“Rock and Stone: Cultures of Making in Northern Italy” is a multidisciplinary field course, located in the alpine ecosystem of the Val Taleggio. The field school is aimed at emphasizing the resilient nature-culture continuum through an approach that combines methods of anthropological fieldwork and architectural investigation. Through conversations with professional and local specialists, practical activities, local arts and crafts, theory and design, students will explore the ecology and the local resources in order to develop a new design methodology based on the relationship between nature and culture.
This 4 weeks course will analyze the landscape and its geological formations, the natural and socio-cultural environment, as well as the architectural design of the region. Participants will observe and study how locally available resources can become a source of inspiration for sustainable practices. The program includes trips to small villages, significant heritage sites including the world famous San Pellegrino Terme and Bergamo. It also offers treks in the natural environment, through historical paths along streams, rivers, and canyons visiting medieval settlements. Students will live in a cozy residence in Sottochiesa a charming village, north of Bergamo. The final project proposes to identify cultural uses of local resources, specifically of rocks and stones, in the processes of creation, construction and transformation of the local environment. The observation and documentation of territorial adaptation and spatial configuration will extend insights to the larger contemporary socio-economic and cultural context of the region.
The directors welcome emails and inquiries about the research elements of this project. More general information (tuition, health insurance, and payment schedule) can be found under the ‘Students’ tab above. Any further questions may be addressed to IFR staff. Additional details about research, course schedule, travel, accommodation, and safety can be found on the syllabus. Contacting the directors or the IFR office is encouraged and appreciated. It may help you determine if this field school is a good fit for you.
Dr. Alexandru Balasescu Director
Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada/Nature, Art and Habitat
Dr. Anna SantiDirector
Politecnico di Milano, Italy/Nature, Art and Habitat
This is a new IFR field school. There are no student testimonials currently available.
Costs of instruction
Cost of Academic Credits
Room & board
All local transportation
A nonrefundable deposit of $500 is required to secure a seat in this program. This program requires an application (no application fee is requested). Only accepted students should pay the deposit fee. Deposit fee is part of the program Tuition. The remaining tuition, minus the $500 deposit, must be paid prior to the tuition deadline (see above under “Course Details”).
Important Note: If you were accepted to this program but did not cancel your participation by the tuition payment deadline, you are legally responsible for the full tuition regardless of attendance in this program. Please read the IFR Cancellation Policy for further clarification.
A 2.5% Processing Fee is automatically assessed for all credit/debit card payments
A $100 Late Fee will be assessed if full tuition payment is not completed by the deadline.
Look at the field school syllabus above for room & board details.
Students will live in a residence in Sottochiesa, a charming village, 15 minutes away from the world famous San Pellegrino Terme. One or two-bedroom apartment with double or triple occupancy rooms will be offered to the students. Each apartment will have a kitchen and bathroom to be shared among the occupants. Shared working studio areas and open-air studio spaces will be provided. Students are expected to consider the studio as the base of their research on site and to spend most of their time outdoors. Indoor large spaces and/or tools studios are limited but available for communal activities.
Large, Italian style lunch will be provided daily in the field or at the residence, depending on the activity. Students are responsible for their own breakfast and dinner, and their own food on weekends (apartments have kitchens). Once a week, the Project Director and the entire team will eat dinner together at a local restaurant.
Wi-Fi: Free wifi is provided in the shared studio space for work purposes (due to the remote location the connection has limited capacity for long Skype calls or movie streaming). Class activities will be structured accordingly. There is no wifi in the individual apartments.
Project staff members will meet the students arriving by air at Milano Malpensa (MXP) airport. Students are encouraged to book flights scheduled to arrive to Milano Malpensa (MXP) by 1pm on Sunday July 1, 2018. A private bus will collect students and take them to Sottochiesa. Information regarding how to reach destinations via public transportation will be provided.
If you missed your connection or your flight is delayed, please call, text or email project director immediately. A local emergency cell phone number will be provided to all enrolled students.
US and Canada citizens do not require a visa to enter Italy for less than 180 days but must have their passport valid for at least six months and have at least one blank page for the entry stamp. Travelers with passports that are found to be washed, mutilated, or damaged may be refused entry to Italy. Citizens of other countries are asked to check the Italian Embassy website page in their home country for specific visa requirement.
Student safety is paramount for the IFR. Unlike many universities who are self-insured, the IFR purchases a range of high end insurance policies from some of the largest insurers in the world. Students in all our international programs have a comprehensive health insurance policy. It covers sickness, and chronic and mental health conditions at 100% of the cost. We have a strong evacuation and extraction policy. We can remove students from any location anywhere in the world with one phone call – whether medical evacuation, political or natural disaster extraction and anything in between. We purchase intelligence services from a global private provider and monitor the world 24/7. We automatically enroll our students to the US State Department STEP program. All of our students receive safety orientations both before and on the first day of each program. Our faculty have all been working in the areas where we operate field schools for years. They are intimately familiar with local customs and traditions, know the landscape well and have deep relationships with local communities.
All our domestic programs are coordinated with local authorities which are informed of our operations. Students in domestic programs are covered by their own health insurance and evacuations are managed by local emergency services, as appropriate.
The IFR has strong, explicit and robust policy towards discrimination and harassment in the field (click here for a shortcut). If students feel they cannot discuss personal safety issues with the field school staff, the IFR operates an emergency hotline where students can contact IFR personnel directly.
Travel does involve risk, but we try to minimize this risk as much as possible. Call us at 877-839-4374 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions about the safety of particular programs.