Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Students in Action

As the summer winds to a close, this will be the last post about the Arch2840: Architecture of Florence and Rome class. I am obviously very lucky to be able to teach this kind of class, and I am truly grateful for the opportunity to teach about and expose students to some of the most important buildings in history.

For me, the most rewarding part of this experience is the opportunity to observe students experiencing architecture firsthand. When I was an architecture student, I had the opportunity myself to study abroad and experience some of these very same buildings. I know how important that primary experience was for me. It changed my views on the world, and has impacted my life ever since. My own travel experiences have forever changed the way I view and understand architecture.

To be able now, as an architect and professor, to pass this experience on to my students is a very positive and rewarding activity. I can only hope that in some small way, I have been able to impact and shape the worldview of my students through this course. I can’t help but be overjoyed at the sight of students in awe at the many amazing places that we visited. It reminds me of how I felt, and still feel, when experiencing great architecture firsthand.

Our students on this trip ranged in ages spanning several generations, from the traditional aged student through more savvy veteran travelers. For some students this was their first time leaving the country. For others it was an opportunity to revisit and reconnect to places that had become memories. I think that all involved in this trip, regardless of their prior travel experience, left with a new and lasting understanding of architecture.

The images here are simply a record of students in action. They are not always great photography, and I have obviously had some issues in editing this post. Some shots are mine, and others are not. What they are collectively, however, is a testament to experiencing place, culture, and architecture through travel.

Ralph, admiring the Medici ceiling

Jane, teaching at the Palazzo Medici

the COD group at Santa Croce

The best part of Italy... the food of course!

Who shrunk Dora?

Taking pictures of people taking pictures...

Lunch, in front of a Renaissance masterpiece

Tyler, hanging out

Jane, stopping to admire the view on the way up the Duomo

Which way to Florence?

The COD group at the Spanish Steps

Andy takes in the view from the Duomo

The COD group at the Colosseum

Ralph at the Colosseum

Andy at the Colosseum

Matt, lurking with his camera

Matt and Cam

Sketching at the Pantheon

Anything it takes to get the shot

Yes, Marge made it up those steps!

Jane, teaching at the Campidoglio

Maybe we did look like toursits?

We should have been kissing the ground after that landing

My classroom in Rome

also lurking with my camera

What do you do while waiting for lunch? We sketch.

Singing in the rain (I might regret this one)

Brilliant! Why didn't I think of this?

Skies at St. Peter's

Here are a few images from the day we visitied St. Peter's Basilica. On the day of our visit, the weather changed frequently, which led to a number of photos with the most amazing skies. 

Friday, August 3, 2012

San Carlo alle Quatro Fontane

Photo of the Day: San Carlo alle Quatro Fontane

Today’s images are from the iconic example of Baroque architecture, San Carlo alle Quatro Fontane.  This small church designed by Francesco Borromini would fit within a single pier of St. Peter’s, but in spite of its small size, this structure is a tour de force!  It is Borromini’s masterpiece, and the quintessential example of the Baroque style in architecture.

As you can see in these images, the exterior facade is a highly sculpted plastic form that blurs the lines between architecture and sculpture, spilling out over the natural boundaries of the site.  This highly sculptural exterior gives way to a beautiful domed interior space defined by the intricate geometric pattern in the main dome.  The tall narrow lantern on the dome creates a hidden light source, adding to the drama and mystery of the space.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Trevi at Night

More from my adventures in night photography.  Here is the Trevi Fountain at night.

OK, I admit it, I threw a coin in.....

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Great Streets

Another one of my favorite European travel hobbies is wandering.  I just love to wander and explore the city through the narrow, tight European streets. There is something special about both the scale and character of light on the streets in a dense European city. 

These great streets are also pretty photogenic as well.