Unfortunately, we have cancelled the 2021 Florence Summer Program due to the ongoing safety risks and travel restrictions created by the pandemic. Students who were enrolled in the summer program should refer to the email from Courtney Cushard for additional information.

Open to all university students, the Florence Summer Program provides an interdisciplinary learning environment within the framework of design, art, architecture, and art history. You will spend two months broadly examining visual culture as a social, political, and aesthetic construct through an art history course and either an architecture or art studio.

Collaborative in nature, the studios use drawing and design as a medium for exploration and visual experimentation, as you study the nuanced layers of 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 9 credits:

- 6 credits of art or architecture studio
- 3 credits of art and architecture history

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

View images from the 2019 Florence Summer Program>>

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.

Art Studio

Florence Summer Program-Art Exhibition

Art Studio (6 Credits)

This course helps students develop a site-responsive studio practice in relationship to the cultural landscape of Florence, as you consider the unique identity of particular sites and structures, land use, and use experiences on location to inspire and frame ideas for your work. Students develop a series of visual projects in art, design, or a hybrid of the two through a series of prompts, and may choose to use resources such as the on-site letterpress studio and the printmaking and photography facilities. Ultimately, all students will have the power to make independent work that explores their own visual and media interests.

Additional Program Details

Visit the Study Abroad section of our intranet for details about eligibility and prerequisites, pre-departure preparation, transportation, field trips, housing, passports, visas, and more.


For more information about the Florence Summer Program, please contact:

Courtney Cushard
Coordinator of Special Programs