praise for this first EUTOPIA experience, they say that the fact that it allows exchanges in a short period of time makes the EUTOPIA alliance very attractive for those who are studying.