3.4 ARCH 4921/8921: ARCHITECTONICS IN ITALY, 3-0-3  

Athanassios Economou, PhD, Professor
Heather Ligler, AIA, Instructor
Libero Andreotti, PhD, Professor

College of Design
School of Architecture

Georgia Institute of Technology
Summer 2019


The course is organized as an individual independent study offered to students that participate in the Study Abroad Program on Architectonics in Greece and Italy. The course is offered in addition to the three courses of the program, COA 3114,  COA 3115 and COA 3116, and students receive three hours of free elective credit through faculty directed, independent studies worked out during the course. These research topics are developed during the spring semester and must receive departmental approval from a faculty advisor and the Director of the Architecture Program. Although these topics may range widely across a number of subjects, and may be entirely within an art historical paradigm, every effort is made to generate interdisciplinary topics suited to the particular major of each student. Examples include masonry vaulting, or water supply and urban infrastructure for civil engineers, or an examination of the effects of atmospheric sulfur dioxide on marble and limestone for a chemical engineer. While the program is aimed primarily at undergraduate students from the other colleges at Tech, students within the College of Architecture have also participated in the program.  A handful of graduate students, most from architecture, some from other colleges, have also participated.  The diversity of the student enrollment is viewed as one of the program's strengths.



These special problem independent studies are organized around regular scheduled meetings between the student and the faculty in charge, and it is supplemented by a weekly series of lectures given during the introductory preparatory course the spring semester prior to the study abroad program; furthermore the research is supported by onsite field trips in Greece and Italy where the students have direct access to their object of study.  Students conduct field studies on their own during afternoons, after the formal lectures and presentations for the regular three core courses are over. The required paper or project is completed after returning to Tech, prior to the end of the summer term. Guidelines for requests for approval for an independent study, and samples of good papers are given in the beginning of the spring semester prior to the trip abroad.


  • Studies related to painting
  • Studies related to sculpture
  • Studies related to achitecture (style; type; language; program)
  • Studies related to urbanism
  • Measured drawings of individual buildings or urban spaces
  • Historic architectural topics
  • Historic preservation
  • Additions to historic buildings


An anthology of readings is required and it varies according to the subject matter of the proposed research. Readings may range from general background basic references to highly specific technical articles and they should provide a basic foundation for the development of the proposed research. The list of appropriate readings for the proposed research is worked out during the initial discussions between the student and the faculty in charge and is attached in the formal request for approval for independent study in the program.

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