The 2017-2018 Building Beauty syllabus contains all of the details on the current version of the course: download it here.
The student’s experience will be in three main axis of activities:
Hands-on construction is the backbone of the Building Beauty. Students engage in direct construction from the first to the last day of the program. In the first semester they study and map historical building techniques, ornament and materials, to then engage in a full-scale in-lab reconstruction of, for example a wall, a vault, an arch, a window frame, or a combination of those. In the second semester, students design and build a project.
Seminars follow a “cenacolo” (“dinner circle”) format: world leading scholars and professionals from a range of different areas of science and arts come and first work with the students in the building site; then they reflect on what building means from their own point of view, and finally sit and share dinner with students, staff and external visitors in one of the marvellous monastery’s indoor halls or outdoor terraces (depending on the weather). The aim is to create a relaxed and informal atmosphere that allows guest staff and students to exchange ideas and feelings in the most appropriate way, and to inform networking at a deeper level.
SELF, COMMUNITY AND SPACE
A series of workshops aimed at raising our awareness of our own individual and collective feelings. Feelings will be explored in relation to space, the body-mind, and the way they interact in the hands-on physical work of making artefacts. This line of activity is meant to provide the knowledge required to observe, understand and act within a complex system where elements have both individual and interrelated value, and where observation, understanding and action are related to our experience of such elements and their interrelation. Feelings are the gateway that connect our deep self to the external world: learning to name and recognize them, trust them, and live with them, is crucial to our ability to work with others and with the structure of the land.
Finally, two major events will conclude the program:
- In the “Theory of Beauty Conference” students discuss their experience with world leaders from academia as well as the profession in an international and interdisciplinary conference.
- In the “Cisternino Summer School”, a two-weeks residential stage in an old “masseria” (country house) close to the village of Cisternino in Puglia, students will learn from a local master-builder the construction technique of the traditional “trulli” houses.