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  Cornell University

Cornell in Rome

College of Architecture, Art and Planning

In Conclusion… For Now

The final reviews of our Rome architecture studio were held this past Monday and Tuesday. Having spent the entire semester working on our projects, beginning in Rome and concluding all around the world, there was a lot to discuss. With the guidance of our wonderful professors, Luben Dimcheff, Claudia Clemente, and Francesco Isidori, the studio was able to maintain a strong drive even through the roadblocks of the semester.

Our studio was titled “Opportunistic Urban Strategies,” and encouraged each student to formulate their own understanding of Rome in order to consequentially develop their project. I appreciated this challenge in particular because it was the first time in our education that we had a certain freedom to explore an area of our own choosing. This resulted in a variety of projects across our studio, all exploring different facets of Rome. Although it would have been really interesting to see how everyone’s projects developed throughout our time in Italy, it was still interesting to be able to see how our short time abroad influenced everyone’s work.

Given the format of presenting on Zoom, there was also the challenge of communicating and conveying our projects properly. In a typical studio review, we usually present our work with everything pinned-up on a wall all together. This means that critics can see everything at once, which makes it easier to convey a project. Through Zoom, the challenge of organizing a presentation so that each slide built off of the previous one meant that we had to focus much more on being clear and coherent with our work.

Ultimately, an otherwise tumultuous semester of studio concluded very calmly and successfully. I keep thinking about how our projects could have been different had we never left Rome, but truthfully our abrupt departure gave us time to internalize our brief experience. Maybe it even let us be more sensitive with our projects. Hopefully it’s not the last time we’ll get to design something in Rome, but for now it was certainly an incredibly unique experience.


Written by Allan Mezhibovsky

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