Our arrival in Florence marks the halfway point of the italiaDesign study. After the glorious chaos of Rome and the beauty of the Tuscan country towns, Florence offers an
urban experience that is, for many of us, far more personal. Jayme Chochrane, one of
the students from the 2006 field study described transcendental experiences as a moment where everything seems to come together in a moment of harmony in order to create an experience that transcends the norm and for a brief period becomes something
unforgettable, something that the people who experience that moment will carry with
them long afterwards. The first half of the field study featured many such moments of
harmony but in Florence these moments begin to become much more personal as we
all become much more comfortable and aware of our surroundings and begin immersing ourselves in the city more and more often on our own, and for our own reasons. It
is during these times that we often find the moments, whether grand or small, that we
will carry with us when we return home.
These moments come in many shapes and forms, sometimes they last mere moments, such as the first glimpse of the sunbeam spearing down from the oculus of the pantheon in the seconds before the sight blows your mind. Others can last for hours as you escape the city to wander along the paths surrounding San Miniato. They are not always awe inspiring and in fact many of the most memorable are things as simple as the perfect taste of a meal shared with the group. The one thing they all seem to have in common though is that they are often impossible to describe to someone who has not shared a similar experience. That it is difficult does not mean that attempting to describe and share these experiences is not worthwhile though, quite the opposite in fact and in the following pages we, the students of the 2007 italiaDesign group attempt to do just that and each find their own way to share some of the moments of harmony that characterized their time in the city of Florence.