Investing in the Next Generation of Classicists
The careers of history’s greatest architects, designers, and artists all had a beginning, a time of inspiration and development. Here at the ICAA, we believe it is crucial to invest in the beginning of the careers of today’s students and young professionals, to provide instructional and educational support that is so important in the early days of a career. Of course, the ICAA’s mission “to learn from the past to build for the future” applies to all of our members and friends – from experienced professionals to students and enthusiasts – regardless of age. However, I am particularly delighted to share this month several exciting initiatives that focus on the next generation of classicists.
ICAA Summer Studio students visiting Arthur Ross Award winning firm, Peter Pennoyer Architects
Of course, the Summer Studio in Classical Architecture is a hallmark ICAA program that brings professionals and students together in order to make for a more constructive learning experience. The program does so through visits to the offices of architectural firms, classes, and lectures led by experts and scholars in the fields of architecture, art, and design, as well as the use of teaching assistants who provide direct support for the students throughout the course of the program. Our next four-week Summer Studio program will commence on June 19th in New York City.
Summer Studio in Classical Architecture students visiting Edgewater,, which is located in the Hudson Valley and is part of the Classical American Homes Preservation Trust (CAHPT)
We also look forward to future initiatives, including a new mentorship program that will be piloted this summer. This program will create a direct link between a student or early professional and a experienced professional member of the ICAA. Our goal for this program is to guide emerging architects and designers in their studies and professional training by creating a connection with an established professional in their field of interest.
ICAA Winter Professional Intensive students
The Young Members Task Force also performs a pivotal role in our effort to engage the next generation with the ICAA. Comprised of young and emerging architects, designers, and enthusiasts from across the country, this volunteer group offers a valuable perspective on initiatives. Whether they are providing input on the direction of the organization’s new website (that will be launching later this year), or offering insight on our programming, the Young Members Task Force is a strong and valued voice in the ICAA community.
Recently, I spoke with the Chair of the ICAA’s Young Members Task Force, Rodrigo Bollat Montenegro, who discussed his own professional development, as well as his relationship with the ICAA. In regard to the importance of the Task Force, he explained, “The ICAA will always be in need of feedback from the next generation, and the Young Members Task Force is a key platform for this group to have a voice in the organization.”
One of the best ways for young members to engage with their peers is through one of the emerging professionals groups of the ICAA. Emerging professionals groups in Texas, Northern California, Southern California, the Southeast, Washington Mid Atlantic, and the New York area are always looking for more participants and of course are welcoming to members of varied ages and backgrounds.
I strongly believe that one of the most impactful ways to engage budding professionals and students is by offering scholarships for our educational programs. Scholarships for these programs open the door for all deserving students to attend and benefit from the ICAA’s unique curriculum. With most architectural and design schools today offering little to no instruction in classicism, the ICAA’s educational programs are especially crucial in imparting instruction in the classical tradition and its tenets to those with a passion for it.
The next Christopher H. Browne Rome Drawing Tour will take place June 3-10
For example, our Christopher H. Browne Rome and Paris Drawing Tours and Scholarships furnish students with the opportunity to learn directly from the rich architecture and art of these historical cities. These tours are especially formative in the professional development of young classicists, lending a deeper understanding of the classical tradition, which in turn benefits their respective careers. The tours also reserve spots for scholarship awardees, ensuring that all who have an enthusiasm for learning about classicism and enhancing their own studies or practice have the opportunity to attend. In fact, the deadline to apply for a 2017 Christopher H. Browne Rome Drawing Tour Scholarship is fast approaching on April 7th.
Summer Studio student drawing in Bryant Park
Rodrigo also shared the value of the ICAA in the development of his own career, explaining that the organization has given him the opportunity to learn “from highly talented architects and artists,” and that “their careers serve as an example” for him. Rodrigo first developed an interest in classicism through his family, as they imparted to him “the importance of tradition and the role it plays in shaping, preserving, and advancing our society.” He also explained that the ICAA has allowed him “to be able to share Classical architecture and traditional urbanism with others.” Rodrigo’s words reinforced the significance of the ICAA’s offerings in fostering the inspiration and education of our young members. His enthusiasm for the classical tradition and the ICAA’s part in nurturing this enthusiasm speaks to the impact of our engagement with young classicists.
On April 30th the ICAA will present the Award for Emerging Excellence in the Classical Tradition in collaboration with the Prince’s Foundation for Building Community (PFBC) and the International Network for Traditional Building, Architecture & Urbanism (INTBAU) to a young professional in the field of classical and traditional architecture, landscape, interior design, building, urban design and planning, or the arts.
The launch of this Award, along with the continuation of our other efforts, is truly exciting, and is yet another step in the ICAA’s efforts to acknowledge, honor, and uplift individuals in the early stages of their professional development with the belief that each one will have the experience and guidance to become one of tomorrow’s great architects, designers, or artists.