The Florence, Italy, study away course will focus on art and designed cultural and historic landmarks, to understand how studying Renaissance artifacts may relate to American culture.  This course is offered during the summers, entitled Through the Lens of the Renaissance and Today: Design Thinking Applications to Any Field of Study. 

We will address some of the economic, political, spiritual, practical, and social aspects of life shown through the form and function of designed objects.  Viewing these objects in their physical context, as well as learning about the historical context, will establish links between the relationship of life then and now. 

Students will use the design process and design thinking in defining a learning challenge then researching, brainstorming, creating prototypes, presenting, and revising for the final solution. These are great tools for teaching 21st century skills, as participants must creatively solve problems by finding and sorting through accurate information, collaborate and communicate with others, and iterate their solutions based on real world, authentic experience and feedback. 

You will take tours of the Uffizi and Palazzo Pitti Art Museums, Boboli Gardens, four cathedrals, the Guggi and Ferragamo fashion museums, the Da Vinci museum, among others.