We arrived in Roma on June 3, 2005 to start our field study. We spent about a week familiarizing ourselves with the city and its significant cultural legacy. We sectioned off the city roughly into 4 quadrants: Esquiline + Capitoline, Janiculium +Trastevere, Campo Fiore + Pantheon and Vatican. We took one day by van to travel the suburbs, with our guide Tom Rankin, to see the EUR, the contemporary urban situation and recent architectural works of Renzo Piano and Richard Meyer. We then spent a day further afield driving ourselves in two "bussini" to Etruscan Tarquinia and the sulphur baths at Saturnia in Northern Lazio, and in the evening, had dinner at spectacular Pitigliano in the Maremma region of Tuscany before returning to Roma. This ended the initial cultural and historic tour, where we experienced Roma's rich historic context that we had only read about in our preparatory studies back in Vancouver.
Roma held another significant stepping stone for our studies, as we then
commenced our private interviews and studio tours. Our first was the
established architectural firm Ricci - Spaini architects. We were
able to capture key quotes that began a thought provoking process for the
rest of the field study, for example, "La difficulta l'aguzzare l'ingegno"
or [Difficulties or limitations grow and sharpen your ingenuity]
(Ricci-Spaini, 2005). During this period, we also interviewed Luca Galofaro
from IaN+, a young up and coming architectural design firm. Luca gave a
thought provoking and
inspiring interview. We left with a profound sense of the Roman design
scene; the contemporary scene is bubbling, and a firm commitment to return
and spend more time digging deeper into what is sure to be fertile and productive
ground. The designers welcomed us with an unforgettable sense of camaraderie
and interest in our work.