ICAA Intensive in Classical Architectural Design : LA

Among the ICAA’s most impactful and enduring education models is its Intensive Program in Classical Architecture – an eight day course of study that introduces participants to the ICAA’s core curriculum through coursework in the classical orders, composition, proportion, drafting, observational drawing, and the literature of classical architecture. Due to unprecedented demand for the 2017 ICAA Intensive in Classical Architecture in New York, the ICAA Southern California Chapter, in collaboration with the ICAA National Office, hosted an additional Intensive program this Fall.

Students complete some plein air sketches outside the intensive in Classical Architecture: LA's classroom location for the week, Greystone Mansion

Students complete some plein air sketches outside the intensive in Classical Architecture: LA’s classroom location for the week, Greystone Mansion

Last week the Southern California Chapter hosted the very first ICAA Regional Intensive in Classical Architecture, at Greystone Mansion which served as an incredible venue and inspiration to the Intensive students during their studies. The intensive spanned eight-days, introducing participants to the ICAA’s core curriculum through coursework in the classical orders, composition, proportion, drafting, observational drawing, and the literature of classical architecture. The students spent a full week in the studio and outdoors, taking advantage of the incredible classical architecture around them at Greystone mansion.

Students work at their desks as Michael Mesko looks on and guides drawings

Students work at their desks as Michael Mesko looks on and guides drawings

Instructors included David Genther and Michael Mesko, New York Intensive regulars,  local instructors Domiane Forte, Erik Evens, Patricia Poundstone and more. The instructors taught subjects that informed the students’ final projects which they worked on intermittently during studio time.  Instructor, Chris Eiland, remarked “Students produced very successful projects in a short period of time” saying that he witnessed the programs ability to “open their eyes to a design approach and methodology they can apply regardless of style or scale”

Instructor Marty Brandwein reviews a student’s work at Greystone Mansion

Instructor Marty Brandwein reviews a student’s work at Greystone Mansion

The week culminated in a final design project where students designed a pavilion for Greystone mansion. Students were given background and thoroughly acquainted with Greystone grounds before applying the lessons they’d learned all week to the presentation. For the final review Southern California Chapter members were invited to view the students’ work. The students reflected on the program with  Mike Tracy from Kirk Peterson Associates saying he has not only found the Intensive is getting him on the “right path to good design” but that its drawing component “is probably the one thing I could do for 10 hours a day and enjoy.” He spoke more generally about the value of Classical Architecture saying that it has “stood the test of time–it’s 2,000 years old and there’s a reason for that.”

Students Completing a Measured Drawing Exercise

Students Completing a Measured Drawing Exercise

Sara Pijuan a Project Manager in Evens Architecture’s Green Studio, which specializes in traditional architecture, remarked that while before she used to have to outsource for content like that which she learned during the intensive, she has “more confidence now to take a stab at the details” and can be “a better resource for the office that way.” She believes it would be helpful for colleges to teach undergraduates the principles taught in the Intensive, remarking that they’re universally applicable “it helps you build a foundation–even if you are working on a lot of modern projects, the principles carry through.”

Students take their studio work outside under the guidance of Intensive instructors

Students take their studio work outside under the guidance of Intensive instructors

Many thanks to the sponsorship and fundraising by the Southern California chapter without which the Intensive would not have been possible.

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