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Italy | Study Abroad


description of the study abroad program

The Verona Design Studio ARCH 4601 and Course ARCH 4000 will focus on the condition of the city in the 21st century, especially those cities like Verona, that have a significant historic heritage, and now face the transition to new urban conditions. The program will operate as a form of design-based critical inquiry. It emphasizes a re-assessment as a multi-scale approach to the historic urban site (local, neighborhood, metropolitan, regional and global scales) relative to questions of program, infrastructure, contest and cultural changes in order to project proposals as an innovative reflection of our current information society.

Students will design a building for public use related to an open public space. The architectural scale will be integrated to the urban conditions and environment. Emphasis will be given to the analysis of architectural and urban layers as related to changes and transformations over time. The Verona Program will initiate with a reflection on the urban site and how that transformational process determines the quality of site knowledge; interpretations of the city of Verona's past will facilitate projections of its futures. Finally, the generation of formal and programmatic solutions based on strategic cultural and site readings will lead to the design of new urban and architectural presences at several levels.

participating faculty for the program

The Verona Design Studio is led by Professor Christian Pongratz and Professor Maria Perbellini. Both Prof. Pongratz and Prof. Perbellini have specific interests in digitalDESIGN and design processes, and are actively involved in the new Digital_Design_Fabrication_M.S. program at the College of Architecture. This year our new faculty member Prof. Dustin White will join us during the trip. The Verona program is additionally enriched by a series of visiting guests. They will also be part of the final review jury at the conclusion of the summer studio.

projected program dates for Summer 2012

will be posted soon, see 2011 below for further information
May 16th - arrival, June 28th - departure (6 weeks program)

The total program fee paid to the university is:

Program operation fee of $6,531 (varies with currency exchange rate) includes • Accommodation with full board & at Villa Francescati • studio space & at Villa Francescati (projector, printer, internet included..) • studio space & accommodation @ Nitro • studio space & SicilyLAB • SiciliLAB work SciliyLAB work • field trip costs (accommodation, flight, bus, train, boat) for excursions: • Florence & Rome • tour VeronaBanca Popolareby Scarpa, Museum Castelvecchioby Scarpa, CP Groupby PPA; • excursion Villa Girasole • excursion to Valpolicella (companies Antolini,Testi,Laboratorio Morseletto quarries..) • excursion to Vicenza (PalladioTeatro Olimpico, Villa Rotonda, BrionScarpa, Possagnoand theCanova museum by Scarpa..)

• excursion to Venice (La Biennale,Venice, Querini Stampalia,city of Venice,) • excursion planned to Sicily (Barock of Noto, Syracusa- Ortigia..) in the past we also planned: • excursion to Mantova& Sabbioneta • excursion to Como (Terragni, University of Mendrisio- MarioBotta • museum fees & event tickets as indicated in the program • final exhibit printing costs are included for the international exhibit @ Marmomacc 2012 • administration fees, • faculty travel, • event fees.

The total out-of-pocket expenses for a student in this program is:

Round trip flight fare from your departing city Dallas/ Houston to Verona (preferred shortest way) • flight Dallas/Houston-VR-Dallas/Houston: $ 1,200 estimated airfare for students (student fares might be cheaper, Verona is served with 2 leg flights, in past years students flew into Rome or capitals like London, Frankfurt, maybe also Venice, but you loose time for the connecting flight within europe), traveldirections

Meals only during excursions and events outside the full board in the Villa:
Estimated ~10 days >$ 200 (about $20 day)
Student Insurance (fixed) $50
Estimated out-of-pocket total: $1,450

Plan for fares for individual trips after or before the Verona program: (Milan Triennale, Genova etc..)

The estimated total cost of participating in this program for a student is:

0 Hours of Credit

9 Hours of Credit

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Out-of-Pocket Expenses:


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The 'Program Fee' and 'Out-of-Pocket Expenses' categories are estimates based on past program experiences, and projected costs. This category may vary slightly with the world economy and exchange rates. Out-of-Pocket Expenses may vary widely depending on individual student spending habits.

The 'Tuition & Fees' category is defined by the University. See the program cost comparison page for further details on calcualtion of tuition & fees for Study Abroad programs.

the primary instruction site

On-site instruction will be held at the studio space in Villa Francescati(in the ballroom of the main Rennaissance Villa) and at various locations throughout Verona and during all field-trip cities which include Rome, Florence, Venice, Vicenza, and Mantova. Instruction is typically 9.00am to 5.00pm every week-day. Some late afternoons and evenings are supposed to be shared between cultural explorations(Vasco,Zucchero) by the students but also to further the project for next day’s studio. Weekends are used for extra studio time if needed, and are used for class field trips accordingly to faculty instructions.

typical student housing conditions:

The Villa Francescatti hostel in Verona is housed in a gorgeous villa built in the 16th century. Unless the students are accommodated in the main building, in the past, our students used the building in the Hostel's park, which is separate from the main Villa, and was exclusively reserved depending on student numbers(not open to other guests). This building offers two large shared rooms and individual shared baths, and there was rumour students were cooking with Ranasomehow. The building offers a marvelous view from the hill over Verona. There is a large Renaissance garden with a fountain and pathways that join the different buildings that make up the hostel. The park is a great place to hang out. The buildings offer no air conditioning, but this early the season and being located in the park it typically is not necessary. Shops and other necessities are just walking minutes down the hill. You live in the city! viewer

the typical student transportation in the city

Verona is a pleasant walking city since the distances are very short, but offers also convenient public transportation. From the Villa you have 5 minutes to the Roman historic city and in half a day you walk around the Roman/Medieval/Barock fortification wall and can still have a "people watching" coffee on the way or reflect below the balcony of Romeo and Juliet.

recommended reading list:

Venturi Robert : Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture
Witold Rybczynski: the perfect house
Wittkower rudolf: Architectural Principles in the Age of Humanism

Discussion 01



software & design

Students are required to use Rhino for the project in Verona. For the purchase of software please use the following link:
ddf lab > Ddf_lab


Media:2011_schedule-summer studio days.pdf
BLOG VeronaIT2011
images & trips:



BLOG VeronaIT2010
images & trips:

picasawebimages:photo album

2010 FALL

- MARMOMACC student exhibit [EXHIBITION]
Students selected from the Pongratz summer studio were invited to exhibit their studies and design using stone at the biggest international stone fair competing with several other universities..... Marmomacc 2010

2008 FALL

- MARMOMACC student exhibit [EXHIBITION]
Students from the Pongratz summer studio, and among those some current ddf students were invited to exhibit their studies and design using stone at the biggest international stone fair competing with several other universities..... Marmomacc 2008

student work

Verona Projects 2008: verona projects

link to Christian_Pongratz