Building Beauty Dispatch #9

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 Building Beauty Agreement with the University of Hartford

We are so pleased to announce the following agreement between the Building Beauty program and the University of Hartford.  This is a crucial step in creating accreditation paths for our Building Beauty students who want to continue their studies at other institutions around the world.  Thank you so much to Advisory Board member Jim Fuller for making this happen!  The following is the press release: 

University of Hartford and Building Beauty, located at the Sant’Anna Institute in Sorrento, Italy, Offers New Program for Architecture Students

WEST HARTFORD, Conn. ― Building Beauty is pleased to announce an agreement has been established with the Department of Architecture in the College of Engineering, Technology, and Architecture (CETA) at the University of Hartford in West Hartford, Connecticut USA. Third- and fourth-year students from the University of Hartford may attend the Building Beauty program in Sorrento to fulfill requirements for their Bachelor of Architectural Design + Technology degree. The collaboration with University of Hartford and Building Beauty continues to grow and both institutions look forward to expanding opportunities for students. This agreement signifies that partnerships can be developed between institutions to offer students a broader range of opportunities to study architecture and its role in society. This new program will forge a new path that incorporates the human experience of beauty in the way we create our world.

University of Hartford’s Department of Architecture Chair James E. Fuller, AIA NCARB, expresses his enthusiasm for the Building Beauty program, the opportunities it can provide students, and support of this growing relationship:

“Beauty activates and enlivens the soul. Engaging in conversation, design, and building around beauty – that which makes the world a better place – elevates us all. This is what the Building Beauty program is all about. We are thrilled to be able to provide our students with the opportunity to discover the beauty around them and within them through their experiences at Building Beauty.”

 Year Two of Building Beauty Comes to a Close

The second year of the Building Beauty program has come to a close with the completion of two projects in the Sant’Anna north garden – a new wooden pergola and a new small bench made of local volcanic tufo blocks. These projects, in addition to the rest of the work that the students completed this year, were presented to the public on Inauguration Day at the beginning of May. More detailed information about these projects can be found on the Student Work page:

The completed pergola project on Inauguration Day.

The completed pergola project on Inauguration Day.

The completed bench with tufo master Luigi seated on the left.

The completed bench with tufo master Luigi seated on the left.

One of our students described carving a flower ornament as the final element for the bench project:

“After a few more touch-ups, the flower was done.  The overall feeling of the bench with the flower added brought the whole place together – as a stronger center.  The bench made the whole place a better center, and the feeling of the place that was earlier marked by most of us as a 2 in our feeling assessment, was now a 4, which is the score for a place having the best feeling.” (Anushka)

Anushka working on the flower ornament for the bench, and the finished ornament:

It was a rich and productive year at Building Beauty; the students learned many new practical skills in addition to their theoretical work, and all of them came away with a new perspective of architecture as a continuous act of making that is both deeply personal and universal.  Here are a few of their final comments to us:

“When I dance, I am at peace with myself.  In three years of architecture school in India, I never felt this peace, but I did feel it this year at Building Beauty in the design of a house for myself.” (Anushka)

“Being here in Italy is a great opportunity for all of us. Building Beauty brought new hope in me that architecture can be interesting. Earlier I felt that architecture books are boring because the books that we referred to and read in my institution are all about modernism — all these forms which don't have a form language and no relation with other space. But as soon as I started reading The Nature of Order and A Pattern Language, I became interested in reading them and experiencing what they described. All the teachers who visit us and are with us are just incredible. I wish to stay longer and keep working with all of them. I hope one day, I will be able to work with them on different projects. I thank you, Maggie Moore Alexander, and all the teachers for giving me this golden opportunity to be a part of this amazing community. I also wish to come back here and meet all the teachers and the students to come.” (Mohit)

“This year at Building Beauty I learned that I am valuable, and that seeing things in a positive light is good, not bad like I learned in architecture school in India.  Building Beauty people have put me back on the right path of being myself, being positive, and that that is OK.  I refuse to be killed by architectural cynicism.” (Ankit)

We wish our students a very fond farewell and look forward to following their journeys as they each travel their own paths and maintain their connections with the Building Beauty community!



This year, we started to record some of The Nature of Order classes where we had guest speakers from all over the world present their work to the Building Beauty students.  If you are interested in seeing some of these presentations, please find them at the link below.  In addition to the recorded Nature of Order sessions, there is also a radio podcast by Duo Dickinson on Beauty HOME, as well as several papers and articles of interest.  Please check it out!

Building Beauty Academic Year 2019-2020

We are looking forward to continuing Building Beauty and teaching this material for the upcoming 2019-2020 academic year, but we need students in order to do this.  Please help us spread the word – time is of the essence as the application deadline this year is July 15, and we still have many spaces that need to be filled for the program to continue.  Information about how to apply can be found here:

The most important first step is to have students contact us at to explore with them how the program can help them meet their goals and hopes for the future.


Thank you!

And lastly, thank you all very, very much for your continued support for Building Beauty, including acting as outside critics for the HOME program, and helping us to spread the word.  Financial help is also greatly appreciated so that we can continue to offer this one-of-a-kind program, and to build an international community engaged in the process of building beauty.

To Donate:

To keep up with our regular announcements, see us at,, and


 Duo Dickinson                                   Susan Ingham           

Maggie Moore