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Every summer, School of Architecture students travel to Rome for a seminar on the city's architecture and urban history that emphasizes observation and freehand drawing.

School of Architecture

Roman seminar. As they have for the past 10 years, graduate students from the School of Architecture traveled to Rome for a three-week summer seminar.

Professor Alexander Purves and Stephen Harby, an alumnus and lecturer at the school, have been teaching the course for three years; this past summer, they were assisted by artist Kate Teale.

The emphasis of the seminar is on freehand drawing. The premise behind the course is that the most effective way to engage Rome's architecture and urban history is through direct observation, and that observation is best served by on-site hand drawing. In addition to maintaining a sketchbook, students identified a subject for more sustained study, and later used those drawings to present the results of their investigations. Some students documented individual buildings or public spaces, while others compared varied solutions to common design problems. On the last day a formal review of the work was held at the American Academy in Rome.

The drawings and sketchbooks from this summer's Rome seminar are currently on exhibit in the third floor gallery of the Art & Architecture Building, 180 York St. The show will be on view through Oct. 29.


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