Shifting Innovation — Rome Program Exhibition 2019

Brandon Johnson

The College of Design’s flagship Rome Program has been operating since 1991 and since then more than 2,500 design students have studied in Rome through the first fully-licensed study-abroad program in the Iowa Regents university system. It is the largest study abroad program at Iowa State!

The studio facilities are located in the historic center of Rome at Palazzo Cenci-Bolognetti, a 16th-century building in the Piazza delle Cinque Scole near the Tiber River and enjoy living in traditional Italian apartments within walking distance of the studio. Classes are taught in English by College of Design faculty members and Rome-based European instructors.

In addition to developing knowledge of numerous contemporary and historic sites, buildings and works of art, students gain a familiarity with the contemporary design culture of Europe through guided field trips, and complete major studio projects in their design area.

Shifting Innovation

Shifting Innovation expresses the concept of how ideas in art are constantly shifting in form and time. The city of Rome with all its extraordinary magna opera is a prime example of how architects, artists and designers are constantly inspired by the masterpieces, reinterpret visual phenomena and create something contemporary. We students try to do so as well. We go to Rome to learn from the arts, from the history and find inspirations in the masterworks. We transform what we learn and incorporate it into our own work. Innovation means to allow this shift of design ideas from Imperial times to the Middle Ages, from Renaissance to Baroque to modern-day art and design.

Biennale Sessions 2019

October 25th-26th

About the Biennale

“May You Live in Interesting Times” is the title of the 2019 Venice Biennale of the Arts, curated by Ralph Rugoff. The title mistakenly cited as an ancient Chinese curse invokes periods of  uncertainty, crisis and turmoil; “interesting times” could be interpreted as challenging or even “menacing” times exactly as the ones we live in today. The pedagogical goal was to explore “how to look at art” and to reflect how a piece of art can raise awareness, provoke reflections  or even change public opinions … and, ultimately how an artist can make a strong statement as a response to an issue that concerns us all.

Digital Photography

Taught by: Olmo & Serafino Amatoou

Every photographer is a bit like an explorer, not only in search of capturing visual moments, but also in search of his/her identity and personal viewpoints. Even in our times of excessive visual production, documenting one’s physical presence in a place creates uniqueness. The students transform their experience of the “Grand Tour” in a visual voyage of discovery, finding and expressing most interesting topics according to their personal susceptibility..

AVC/Integrated Studio Arts

Taught by: Brenda Jones

About the studios

Independent Study with Brenda Jones:

Students use images from any place in Italy including the North/South field trips as well as any event/site that they attend with teachers. Students create their subject matter. A paper is required. The composition and materials will depend upon the subject matter. Media and technique choices can range from drawing, pastels, charcoal, lead pencils, ink, mixed media, photography, power points, painting as well as incorporation of found forms. 

Source examples for Figurative Works may be inspired by site visits that have sculptures with figures such as those listed below. 

Four Rivers Fountain, Piazza Venezia

Campo de Flori

Trevi Fountain

Victor Emmanuel Monument, Piazza Venezia

Fontana del Tartarughe, Piazza Mattei

Fonta del Pantheon, Piazza della Rotunda

Moses statue by Michelangelo, San Pietro in Vincoli

Capitoline Hill 


Mixed Media: 

Projects are developed based on various sketches from site visits in Rome or that can be derived from photos taken while on the South/North Field trip or day trips to Florence or Assisi: International Exhibitions in Rome, Trevi Fountain. Fountain of Four Rivers Piazza Navona, Moses at San Pietro in Vincoli, the Colosseum, the Pantheon, the Doria Pamphilj Gallery, the Capuchin crypt, Santa Maria in Trastevere, Bernini’s elephant and the Obelisk/Santa Maria Sopra Minerva, the National Archeological Museum in Naples, the Capodimonte Museum in Naples, Pompeii, the Uffizi,  the Accademia in Florence, and the Cathedral in Assisi.

 

Watercolor/Mixed Medium:

The principles of Color Design are taught not as a comprehensive examination of design, but rather a brief discussion of common terms and basic principles governing designs with color. The project becomes a visual expression of an idea, the idea being conveyed in the form of composition, shapes – their sizes, positions and directions – which make up the composition to which the color scheme is introduced. Students have the option of Formal and Informal Compositions. Progress is developed through formal critiques as well as individual critiques. A paper is required. Students will use an artist selected from Giorgio Vasari or from Italian Women artists from the 14th, 15th, 16th, or 17th century.

 

Altered Books: 

This project is a Visual Mapping of each student’s time in Italy. This is an applied and theoretical study of mixed media as a vehicle of artistic expression ranging from visual illustration, visual metaphor, transformation, and deconstruction. This project is created using the colors of an artist of their choice as well as a variety of fine art, craft, and experimental/non-traditional approaches to materials, and techniques, such as montage, transparency, and transfer image, actual and electronic fabrication, and topography. 

 

Mosaic:

This group project can be either 2d or 3d. The work of an artist is selected, the image is scaled up and subdivided with a section that combines to create the whole. Rather than use glass, stones, or ceramic pieces due to weight, various biodegradable objects such as beans and lentils are used as the raw materials to create the mosaic. 

 

Individual Painting: 

Art is in our lives every day and everywhere. It is a common language across the globe that all people can appreciate. It goes beyond mere words. It is through visual arts that we can learn about other cultures and histories.

The Rome Program has been a system of enlightenment for many students. In regards to each individual person’s needs in their development, by selecting one painter, a paper is a required studying an artist’s usage of color, learning how color is used to create form, shape, perspective mood, space, and measurements. Students create personal subject matter from images found in Rome, Assisi, Milano, Florence etc. As long as the images are apart of Italy. Each project will be accompanied by books and digital images.

 

The Group Painting

The students select a work from Giorgio Vasari’s source book Lives of the Artist as well as Italian women artists from the 14th, 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries. The chosen painting is subdivided using a grid system. Each student is assigned a portion of the grid of the painting. Working hand and hand, students must unify as a team to create a continuity of form, color, etc. Working as a group gives them an idea of how Michelangelo created the Sistine Chapel Ceiling. They are learning the techniques of Raphael, Caravaggio, and Leonardo de Vinci. All of the paintings are required to have the various sketches as well as value drawings for each painting using under drawing, impasto, chiaroscuro, and glazing techniques of Titan and more. All of this is to develop compositions closely linked with Italian artist of the 14th-17th century. 

Master Study of Raphael's School of Athens

Artists: Courtney Cooley, Marissa Elsberry, Camille Gatapia, Darya Geary, Makilyn Koep, and Kirsten Morford.

The students select a work from Giorgio Vasari’s source book Lives of the Artist as well as Italian women artists from the 14th, 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries. The chosen painting is subdivided using a grid system. Each student is assigned a portion of the grid of the painting. Working hand and hand, students must unify as a team to create a continuity of form, color, etc. Working as a group gives them an idea of how Michelangelo created the Sistine Chapel Ceiling. They are learning the techniques of Raphael, Caravaggio, and Leonardo de Vinci. All of the paintings are required to have the various sketches as well as value drawings for each painting using under drawing, impasto, chiaroscuro, and glazing techniques of Titan and more. All of this is to develop compositions closely linked with Italian artist of the 14th-17th century.

Graphic Design

Taught by: Max Trombacco & Cheri Ure

About the studios

Corporate Identity Project

This course revisits and applies previously introduced theoretical concepts and methods of identity creation about communicating a message to an audience, branding, identity design and the development of consumer experiences through research and visual communication using various methods that include site visits. Applications will be designed in order to propose an appropriate new business situated in a neighborhood in Rome. Including both teamwork as well as individualized decision-making and design, all aspects build upon and use the immersion in Rome as a culture alternative to the United States. These methods will lead to digital and actual outcomes/applications that will be presented in a professional manner and able to be replicated in future identity projects for real clients.

 

Advanced Typography

As the art and science of the use of type, Typography as a discipline in this course builds upon the basics of type as previously utilized thus far in the graphic design course work experience. All projects and the type journal take advantage of the semester abroad in Rome. Type will be explored as a tool of communication and expression, not only selecting typefaces, but utilizing alternate grids, juxtaposing type and image, and developing typeface extensions as experimental design. Through research, site visits, documentation and iteration of form and content digital and actual solutions will be designed to express the use of typography in a manner to complement the written language and transform it into visual communication.