In March, The Hyatt Foundation awarded Shigeru Ban its prestigious annual Pritzker Prize for Architecture. Tom Pritzker, the CEO of the foundation, appeared on television to talk about the prize and the power of architecture to transform the "beholder." During an interview, he told the story of taking his family to Bilbao, in Spain, to see Frank Gehry's striking Guggenheim Museum.
"When we reached Bilbao, we could see the change. Honestly, the chemistry in their brains changed. It became an exciting experience not just for them but for us watching as well. So, I do think that architecture can change the human experience..."
It's true. You simply cannot compare seeing a photograph with seeing the real thing. The real has a power to transform that the virtual lacks. That's one reason we encourage parents to allow their teens to experience the wonder of European travel. We teach. We mentor. But allowing a teen to see and soak up all the the sights, history, and culture can have an equally—if not more—profound effect. The ELS is more than an adventure, it's one new experience after another. And we think that matters.