Past Program

See Naples and Die: Cooler and Warmer

In this design studio, we will study the ecological and urban phenomena surrounding the problems of Urban Heat Island Effect in Naples and how both natural environmental systems and underutilized made-made infrastructural systems might be employed to solve the burgeoning problems its urban centers will face under the stresses of global climate change. We will look extensively at how hot earth further compounds the problem of UHIE and how it poses exceptional challenges within the hazards of hydrothermal and hydro-magmatic activity so common to everyday life in consideration of the unique environmental, historical, and cultural context the bay of Naples presents.


Wintersession Travel Course
  • Naples, Italy
  • Rome, Italy
Winter 2023

Estimated dates—final dates to be announced.

Course Dates: Jan 4, 2023 — Feb 8, 2023

Open to RISD students, Brown University students

Minimum 2.5 GPA required. Open to first year students with approval from the Dean of EFS.

Academic Credits
  • Landscape Architecture
  • Literary Arts & Studies
Course Numbers
  • LDAR-W625
  • LAS-W725

Estimated cost—final cost to be announced.

Includes accommodation, field trips, local transportation, some meals, museum entrances, health and travel insurance. Airfare is not included.

Italy: See Naples and Die
Naples, Italy 2019
Italy: See Naples and Die
Naples, Italy 2019
Italy: See Naples and Die
Naples, Italy 2019

About this travel course

Course Description

Naples, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Europe’s most populous and historic coastal metropolitan areas, is under seemingly insurmountable geological and ecological risks - all this preceding the threats posed to all urban centers within the forecasts of global climate change. Irrespective to being prone to seismic and volcanic activity, the bay of Naples is an example of territorial resilience and ecological diversity. Furthermore, this often-effaced civilization has capitalized its natural resources to assert its cultural, political and economic position within a much larger map throughout several millennia. After centuries of “neglect” and losing its importance as the capital of the Mediterranean, Naples is slowly experiencing a rebirth of its economy through the industries of tourism.

Beginning with the embryonic nucleus of the first Greek settlement of Parthenope, Naples harnessed its fresh springs to provide ample drinking water for its growing population while its salubrious hot springs turned the bay into a mecca of bathing, therapeutical and recreational facilities that attracted the ancient jet-set.

Water and the management of springs and aquifers should be of primary concern to the Neapolitan region as the sheer abundance, quality and diversity in mineral content has been contaminated, channelized and squandered to the sea since the post-war industrial boom. The bay’s complex and layered geology has rendered restorative sulfurous springs from the volcanic tuff terrain and calcium rich water stemming from the Karstic aquifers of the Apennines with many of these sources conveyed to the city through natural streams and ancient conduits. Mixed with the salinity of its coastlines, these waters have nourished and diversified the bay’s ecosystems which are ideal for animal habitat, human settlement, industry and leisure. Over its long history, the water supply was harnessed, transported and exploited with imagination, design and engineering.

Co-Requisite Courses

  • Familiarity with CAD, GIS and Adobe Suite.
  • An interest in nature-culture-sustainability studies.

Permission will be evaluated through letters of interest-portfolio submission.

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Application + Registration

The entire application process will be completed using an online application portal. You will be able to upload, request and submit all required documents there. Apply to a Wintersession Travel Course

RISD Students

Unless otherwise noted on the course page, all Wintersession Travel Courses are open to students in any year of study. Please check the course pages on this website carefully to learn about any restrictions specific to your chosen travel course.

GPA Requirement: Exception to Academic Policy

If your current cumulative GPA is 2.5 or above, you are eligible for registration. RISD students seeking an exception to the GPA requirement academic policy should follow the instructions set by the Registrars’ Office.

Brown University Students

If you are a Brown University student with a GPA of 2.5 and up, you are eligible to apply. Admission for Wintersession Travel Courses is highly selective and preference will be given to RISD students. Please read carefully through the application materials and steps above to make sure you are preparing your application to the best of your ability.

As such, all students are advised not to purchase flights for participation in Wintersession Travel Courses until the travel is confirmed, which happens no later than one week after the final Wintersession Travel Course payment period.

In cases where Wintersession Travel Courses do not reach minimum capacity, the course may be cancelled after the last day of Wintersession Travel Course registration period. In case of cancellation, all payments will be refunded in full. Any cost incurred for travel reservations in such situations is the participant’s sole responsibility.

It is not possible for a student to drop a Wintersession 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.

RISD Wintersession Travel Courses follow the RISD withdrawal policy for off-campus global learning programs

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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.

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