Research Team

Jayme Cochrane


The 7.5 weeks felt like at least a year's worth of learning. I am able to flip through art history textbooks and recognize dozens of buildings and paintings that I was able to see and experience in person, rather than just reading about and studying. Visiting a place like the Vatican Museum or the Uffizi is incredibly draining (too much of everything!), but pre-planning your route makes it feel like an entire art history course. Places like The Pantheon and Piazza della Signoria are full of cultural and historical information; it's being able to find it that makes this trip so rewarding.

Studying urban design and how Italians create and evolve cities is deeply fascinating. Visiting a place like San Gimignano or Siena, then heading off to Milan shows the diversity of Italy while at the same time displaying the characteristics of city planning. Italian design, meanwhile, is a whole other story. We asked some very direct and difficult questions about the future of Italian design in our interviews, and we were often given answers that silenced us. The interviewees are so incredibly smart, and we made sure to get as much out of them as possible. Go on the Italia Design Field School. Your brain will thank you.


No doubt about it. I learned so much more about culture in general than I ever imagined. More than just providing insight into how Italy operates, the trip gave us context on all European culture thanks to the incredible interviews we were able to have. The true ‘legends' we interviewed (Alessandro Mendini and Massimiliano Fuksas, just to name a couple…) were so great to learn from, and it still amazes me that I was able to meet them. You will come back changed. You will not look at cities the same after. Guaranteed.


  • July 9th, 2006: Italy wins the World Cup, and I am lucky enough to be in Piazza del Duomo with tens of thousands of Italians. Prior to the final Italian penalty shot, my heart was pounding and my pulse was racing: we had been following the entire World Cup, and the Italian team was yet to lose a game. When they scored the final goal, the entire country erupted into cheers. The moments after (and the rest of the night/morning) were pure joy, as I gleefully celebrated and felt like an Italian.

  • June 24th, 2006: Festa San Giovanni in Firenze. All students went out for a group dinner prior to the fireworks celebrating the patron saint of Firenze. We were running a bit late after the meal, and quickly made our way to the banks of the Arno river to witness the fireworks being launched from Piazzale Michelangelo. While crossing a bridge (in a vain attempt to get closer), all the lights in the city suddenly turned off: all streetlights and state-owned buildings immediately, with most houses and stores quickly following. We all stopped in amazement, and a few seconds after, the fireworks started. I've never witnessed an entire town stop for a celebration. It was incredible.
  • Biking along the Arno river at 2am on the way back to our accommodations, weaving in and out of traffic while taking in the amazing views of Firenze and the reflections of the city off the Arno.
  • First taste of cinghiale (wild boar meat) and pecorino (ewe's milk) during a picnic outside San Antimo church in Toscana.


  • "If you want to do with architecture more than only a building, you have to try to give emotion. Emotion has to be positive, not negative" (Fuksas, 2006).

  • Anything Adam said over the walkie talkies during long drives through Italy. Thank you for keeping us entertained while cruising in the Albino Rhino.


The Pantheon, by far. I visited the Pantheon five times during our time in Rome (three during the day, two at night), and never grew tired of taking in the sheer perfection of the geometry on the inside or the simplistic beauty of the Pantheon's urban relation to Piazza della Rotonda. On our last full day in Rome I woke up at 6am to visit the Pantheon alone. I arrived at 8am, just as it opened, to find only three other people inside! The feeling was amazing. It was the start of another hot Roman day, but the Pantheon was quite cool inside, and had a powerful silence due to the lack of people inside. I was able to explore the space completely, standing directly in front of the tombs of Raphael and Vittorio Emanuele II with no one else beside me. I stayed in the Pantheon for two hours, studying all angles of the interior, until at last the tour groups began arriving, and the magic of the building was swallowed by a sea of camera flashes and chatter.


I went on the Field School at the end of my fourth year, one of the best decisions of my academic career. I was one of only 2 students present who had taken an urban/space design course, and it was invaluable during our first project in Rome. Although attending the Field School delayed my graduation, it was a small price to pay for such an amazing experience.


I am currently interested in Interaction Design, especially in the realm of physical computing, using hardware and electronics to augment user experiences. I believe computers can achieve a level of complex digital art that transcends the boundaries of artistic perception (analog vs. digital art), and wish to explore this further. However, while in Italy, my love of architecture was rekindled, as well as focusing on urban design and sustainable city planning designed with a user-centered, bottom-up approach.


Birthday: December 29th, 1984
Place of Birth: Chilliwack, BC