Rome, Italy

Study Aboad in Rome, Italy

The Rome Program studies the architecture and urbanism in Rome, including Florence and Naples. Through the lens of Pope Sixtus V plan of Rome, the course examines the theory and practice of baroque architecture and urban space making, and the relevance of geometry and movement systems; students study baroque buildings in Rome not in isolation but as part of the structure of movement. It covers the theory and representational skills for analysis of chapels, churches, piazzas, facades, painting, sculpture, perspective mock-ups, stairs, gardens and palaces, and focuses on disseminating these pieces as objects absorbed in the image of the city.

The opportunity to study in Rome for any architecture student is a critical marker in their education as it broadens their understanding of the origins of architecture and urban space. As contemporary cities age and transform, Rome becomes an important reference for understanding the genes of cities, and the elements at stake in modern environments. Students who experience living and studying in Rome develop a critical responsibility and design awareness to the relationships of architecture in the production of urban, civic and cultural spaces. This turning motivation to positively affect societies through the design of the built environment is reflected in future academic projects, and most importantly it deepens this commitment in their long-term professional endeavors.

Rome as a Laboratory

The heritage of Rome as a laboratory for architectural research continues to influence contemporary designers and theorists in reformulating questions and approaches to our current urban and architectural challenges. Rome is host of the highest concentration of renowned international academies for scholars and artists that live and explore the city as resource for advancing in topics within their discipline and culture. The city’s educational heritage juxtaposed with all of its historical layers as part of its present exemplifies a continuous contemporary learning environment.

Examples in history of the city as a site of speculation range from baroque interventions to the legacy of Giambattista Nolli Plan of Rome and Piranesi’s capricci; precedents from the XX century include the radical manifestos by Superstudio, theories and speculations by Aldo Rossi, Colin Rowe, Michale Graves, Leon Krier, Piero Sartogo, James Stirling, and Robert Venturi’s Complexity & Contradiction research during his fellowship at the American Academy in Rome, to name a few. More contemporary practices revisiting images of Rome to rethink the city include Carmelo Baglivo and Luca Galorafo from IAN+ (participants of NSAD Rome Program), and the writings and theories by Pier Vittorio Aureli, considered one of the most influential contemporary urban and architecture theorist of our time.

Field Trips

In addition to the program’s guided field trips in Rome, students will visit and study the architecture of the Renaissance in Florence and late Baroque in Naples. These field trips are framed to understand the evolution towards and from Rome, giving students the opportunity to compare and understand the unique condition of each city. Each guided visit will take advantage of the weekend for optional student explorations in Tuscany (i.e. Siena, Lucca, San Gimigniano) or around Naples (i.e. Pompeii, Herculaneum, the Amalfi Coast or the islands of Capri, Ischia and Procida). Optional guided field trips and accommodations in these areas are possible through our housing agency in Rome.


Adriana Cuéllar and Marcel Sanchez co-founded the NewSchool Rome Program in 2008. The program departs as an evolution of their research trajectories in Rome during their time at The American Academy in Rome, where Adriana received the prestigious 2006-2007 Katherine Edwards Gordon Rome Prize in Design. Since then, they have been sharing their knowledge and interest in Rome as part of the formation of architects, an ongoing project offered to NSAD students every summer. Adriana & Marcel are partners of CRO studio, an architecture and research practice established at the border region of Tijuana / San Diego. They have received numerous distinguished awards, including the 2013 Progressive Architecture Design Award, CEMEX Award and the recent IX BIAU Iberia-American Biennial of Architecture and Urbanism for Casa de las Ideas [Modulo-Prep Library] in Tijuana, México.