Drawing in the City of Rome

The Rome Drawing Seminar is a three-week freehand drawing and architecture/urban design analysis course conducted entirely out-of-doors in the city of Rome during the summer. Only students who participated in the summer 2012 course should enroll in this course in fall 2012.

Students will be introduced to the city of Rome by way of daily walking tours to study the streets, spaces and buildings by direct experience. Students keep a sketchbook to develop understanding and to record their discoveries and analysis of design. All afternoon sections are dedicated to observational drawing, with the use of a field easel, in directed classes at various locations within Rome.

Professor Christine Smith’s spring seminar GSD 4321 “Rome and St. Peter’s” is a prerequisite for this seminar. Previous drawing is not required. Housing/ board, flight, supplies, lecturer and entrance fees for three weeks
is approximately $3,500.

Interwoven into each day are two types of drawing problems and assignments. One kind of drawing made from observation will be that of plans, elevations and sections found in streets, spaces and buildings, conducting their measurements with proportional scaling by ‘pacing’ and by ‘pencil’ measurement. This form of record is augmented by perceptual drawing which addresses the problem of placing the total experience of a motif, or view, on the page with the reductive means of drawing. Issues of verisimilitude, light, materiality, proximity, visual groupings, composition and visual structure will command the attention of the draftsperson and teach the complex art of seeing. This method is to aid the student in the discovery of architecture’s complicity with the perceptual ordering of the environment which Roman architects have long exploited. Drawing from observation, in combination with architectural drawing of plans and sections, gives the student an inventory of the behavior of architecture that is both analytical and perceptual.