The University of Waterloo School of Architecture's Rome program, founded in 1979, enables students to spend a term in the Italian capital, one of the world's great centres of architectural heritage. Starting on October 17, Roma XL, an exhibition curated by Sascha Hastings, will show off some of the extraordinary student work completed as part of that program, juxtaposed with professional work created later on by the same people.
And some of that student work belongs to practitioners who now teach at the Daniels Faculty.
Among the contributors to RomaXL's collection of Rome-inspired student drawings are Daniels Professor Brigitte Shim, Lecturer Alex Josephson, and Adjunct Lecturer Lisa Rapoport. Another Daniels faculty member who will have work on display is Associate Professor John Shnier, who attended Waterloo prior to the establishment of the Rome program, but later lived and worked in the city after winning the first Canadian Prix de Rome in 1987. While he was in Rome, he developed a relationship with the Waterloo program.
Image: House for Piranesi, monotype by John Shnier (1988).
"Rome has continued to affect the way I think about contemporary practice," Shnier says. "and, perhaps more importantly, how I think about how I create relevant pedagogy here at Daniels." Professor Shnier has taken Daniels students to Rome as part of his option studios.
Hastings, the curator, believes that time spent in Rome had a similarly profound impact on many of the architects who contributed work to the exhibition. "Three months of being in a place like that opens up students' eyes, helps them find direction in their own practice and in their own thinking," she says. "For some of them, it may be the first really big international trip they do."
Roma XL will take place at the Istituto Italiano di Cultura (496 Huron Street), beginning October 17 and ending November 1. There will be an opening reception on October 16 at 6:30. For more information, and for hours, visit the Istituto Italiano di Cultura's website.