Building Beauty Dispatch #8

Students with their completed ceramic projects.

Students with their completed ceramic projects.

In the Classroom and Out in the Field

Having completed the ceramic work, stone carving work, and carpet design work in the fall, the students are now working on larger scale design and building projects.   

These include the design and construction of a new wooden pergola structure in the Sant’ Anna garden, as well as designing a “House for Oneself” on individual sites in Sorrento.  As part of the house design process, each student developed five “jewels” for their project: qualitative elements or patterns that encapsulate the vision of how they want to live in their home (not just a programmatic list of rooms).  The students also staked out at 1:1 the overall massing of the houses on their individual sites, and then developed their designs through models and drawings by incorporating the jewels with the massing form that was determined from the stake-outs.  

Working on the “House for Oneself” project, the students continue to try to create something with feeling that is personal and meaningful to them, but they are now creating something more architectural and at a larger scale than they were with the ornament projects.  This project will also lead into Duo’s international HOME design event coming up in March, where Building Beauty students will join students from the University of Hartford, the University of San Francisco, Alfred State College SUNY, and others from around the world to explore further the deeper meaning of HOME.

Preliminary sketches of “House for Oneself” project, section sketch by Mohit Badre; plan sketch by John Killeen

Invitation to Advisors to Participate in the 2019 HOME Design Event

Duo again invites all Building Beauty Advisors who are interested to sign up to participate as a reviewer for this year’s HOME project.  Each advisor will have the opportunity to review 5-6 individual HOME projects by students from all of the institutions involved, as well as listen in on the live initial kick-off lecture and the live final presentation of projects that Duo will present from Sorrento.  Key dates include:

March 12 11:00 EST: Rally Cry Live Webcast Introducing the Project

March 15 – April 1: Building Beauty Advisors review preliminary HOME designs

April 12 1:00 EST: We Are HOME: International Live Presentation of HOME Designs

Sign up to be a reviewer and to register for the event by contacting Karen Erickson at

 Also, please pass the word along if you know of any students or others who would like to participate in this world-wide event – all are welcome.  More details can be found at the link below:

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2019 Building Beauty Summer School: Building with Stone in the Italian Alps

This year’s 2-week summer school session runs from May 5-15 and is located in the tiny medieval village of Ghesc in the Ossola Valley at the foot of the Italian Alps.  Participants will help to restore this abandoned village, learning how to build and restore structures out of stone.  All are welcome to attend; self-reporting continuing education credits are available.  See the link for more info and a flyer that can be downloaded. Please spread the word!

The medieval village of Ghesc, and an example of the stone work

The medieval village of Ghesc, and an example of the stone work

Nature of Order Book 3: A Vision of a Living World

Building Beauty’s year-long webinar class (Mondays and Thursdays 17:00-18:30 Italian time) led by Yodan Rofè, Susan Ingham, and Chris Andrews, has just embarked on Book 3 with students, visitors, and guest speakers who are speaking about their work as it relates to specific chapters in the book. Sessions on Book 3 will conclude on March 25th.  Upcoming guest speakers include Michael Mehaffy, Erik Hancock, Seth Wachtel, Hajo Neis, and Alfred Bay. If you would like to be included in these sessions, or are interested in presenting some of your work as it relates to the readings to the class, please contact Yodan Rofè at


Recruiting Students for Fall 2019

Now that we are halfway through the second year of Building Beauty, it is not too soon to start thinking about students for next fall.  It is an exciting time as we are currently in the process of forming partnerships with other institutions in the US, in Europe, as well as in Asia, and we hope to have some of those in place for the next academic year. 


Thank you all very, very much for your continued support for Building Beauty – we appreciate your continued help in getting the word out about this unique program, and we also very much appreciate any financial support as well.

Twitter @_BuildingBeauty

To Donate:


 Duo Dickinson                                   Susan Ingham

Maggie Moore