RISD in Rome: Trash

The travel course "Trash (Art and Design)" at the RISD's site in Rome will explore both historic and present-day Rome through its waste and disposal. Studio work will include collage, printmaking, and installation collecting and using discarded materials.

All seats in this course are currently reserved. If full payment is not made, some spots may become available within the month. To be added to the notification list and contacted in case a seat becomes available, please contact the RISD Registrar's Office (registrar@risd.edu).


Summer Studies Travel Course
  • Rome, Italy
Summer 2020

Course Dates: Jun 3, 2020 — Jun 24, 2020

Open to RISD students, Brown University students, non-RISD students

2.5 GPA required. Non-RISD participants see eligibility requirements below.

  • Printmaking
  • Installation
  • Collage
  • Material Culture
Academic Credits
  • Architecture
Course Numbers
  • ARCH/PRINT-1570-01

Includes tuition, accommodation, studio space, transportation, field trips, entrance fees, group meals and international travel health insurance.

European Honors Program
Rome, Italy 2018

About this Travel Course

Course Description

Studio work will engage trash as a starting point for art and design practices, including printmaking (monotype/cyanotype,) installation (interior/architecture/urban,) and collage. We will study the work of a number of Italian art movements of the 20th century that explicitly engaged discarded materials, such as “Arte Informale” (Alberto Burri,) Italian Pop (Mimmo Rotella,) and “Arte Povera” (Mario Merz, Marisa Merz, etc.)

We will immerse ourselves in the extraordinary wealth of Rome, its monuments, its art and architecture, its museums and galleries, its literature and cinema, its everyday life, its food, its people, and a whole lot more. Expanding the geography of the course, we will have two daytrips--to Sperlonga and to Citta di Castello (to visit the extensive collections and archives of Alberto Burri’s work)--and a 2/3-day tour of Naples, including Pompeii/Herculaneum.

Learning Outcomes

Based on the model of RISD’s European Honors Program, our course will bring students in direct contact with the art, culture and life of Rome through lectures and many outings in the city and the region, visits to museums and sites, encounters with people, readings, movies, meals and all sorts of other adventures. In response, students will produce a series of two-and-three-dimensional works using discarded materials.

By the end of the course, students will bring together all their production into a coherent work in visual, written, video, and/or web-based formats.

Students will learn:

  • To engage an urban culture through visual and narrative work;
  • To translate a broad cultural experience into a concrete creative and critical project; about the many layers of Roman experience, from its mythical origins, through its long history, all the way to its vibrant present as a contemporary city;
  • To navigate a foreign environment and culture through an immersive experience;
  • To live and work in a shared and collaborative environment with classmates from different disciplines and with different interests.

About the Instructors

This course will be led by two faculty members, one with studio expertise and the other with liberal arts expertise, allowing for a broad target audience, including students of art, design, architecture and humanities, including undergraduate and graduate students.

Gabriel Feld is an architect, printmaker, and teacher. He was RISD's EHP chief critic in Rome for two years (2014-16.) He currently teaches in Architecture, Printmaking, and Foundations.

Ezio Genovesi is an art historian and teacher. He has been the on-site director of RISD's EHP for many years and has an unparalleled knowledge of Rome and beyond, with innumerable connections with individuals and institutions.


To participate in RISD Global Summer Studies, all students are required to stay in RISD- provided housing for the duration of the course. Students live and work at the RISD site in Rome, Palazzetto Cenci, a 16th-century building in the historic center, where RISD has housed its European Honors Program (EHP) since 1960. Dorms are double occupancy with shared bathrooms, kitchens and laundry. The Cenci also includes several spacious studios, computer facilities, a library and a lecture hall/exhibition gallery. During field trips, students will also be provided with shared accommodation.


RISD Students

If your current cumulative GPA is 2.5 or above, you are eligible for registration. If your current cumulative GPA is lower than 2.5, you must first contact the Registrar at registrar@risd.edu to seek exception to this academic policy.

Non-RISD Participants

If you are a college student currently enrolled in another art/design college or institution around the world, or a professional practicing in the field, you are eligible for registration. We will collect a recommendation/support form from your institution/workplace.

In order to register for RISD Global summer studies, you are expected to have a high level of English (speech, writing, and comprehension) as all coursework and critique is delivered in English.

Attendance Policy

Global Summer Studies are three weeks long and take place in June/July, and you are required to attend all program activities scheduled during the travel course. RISD Global Summer Studies comply with RISD class attendance policy. In case of unexcused or multiple absences, you may be removed from the course, given a grade of “W" (withdrawal) or a grade of “F” (fail).

Withdrawal Policy

Requesting to withdraw from a RISD off-campus global learning program, including RISD Global Summer Studies, prior to the start of the course is highly discouraged and requires a formal process outlined in the RISD course withdrawal policy. It is not possible for a student to drop a RISD Global Summer Studies travel course via the standard Add/Drop process after it has commenced. In the case of unforeseen and extenuating circumstances (and only after students have spoken with the faculty lead and RISD Global for approval to withdraw from the program), students should be aware that no refund will be issued.

More Info

In order to reserve a seat, a non-refundable deposit of $1,500 is required at time of application submittal. Students will have 30 days from the date of their deposit to submit full payment. Students that fail to make full payment by their deadline will forfeit their $1,500 deposit and their seat in the course. New application submissions starting April 1 are not eligible to make a deposit and must make full payment by April 12, 2020.

All RISD students enrolled in RISD and other full degree schools/universities are required to remain in good academic standing in order to participate in Global Summer Studies. A minimum GPA of 2.5 is required for all RISD students. Failure to remain in good academic standing can lead to removal from the course, either before or during the course.

In cases where summer travel courses and studios do not reach full capacity, the course may be cancelled after the last day of registration. As such, all students are advised not to purchase flights for participation in Global Summer Studies courses until the course is confirmed to run starting April 13, 2020.

Apply to Global Summer Studies

For summer 2020, RISD Global offers 7 creative and culturally immersive art and design off campus courses: 3 at the RISD site in Rome, as well as 4 in other diverse locations around Europe and Asia.
Registration is first come, first serve and is open January 21 - April 12, 2020, or until courses reach max capacity.

View details
Office bw resized

1:1 Advising Session

Have questions? The RISD Global team is available to meet for a 1:1 advising session. We can give you more information about your study options, help you figure out which program makes sense for you, and assist you with the application process.

Schedule an Appointment