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Verona 2011

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Verona Design Studio


description of the study abroad program

The Verona Design Studio 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 critical re-assessment of a multi-scale approach to the historic urban site (local, neighborhood, metropolitan, regional and global scales) relative to questions of program, infrastructure, and cultural changes with the help of generative form developments. Students will design a building for public use related to an open public space. The architectural scale will be integrated to the urban environment. Emphasis will be given to the analysis of architectural and urban layers as related to changes and transformations over time.

The program will initiate with a reflection on the urban site and how that 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 languages 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 emergentDESIGN approaches, and are actively involved in the new Digital_Design_Fabrication_M.S. program at the College of Architecture. This year also 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 2010

Monday, May 16th - arrival ~ Friday, June 24th - departure (6 week program)
Media:2011_schedule-summer studio days.pdf

The total program fee paid to the university is:

Program operation fee of $5,750 (varies with currency rates changing, projected $1.60/1 EUR) includes • Accommodation with full board & at Villa Francescati • studio space & at Villa Francescati (projector, printer etc..) • studio space & accommodation @ Nitro • studio space & SicilyLAB • SiciliLAB work SciliyLAB work • field trip costs (accommodation, flight, bus, train, boat) for excursions below: • hotel Venice • tour Verona, Banca Popolareby Scarpa, Museum Castelvecchioby Scarpa; • excursion to Valpolicella (companies Antolini,Testi • excursion to Vicenza (PalladioTeatro Olimpico, Villa Rotonda, BrionScarpa, Possagnoand theCanova museum by Scarpa..) • excursion to Mantova& Sabbioneta • excursion to Como (Terragni. • excursion to Venice (La Biennale,Venice, Querini Stampalia,city of Venice,) • excursion planned to Sicily (Baroque of Noto, Syracusa- Ortigia..) • museum fees & tickets • final exhibit printing costs for Marmomacc 2011 • 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 • flight Dallas/Houston-VR-Dallas/Houston: $ 1,200 estimated airfare for students (student fares might be cheaper, Verona is served with 2 leg flights, last year students flew into Rome for $800, alternatives are 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 Villa: Estimated ~15 days >$ 750 (about $50 day)

Estimated total: $1,950

Plan for fares for individual trips on free weekends (Milan Triennale, Genova etc..) At least $ 150 but depends on individual interests and budgets

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

6 Hours of Credit

8 Hours of Credit

Program Fee:


Program Fee:


Tuition & Fees (6 hours):


Tuition & Fees (8 hours):










Out-of-Pocket Expenses:


Out-of-Pocket Expenses:






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 Venice, Vicenza, Mantova, Sabbioneta, Como etc. Instruction is typically in the morning until lunch break, and continues during the afternoon. 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. A few weekends will be used for class field trips.

typical student housing conditions

The Villa Francescati hostel in Verona is housed in a gorgeous villa built in the 16th century. For our students the building in the park, which is separate from the main Villa, will be exclusively reserved (not open to other guests). This building offers two large shared rooms, and individual shared baths, or apartments for two to three people. 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 comprising the hostel. 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 also offers convenient public transportation. From the Villa it is a 5 minute walk to the Roman historic city and in a few hours you can walk around the Roman/Medieval/Baroque fortification wall and still have a "people watching" coffee on the way, or visit the balcony of Romeo and Juliet. You might get a first good idea by watching the recently released film Letters to 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


BLOG VeronaIT2011
images & trips:

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

link to Christian_Pongratz