Interior Design in Italy: Past, Present and Future

May 20 – June 5
3 Undergraduate Studio Credits
Course Number: IPD-3576-A
Tuition: $3,975

May 20th 2020 departure for Italy; June 7th 2020 departure from Italy

FACULTY: ELISABETH MARTIN, FAIA, joined by Carol Bentel, FAIA, SVAID Department Chair

The objective of this course is to experience and study Italian historic and contemporary architecture and design, gain an in-depth understanding of its concepts and sensibilities, and to explore how these concepts can be reinterpreted and applied to contemporary design today. Participants will explore how to use their studies as an inspiration for their own design strategies today and reinterpret lessons from history, in their own creative design work.

In addition, we will visit essential historic sites and modern sites and structures, learn about their role in history, sketch them, analyze them and evaluate how time-tested principles and precedents from the past have inspired modern design in those cities. Italian history is valued as a generator for modern forms. Participants will evaluate the approach of today’s modern architects and designers, how their work has been influenced by the past, and how it positions itself firmly in the present. Historic sites in Italy have been preserved, and in some cases transformed with modern uses, and remain a vital part of the contemporary Italian city.

Participants will spend 4 days in Venice, Italy, 2 days in Lucca, Italy, followed by 11 days in Florence, Italy.

Tuition Includes: Train transfers to Lucca and Florence, Lodging in Venice, Lucca and Florence, continental breakfast at Venice and Florence lodgings, welcome and farewell group lunches dinners as noted for specific days, admission to all group tour sites, local 3 day unlimited vaporetto pass in Venice and 3 day Firenze Card for admissions and unlimited local travel in Florence.

Tuition does not include: Participants pay their own airfare, airport transfers to Venice and from Florence, and local transportation within cities beyond the 3 day passes. Except where noted as Welcome, Farewell or other Group meals in the schedule, other meals are not included (please note that reasonable food selections are easy to find for those meals). Students will bring their own art supplies.

Eligibility: A background in Interior Design is not a requirement.  The course is open to SVA students or participants from other schools that have completed at least one year of college level studies. Participants work at their own level and use hand drawing skills (not computer drawing) and a variety of medium in their studies, freehand sketches and scale plan drawings.  The course is suitable for students interested in Interior Design or others who have completed a minimum of one year in any design or fine arts major. Applicants should submit an application which includes a description of what they seek to gain from the course and a portfolio that includes the applicant’s drawing samples and, if possible, prior design projects. Students who successfully complete the course will be given 3 SVA Interior Design studio or elective credits.

For more information, visit or contact Elisabeth Martin at