From March 28 to April 7 the Italian Embassy in Washington DC hosted “Back from Italy 2019”, a showcase of works by architecture students who attended American Study Abroad Programs in Italy during the 2018 academic year. Based on a project by Arch. Alessandro Franchetti Pardo and Arch. Marina Kavalirek, the exhibition was organized under the auspices of the Italian Cultural Institute in Washington and AACUPI (Association of American College and University Programs in Italy). As AACUPI member, ISI Florence participated in this event with alumni from Roger Williams University and University of Maryland. ISI Florence professors Carlo Achilli and Daniela Sinicropi selected six projects by their former RWU and UMD students. On this occasion the design topic they chose was “The Shaping of Urban Spaces: Piazza Giuseppe Poggi – Firenze”.
At the grand opening on March 28 both Professor Achilli and Professor Sinicropi had the opportunity to take the floor and share with the audience their reflections on the role of architecture in the field of international education today. Shortly afterwards, the floor war turned over to their former ISI Florence students, who shared insightful impressions on their academic experience abroad. In particular, our architecture alumni explained how their design method and sensitivity changed after being immersed in Italian culture. Also, they touched on the relationship between contemporary design issues and historical context (mostly in Florence and Rome) and how spending a semester abroad refined their ability to distinguish different layers of contemporary architecture.