Building Beauty Dispatch #2

American Advisory Board Report

Many thanks to over 50 practitioners and academics who have signed on to our American Advisory Board! We very much appreciate your support, knowledge, and expertise. We currently have members from 17 different states and from all parts of the country, including Hawaii. Our official website page can be found here.

Thank you also to those who have filled out the questionnaire. We have received many interesting and thought-provoking answers and want to share the results with all of you. We have compiled the comments to each question using first names of the authors as it is interesting to see who said what, but if you would like to remain anonymous, please let us know and we will remove your name from your answers. If you have not yet replied to the questionnaire, it is not too late to participate. Please send us your responses and we will include them with the group.

Building Beauty Press Coverage

Now that Building Beauty is up and running in Sorrento, we are focusing our efforts on student outreach and press coverage. James Wilson wrote a news brief for the recent issue of BuildingGreen, and Duo Dickinson wrote an article for Common Edge titled “Architectural Education Will Have to Change or Risk Becoming Irrelevant”. Both of these articles can be found on Building Beauty’s on the News and Building Beauty Dispatches page.

In addition, two articles have been published in the Italian press about the recent visit of Felice Tagliaferri, a famous Italian sculptor who is blind. He conducted a three-day workshop for Building Beauty students where they experimented in stone carving. The task was to carve in stone the same shape that they had made several weeks earlier out of clay with master ceramicist Pasquale Liguori. Creating a similar object in both clay and in stone offered the students both a first-hand experience of working with different materials, as well as the challenge of creating the same object in two different ways (one object is created by forming up the material, the other by chipping away the material). Links to these articles, written in Italian, can be found here  and here.

Felice Tagliaferri, a famous Italian sculptor who is blind, guides Building Beauty students in their stone carving projects.

Building Beauty Outreach

Pre-registration is now open for students for Fall of 2018! We are actively recruiting students for next year’s class. The new poster and flyer can be found at, at the top of the page. Please forward these, as well as website links to your contacts, friends, and networks. We need your help to spread the word as far and as wide as we can.

In the Classroom and Out in the Field

Since our last Dispatch, the students have completed work on mapping the city of Sorrento, carpet design, ceramic work, including making clay pots and tiles, stone carving, finding examples of Alexander’s fifteen geometrical properties in Sorrento, and experimenting with Gatemaker, a computer program that provides a good sequence for designing and building a beautiful gate. They have also completed some preliminary work for the main project of the course, which will be in the historic Sant’ Anna Institute garden.


Students mock up a gate design in the Sant’Anna Institute garden.

For more information about the students’ activities, please see their learning journal.

More to come!

Duo Dickinson and Susan Ingham

Dan Klyn