Italy gives interior design a new perspective on its work – VCU News

Ivania Del Cid, an interior design student at Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts, studied in Italy for a month this summer, visiting culturally significant art sites and gaining new insight into her artistic process.

She is one of three VCU students to be awarded a 2022 Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, which was established to help American students study abroad. VCU’s Global Education Office facilitated the study abroad program and serves as an on-campus advisor for Gilman Scholarship applicants.

Del Cid said she had always wanted to travel and learn about other cultures, and decided to apply for a Gilman scholarship when one of her professors mentioned they were taking a study trip to the University. foreign.

While that trip ended up being canceled, Del Cid was able to join the graphic design department through a faculty-led program.

“I felt like [a graphic design-focused trip] would still be helpful with my degree and I could still take advantage of the scholarship that was given to me,” said Del Cid.

She participated in the month-long program “A Practice of Looking and Slowing Down in Design” in Florence. Del Cid said the Santa Reparata International School of Art provided the group with classroom space. Rather than structured classroom lessons, the group gatherings amounted to “collaborative slowing down,” she said.

On regular group excursions, students had the freedom to take their time observing the spaces they were visiting.

“So whenever we went on a trip, it would be as long as we wanted. We could stay in place as long as we wanted and absorb it all,” Del Cid said.

After the day trip, students drew, sketched, or simply wrote down their thoughts for the day. The group of 20 students used this material to create a journal, with each person making a spread based on something they found interesting during the trip.

Since this was a graphic design course, students chose the text and created the layout for their individual newspaper duplicates using InDesign and Photoshop. At the end of the program, the class presented their journal to the student showcase of the Santa Reparata International School of Art.

The overall experience gave Del Cid a chance to learn while experiencing a new culture and a new country.

“Just being in a new place and seeing how people, how their lives are different from ours and meeting new people, that was just my favorite part because it was something exciting and again,” she said.

Seeing in person the art she had learned in class was breathtaking for her as an artist. As an example, she highlighted Brunelleschi’s dome, the iconic architectural element of Florence Cathedral.

“To see it in person, it made me realize these things that I’m learning, it’s not just through a screen, it’s actually a real thing,” Del Cid said.

This experience took Del Cid out of her comfort zone and gave her newfound confidence.

” I did not know anyone. I was the only interior design student, so it pushed me to make new friends and start traveling on my own,” she said. “Go out into the city and go places on my own and have the confidence to get on the bus on my own and take the train on my own and have a little chat with the people there in Italian. ”

Del Cid said the course and emphasis on “slowing down” caused her to re-evaluate her artwork and schoolwork.

“In my program, which I feel like it’s really intense, sometimes I get lost in everything,” she said. “I feel like now I’m going to take more time, slow down and think more about the choices I’m making and the process instead of just trying to hit that deadline and maybe being too stressed out about it. topic.”

Abdul J. Gaspar