The Graphic Design department spent Spring Break of 2011 in Italy. Four faculty and sixteen students from all levels of our program visited several major northern Italian towns (Verona, Venice and Florence), and participated in a myriad of activities. Amongst other trips, students visited Graphicom Press in Verona to learn about the high-end printing and pre-press, a library devoted to print, a monastery devoted to books and printing and a cheese factory. The aim of the field study trip was to provide the Graphic Design students with the opportunity to observe new culture, interact with it, learn from it and bridge this learning to their own experience that would shape their own learning curve.
The fieldtrip embraced the concept of parallel learning on many levels: social, educational, professional, cultural, historical, physical challenge and ethical challenge.
to learn about the history of the region in Italy;
to observe how Italian culture manifests itself and its visual identity influence on many other cultures;
to investigate hybrid culture (i.e. Roman Empire - Arabic vs. Latin, East and West);
to bridge the communication with indigenous people and emerge with strong self identity;
to search for the extreme contrast of culture and learn from it;
to identify the parallel learning happening during the trip;
to experience some design applications in a new cultural context;
to analyze the new finding and develop one's own reflections;
to synthesize what is relevant to one's research or inquiries;
to transfer the learning and apply it in the future endeavors.