The Institute for Field Research: Rock and Stone

Sun, 2018/07/01 - Sat, 2018/07/28
Val Taleggio, Italy

The Institute for Field Research (IFR) is a nonprofit organization focused on supporting quality, peer-reviewed research and providing hands-on experiential learning opportunities to undergraduate students. In 2018, among our 47 field schools we will be offering two focused on Sustainable Design and Biomimicry. Located in the beautiful Val Taleggio, Italy, the Rock and Stone and Learning from Nature field schools will immerse students in multidisciplinary research that will combine anthropological research methods, assessment of local ecology, architectural investigation, and design implementation. Students will earn 8 semester credits from Connecticut College for their successful completion of the course. For further information about these programs or if you have questions about the Institute for Field Research, please contact our Program Manager, Miriam Bar-Zemer at info [at] ifrglobal [dot] org.

“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.


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