Mariam Melkadze MA

On a warm day in September I attended my graduation ceremony at the University of Wales, Newport. This day marked the end of what had been a long journey towards my goal of achieving a Master of Arts Degree in Multimedia & Information Design.

I had looked forward to this day hoping very much that my father would have been able to join me. Unfortunately it was not to be. But I was very happy that Catherine Philpott was able to come, taking a memorable film of the ceremony.

It seems a long time ago when I first arrived in Newport to visit the city and the University campus. I met with many people both in the Association and officers working for the City Council. They offered much valuable advice and within a year I was back again taking up my studies.

I cannot express how much I have enjoyed my experience _ meeting students from all over the world, all as enthusiastic as me. The tutors were wonderful, encouraging me to have a new outlook on my work. Changes in my approach soon took place and I developed new skills.

‘Virtual Architecture’ presented as a digital installation was the subject of my dissertation. The project was aimed at discovering the influence of computer generated images within real space to create a multi-sensorial architectural design.

For the past two years I had the opportunity to work as a 3D visualiser within the large local architect firm of BoyseRees. It was a truly valuable experience. I would like to thank the staff for all their kindness and goodwill.

Next I must express my appreciation for the generous help and friendship offered to me by the members of Newport Kutaisi association _ it is hard to name everyone who has been so kind to me. But special thanks, though, must go to Catherine who, together with professor Madonna Megrelishvili, gave me all the encouragement and opportunity to embark on such a journey as I have made. It was as long ago as 1998, as a fourth year architect student, that they first put the idea to me. I have many miles since then!!

I went finally to say how important it is to the young people in Kutaisi to have this chance to study at the University of Wales, Newport and to thank the great generosity of the governors of the University for this.