Italy | Material Evidence - Rendering Venice Visible through the Works of Carlo Scarpa + Italo Calvino

In this five-week Wintersession Travel Course students will document, through hand-drawing and photogrammetry, a significant selection of the works of Carlo Scarpa on-site. This is to be used as a critical lens by which to understand complex conditions of the Venetian landscape, while conversely understand how Venice’s historic, cultural, artistic, and environmental realities would nourish the creative development of one of the most inventive and enigmatic figures in 20th century design and architecture.


Wintersession Travel Course
  • Venice, Italy
Winter 2025

Estimated dates—final dates to be announced.

Course Dates: Jan 4, 2025 — Feb 6, 2025

Open to RISD students, Brown University students

Minimum 2.5 GPA required. First year students are not eligible for this course.

Academic Credits
  • Literary Arts and Studies
  • Landscape Architecture

Estimated cost—final cost to be announced.

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


About this course

Course Description

Guided travel will connect student research from the city to the ecosystems + archaeology of the venetian lagoon and then beyond to the larger Veneto and Italy itself, where Scarpa’s design sensibilities proliferated ideas about regional vernacular, the transformation of historic contexts, reawakened craft-traditions, and local material resources. Visits to museums, archives, and academic arts institutions, (like the Accademia, Iuav, Guggenheim and the Venice Biennale etc.) will show how Venice’s location within a historical migration of visual ideas contributed to Scarpa’s worldview. This provides insight to how seemingly disparate aesthetic tendencies, such as the influences of ancient Byzantine mosaics, Japanese joinery, and the color compositions of Josef Albers, for example, can all seamlessly coexist in a deeply sited project that engages the environmental exigencies of chronic flooding and soil subsidence. Bringing this to context is a fundamental virtue for the course.

In the final leg of the course, students will have the opportunity to synthesis their own drawn accounts with Scarpa’s elusive and brilliant original drawings by participating in a multi-day workshop in conjunction with the Centro Carlo Scarpa archive at the national MAXXI museum in Rome.

Apply to a Wintersession Travel Course

The application for Wintersession Travel Courses 2024 is now closed.

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Apply to a Wintersession Travel Course

The application for Wintersession Travel Courses 2024 is now closed.

View details

More Info

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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