Florence-Summer

  • Photo by Igor Marjanovic.
    Photo by Igor Marjanovic.
  • Architecture students visiting Opera di Firenze. Photo by Emir Kulosman.
    Architecture students visiting Opera di Firenze. Photo by Emir Kulosman.
  • Photo by Igor Marjanovic.
    Photo by Igor Marjanovic.
  • Neena Wang photographing the Island of Elba, 2014. Photo by Whitney Wood.
    Neena Wang photographing the Island of Elba, 2014. Photo by Whitney Wood.
  • Sketching trip in Rome, 2014. Photo by Elisa Kim.
    Sketching trip in Rome, 2014. Photo by Elisa Kim.
  • Nianci Li at work in studio, 2014. Photo by Jamie Adams.
    Nianci Li at work in studio, 2014. Photo by Jamie Adams.

View images from the 2017 Florence Summer Program>>

2018 Florence Summer Program
Architecture, Communication Design, & Photography: May 19-July 31, 2018
Download 2018 Florence Summer Program brochure>>

The application deadline is February 15, 2018. Students are admitted on a rolling basis, so early applications are encouraged.

Open to all university students, the 2018 Florence Summer Program provides an interdisciplinary learning environment within the framework of design, art, architecture, and art history in Florence. You begin with a one-week Italian language and cultural immersion workshop on the island of Elba. Once in Florence, you spend two months broadly examining visual culture as a social, political, and aesthetic construct through an art history course and either an architecture, communication design, or photography studio.

Collaborative in nature, the studios use drawing, design, and photography as a medium for exploration and visual experimentation, as you study the nuanced layers of Florentine history within the dynamic context of contemporary life. Work in studios extends into the streets of Florence and surrounding cities, allowing you to engage the full cultural landscape of contemporary Europe. The small size of the program allows you to work closely with professors in developing a body of work that is highly personalized, culminating in well-developed final projects

Upon successful completion, you receive a total of 10 credits:
- 6 credits of studio
- 3 credits of art and architecture history
- 1 credit of Italian language

For Sam Fox School students, the studio and history courses count toward your major, including as Sam Fox School Commons or Elective courses. These credits may also count toward a minor in design, art, or architecture, or fulfill the Humanities credit for engineering students.

Italian Language Course (1 Credit)

Offered through a partnership with the Italian language school Centro Fiorenza, this weeklong workshop builds a strong understanding of the Italian language and provides an instant immersion in the culture, giving you the necessary foundation for an authentic experience during your time in Florence. Morning classes develop your conversational skills. During the afternoon, you explore the island of Elba through cultural programs, art history classes, and free time. Activities include a sailing and swimming in the Tyrrhenian Sea, hiking in the mountains, visiting historic sites such as Napoleon's fortress in Portoferraio, and enjoying the beach.

Groups of two to six students share fully furnished apartments with equipped kitchens in Marciana Marina. You are a 10-minute walk from anywhere in the town and a bus ride away from other island destinations.

Art History

Rethinking Renaissance Visual Culture (3 Credits)
Faculty: Katharina Giraldi-Haller

This course explores the complexities, innovations, and magnificence of two centuries of history through its visual production: architecture, painting, sculpture, etc. It challenges the established understanding of Renaissance Florence as a cohesive phenomenon, instead constructing a more diverse notion of Florence’s aesthetic language. Emphasis is placed on those motifs that permit interdisciplinary connections to drawing, design, and architecture that you explore in your studio courses in Florence. Beyond the assigned textbooks, your visual guide is the city of Florence itself.

Architecture Studio

Disegno: Encounters in Public Space (6 Credits)
Faculty: Igor Marjanović (marjanovic@wustl.edu)

One of the origins of the term "design" is the Florentine word "disegno," which denotes both the drawing of a line and the drawing forth of an idea. Building upon this dual trajectory, the architecture studio engages a diverse set of drawing strategies—from freehand drawing and drafting to printmaking—probing public space as a confluence of architecture, culture, and identity. Projects emphasize craft, experimentation, and the socioeconomic forces that shape architecture, including the role of different cultures in its making.

Communication Design Studio

Interaction Foundations (3 Credits)
Curation, Collection, and the Archive (3 Credits)
Faculty: Jonathan Hanahan (jhanahan@wustl.edu)
Prerequisite: Digital Design (F10 243) or Digital Studio (F10 242), or permission from the instructor; prior knowledge of the Adobe Suite and a laptop with the Adobe Suite software.

This curriculum includes two courses:

Interaction Foundations (June) emphasizes hands-on application of interaction design for digital media and the role digital tools play in occupying and engaging physical space and contemporary culture. You learn the foundations of interaction design (HTML, CSS, and some JavaScript), build websites from scratch, and design for the web. Working both independently and collaboratively, you explore the digital device as "canvas" for various communication challenges, specifically questions of navigation and cultural discovery in unfamiliar environments.

Curation, Collection, and the Archive (July) investigates design media outside of the digital screen. You explore the presentation and organization of complex visual, material, and text-based information by analyzing existing environments. Your final project is the design, curation, and presentation of a collection you gather and create in Florence.

Photography Studio

City As Studio (6 Credits)
Faculty: Stan Strembicki (strembicki@wustl.edu)
Students must supply their own camera and support systems

This studio uses the vibrant European art metropolis of Florence as both a subject and a sounding board for image making. The traditions of documentary and street photography are your primary guide as you develop a concise, well-reasoned portfolio. You conduct research for project-based work in the museums, churches, piazzas, and markets of Florence, as well as on day trips to other cities in Tuscany, such as Siena, Lucca, and Pisa. You may employ analogue or digital media. Technical demonstrations and lectures support your work, and an on-site darkroom is available for film processing and printing.

Transportation to Florence

Due to varying points of departure and individual travel schedules, students arrange their own transportation. Students must arrive in Florence on May 19, 2018, and must check out of housing on July 31 by 10a. Classes finish on July 28.

Passports & Student Visas

Students obtain their own passports. Students who already have passports should make sure they will be valid at least six months after their last day in Europe. International students should make sure all necessary paperwork is in order and that their country of origin has passport and visa reciprocity with Italy. The School will assist students with the visa application process.

Housing in Florence

Groups of two to six students share furnished apartments with fully equipped kitchens. Students can walk anywhere in the old city within 20 minutes. Apartment costs during the program average about $2,000 for double occupancy rooms, $2,400 for single occupancy rooms—the fee includes utilities. An additional $250 refundable housing deposit is required.

Tuition & Costs

Estimated tuition for the 10-credit, nine-week summer program is $12,600. In addition, students should budget approximately $1,575 in fees to cover Elba expenses, course materials, field trips, museum passes, and library passes. Fees are based on estimated exchange rates and are subject to change. Students are responsible for purchasing their food, art supplies, and books.

A limited number of students can receive financial assistance based on need and merit. Please indicate on your application whether you are interested in receiving financial assistance.

How to Apply

The application deadline is February 15, 2018. Students are admitted on a rolling basis, so early applications are encouraged. Apply online:

For more information about the Florence Summer Program, please contact:
Courtney Cushard
Coordinator of Special Programs
courtney.cushard@wustl.edu
314.935.4643