ItaliaDesign Field School is four things:

_it is a chance to do top-level research and participate in a large scale research project led by a leading academic expert on Italian Studies and Design

_it is an opportunity to study abroad and to learn experientially, to have the books come alive in front of you, and to focus and know one place deeply

_it is a six week rich cultural and historical experience that goes under the surface and beyond a tourist’s perspective while surrounded by the world’s greatest collection of art and antiquities

_it is an opportunity to travel with purpose with other young people and experience the work and sites with friends, sharing ideas and experiences together

ItaliaDesign is a unique learning opportunity for senior level undergraduate students. ItaliaDesign allows exceptional senior level students to take their design studio with them, working on laptop computers on complex presentations and in a research analysis and publication of results course back home. Students interview the top designers in the country on a focused study concerning the relationship of design to innovation throughout Italy. These taped interviews then form the basis of primary research and quotes for publication backed up by secondary research collected on focused topics. Each year leaves its conclusions and recommendations for further study with the next group and the study becomes richer year after year.

It is also a unique field school model.

As a field school, a new model has been developed in four ways. First, ItaliaDesign allows the learner to stay in several (four) bases for extended time periods in one country and uses these bases as jumping off points to explore the country around, guided by an experienced native-speaking instructor.

Secondly, it is a unique field school because it uses the design studios and factories and streets of the cities as the classroom while taking advantage of host institutions for presentations. Third, it builds context in a concentrated 4 week course in Vancouver prior to departure for Italy allowing the learner to be prepared for what they will see and experience before leaving.

Lastly, ItaliaDesign does not end in Italy. Students return to the classroom for 13 weeks in the following semester to make sense of what they have seen and experience and to publish the results as part of an ongoing long-term collaborative research project.

Students room together and work on projects in teams giving them a sense of shared purpose and providing fodder for lively discussions on rich topics that span design, economics, management theory, sociology, pattern languages, interaction design, architecture, urbanism, ethnography and histories of many sorts. All the while surrounded by the world’s richest collection of antiquities, art, and knowledge and some of the most stunning urban and rural environments in the world.

ItaliaDesign is an exceptional opportunity for the exceptional student and will provide a personal branding and depth of knowledge that marks off its grads, while preparing them for the increasingly complex world of design.

italiaDesign is an undergraduate field school and research program offered by the School of Interactive Arts + Technology (SIAT) at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada. italiaDesign is a sister program to