An experience of Roman life, showcased in Rome exhibition


Courtesy of Joe Kastner

The Rome Exhibit, “Tra/continuity or not” is on display in the Design building.

Kiana Brincks

Fifth year architecture students had the opportunity to travel to Rome through the Rome Study Abroad program during the months of January to May.

The experience offered the opportunity of a lifetime, and the students wanted to bring back their experience to share with the Iowa State community.

Nolan Christensen was the coordinator of the annual Rome Exhibition, which holds work, projects, and photography from the Rome trip. Joe Kastner showcased photography of beautiful sights and people, and all photography credit belongs to Kastner.

“These photos essentially are trying to capture the true grit of a place but not a sense of what gives a city its identity but in the study abroad experience,” Kastner said.

Outside of the classroom work and workshops, the students were able to explore and find a true appreciation for the city. They had plenty of time to venture out by themselves or with professors, learning and absorbing details about the people, buildings and environment.

“With this collection I attempted to capture the identity from the smallest detail to largest, show experience from outside of the school work,” Kastner said. “I wanted to attempt to bring back the rawness or unfiltered view that I saw.”

Not only did students take note in the architectural aspect, but the people as well.

There would be many people that students would encounter everyday and build relationships. The exhibition allows students to look back and remember the captured moments from their trip.

Anyone is welcome to see what work and experience the students gained. Christensen and Kastner both wanted the gallery to showcase a more in-depth experience.

“Us as students looking back at the work here in the exhibition we know exactly what’s in the background of pictures and this makes it very personal,” Christensen said.

Throughout their time in Rome, students worked on sketching, collages and hypothetical projects. There were also workshops they attended.

The class activities offered inspiration to relax and be creative with taking chances, not just learning how to design for something. Students first started out by taking plenty of time to walk around the city and draw. Then class collages were a mixture of experiments, and then led to starting to describe their projects.

Sketchbooks and collages from students are showcased, and the project layouts are posted as well.

There were plenty of major projects students worked on over the course of the trip. Strategic planning and creative thinking was utilized throughout these projects. Learning to work with limited time and stretching critical thinking were qualities practiced.

Their projects focused on creating design structures that were efficient, functional, tasteful and practical.

The Rome Exhibition provides the opportunity to see the magnificent experience and chances that the Rome study abroad program for architectures offers.

There are a variety of stories the pieces in the exhibition contain and each portray an individual’s experience. The exhibit is on display in the College of Design building.