My first semester studying aboard started on 22nd January 2018 and this was actually the second time I was coming back to Florence to learn about the exquisite Italian furniture design and craftsmanship of furniture.
It’s takes up a lot research and energy to find the perfect school and course for your Master’s in Interior and Furniture Design. I was here in 2016-2017 studying in a different school to get my Bachelor’s degree in Interior Design and soon after it was over- I thought I was done studying and decided to get back to my Homeland and start exploring the practical world. This time I had decided if I wanted to do my Master’s I would go to different country/city because of the travel enthusiast I am. I was sure that I want to be working and exploring the practical world of design while I was studying. But call it fate or destiny I found a school back in Florence that gives an opportunity to work and study at the same time and this felt like god sent sign.
Which school? Studium Architecturae - Florence Design School. Because I was coming to Florence for the second time, I did my research like a detective- going to the school webpage again and again- but every time I browsed through it made my interest grow even more, just to be sure I am making the right choice- I spoke to their ex students and the responses I got only made me want to go to this school even more.
My first semester in Florence Design School as a Master’s student is coming to and end and this is the first time in my many years of studying that I am feeling sad about not going to school for next 3 months. My study abroad experience during these 5 months have been bitter sweet. I have learned a lot in terms of drawing, technology, colours and few of the famous architects. While I was trying to get deep into the details of Italian way of Furniture design- Prof. Giovanni Voto put me on a real project. A project that required to do a flooring layout of swimming pool and the deck. Soon I learnt, a lot goes into designing- a) perfect concept, b) good composition, c) rhythm, d) function, e)aesthetics. I learnt about all of this during the process of design and sometimes it used to be overwhelming not because this approach was a little new to me but because I was trying to push myself really hard to get into the way of Italian mindset of design. But this project taught me a lot, I feel like I am getting into the Italian mindset of design, not 100% but maybe just .2%
STUDENT LIFE IN FLORENCE
This city isn’t new to me and every time I visit a street that I have visited previously always seems new and more interesting. A city wrapped around you with art is the best inspiration anybody, any designer could ask for and I consider myself very lucky to be studying here. I have met some very interesting people in the city.
I usually interact and spend most of the time with my flatmates, not a shocking news- they are also design or art students- in various fields of design and art. Every time I talk to them I discover something new about art and design and how art can influence so much in the way you design something. The best part about this city is that you can incorporate the art around you in your design. The more people you meet the more knowledge you gain, this city is filled with tourists but also equally filled with people who are passionate about art. I guess that proves this is the best place to be if you really want to gain some knowledge about art.
Living in Europe, you cannot resist yourself from travelling. I have travelled to some of the really interesting- filled with great architecture countries in the world! Every country- every city has it’s own charm and aura to interest you. Every city has a different approach - maybe it is through the colours of the roofs, building or the way their architecture is- what era they belong to. I have never heard someone saying “I’m bored of European architecture” because one can never get bored of seeing these magnificent structures with exquisite ornamental details. The architecture of the entire world revolves around European architecture.
CLASSROOM IS NOT THE ONLY PLACE TO LEARN - DESIGN WORKSHOP
One of the really great things about Studium Architecturae, Florence Design School is that the learning is not only done inside the four walls, you go out-observe and learn. The school organises field trip/design workshops. In my first semester- we had two design workshops-San Galgano and Salone Del Mobile.
Both respective workshops had their own charm.
We saw the Abbey of San Galgano which is located in the province of Siena, Tuscany. The abbey was a Cistercian Monastery constructed in Gothic style in the 13th century. Now the abbey stands without a roof. The main part of the church began getting too small to contain the monks and the pilgrims, so in 1218 they decided to begin construction of a new imposing abbey in the plain below. The Abbey was built in the classic Gothic forms of all the other Cisterician constructions, with plan at Latin cross with three aisles, rich of carved capitals and rose-windows, cloister, halls, bell tower. In 1786, the bell tower that was 36 metres high, collapsed sweeping up great part of the roof of the church.
About the design workshop: We had to get inspired by the gothic architecture of the abbey and develop a silent room/prayer room. The abbey attracts a lot of tourists because of it’s great history and structure hence there is no silence for those who want to pray, this was the purpose to develop a silent room. The assignment was really interesting and helpful as we had the inspiration right in front of us and it served a solution to an actual problem.
WHAT I LEARNT?
In San Galgano, I learnt about the ancient architect and the reason behind every move of the stone. Places become more interesting when you know the history behind it and for an Interior Designer it becomes even more interesting if you know the structural details about the building.
The second design workshop - Salone Del Mobile was a completely contradictory experience because here I learnt about the present. The present approach towards designs, materials and colours.
In a city that is so old is also a city that lives in the present. You have everything you can image, the ancient structure and brilliant designs in the present inspired by the antiques. I feel myself lucky enough to be doing my course in Master’s Interior and Furniture design and seeing these places with Florence Design school through the field trips and learn more about the structure rather than just admiring the beauty of it. Florence is perfect for a study abroad life of designers.