The Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design at the U of A and the Rome Center for Graduate School and International Education participated this year in the Festival of Architecture, a prestigious annual event of a week held every June in Rome.
The center and the school have been involved in the festival in several ways, including a showcase of “A South Forty”, an exhibition coordinated by the Fay Jones School which showcases contemporary architecture and design in the South. The exhibition was presented at the Acquario Romano, headquarters of the Association of Architects of Rome.
The exhibition, coordinated in partnership with American Oxford magazine, focuses on place-based design, attentive to the necessities of climate, materials, work and purpose, but also attentive to neglected or undervalued typologies, constituencies and places. The exhibition was also presented during the 2021 Venice Architecture Biennale in Venice, Italy. It will be installed this fall at Vol Walker Hall on the U of A campus.
“The Rome Festival of Architecture provided a superb setting for the Fay Jones School to demonstrate its commitments to international education, our multiple programs at the U of A Rome Center, and the best understanding of American architecture, especially from our region,” said Peter MacKeith, Dean of the Fay Jones School for Architecture and Design. “We are grateful to Professor Bedeschi of the Rome Center for his advocacy in favor of the school and the university. The exchanges and the results of the festival have been stimulating and productive for us.”
Additionally, MacKeith and Rome Center Director Francesco Bedeschi participated in a panel discussion on the topics of tourism and culture in Rome and the role the city plays in educating American students of architecture.
“The Rome Centre’s participation in the Festival of Architecture has been a great opportunity to share with the local community of practitioners and other stakeholders the value that study abroad programs in Rome bring to all of our students. “, Bedeschi said. “The Rome Center is actively involved in several community outreach initiatives with a particular focus on urban issues. In addition, we were there to also represent the largest community of American universities that belong to the AACUPI association. Each year, nearly 35,000 students come to Italy for a study abroad program, and about 60% of them are located in Rome.”
Marlon Blackwell, professor emeritus and holder of the E. Fay Jones Chair in Architecture, also gave a lecture and presentation as part of the festival, and U of A architecture students participated in an urban design workshop. of a week, where they worked with local students in different areas of Rome.
The students, made up of teams of American students as well as local students and young professionals, worked on four different projects in the Ostiense district of Rome. The results were presented during the closing ceremony of the Festival of Architecture in front of a hundred citizens and local authorities, including the Mayor of Rome, Roberto Gualtieri.
“It has been an honor to celebrate architecture with our students, citizens and fellow Roman architects in the Eternal City,” said Blackwell. “It was especially meaningful to share our work with the public in person and online in the historic elliptical room of the magnificent Acquario Romano.”
About the Architecture Festival
The Architecture Festival was created by the Order of Architects of Rome and was held for the first time in June 2019. The festival focuses on the themes that create the urban, social and cultural transformations of large contemporary metropolises, with particular emphasis on capitals.