LEARNING BY DOING:
AN OPPORTUNITY FOR
YOUNG ARCHITECTS
TO BRIDGE THE GAP
BETWEEN SCHOOL AND
PROFESSION.

The first educational program held by Renzo Piano was established in 1992, in memory of Ermanno Piano. In 2001 an agreement was signed with Harvard University, the original kernel of what was to become the Foundation’s bottega.

In 2004, the Renzo Piano Foundation was instituted in Genoa. It promotes a number of internships at the Renzo Piano Building Workshop’s offices in Genoa and Paris.
The six-monthly internships are fully funded by scholarships made available by the Foundation itself.

 

The training program is based on a clear conviction: that knowledge can be transferred through information or practical example and engagement.
The Renzo Piano Foundation chose the second approach. The underlying principle is very simple: it is learning by doing, and the reference model is that of the Renaissance bottega, brought up to date.

The purpose of the internships is to provide students with the opportunity to bridge the gap between academic knowledge and the reality of the architect's profession.
Students join the teams and play an active part in every phase of the work: design, experimentation and construction on the worksite.

Each university has its own criterion of selection, uninfluenced in any way by the Foundation: the names of the students are communicated only once the final choice has been made by the Faculty.

The Renzo Piano Foundation does not accept nominations for students outside the existing educational program.

Some non-work activities are also planned during the six-month internships.
First of all, a gathering of all students, organized at Villa Nave, the Foundation's headquarters in Genoa. It is an opportunity to visit the Foundation's premises and the archive of projects on display there. The Foundation is also a place of study and analysis at the disposal of the students. Then there is a site visit, accompanied by an architect who acts as guide.
In Genoa, the students are accommodated in the Foundation’s apartments at Villa Nave. In Paris they are helped to find accommodation in the city.

AFFILIATED UNIVERSITIES

Universities affiliated with the Renzo Piano Foundation

Currently affiliated

Rice University School
of Architecture

Houston, USA (from 1992)

Faculdade de Arquitectura
e Urbanismo

Brasilia, Brasil (from 1999)

Harvard Design School
Cambridge, USA (from 2011)

Scuola Politecnica
Genova, Italy (from 2004)

School of Architecture,
Planning and Preservation
Columbia University

New York, USA (from 2008)

Ecole Nationale Superieure
d’Architecture Paris-Malaquais

Paris, France (from 2008)

CEPT University
Ahmedabad, India (from 2009)

ETSAM Universidad Politecnica de Madrid
Madrid, Spain (from 2015)

USEK Université Saint-Esprit de Kaslik
Jounieh, Lebanon (from 2013)

Faculty of the Built Environment, Uganda Martyrs University
Nkozi, Uganda (from 2017)

Università degli Studi di Padova
Padova, Italy (from 2015)

The University of Texas at Austin, School of Architecture
Austin, USA (from 1998)

AA Architectural Association School of Architecture
London, UK (from 2014)

The Technical University of Munich
Munich, Germany (from 2016)

Politecnico di Milano
Milan, Italy (from 2015)

University of New South Wales
Sydney, Australia (from 2017)

Clemson University
Clemson, South Carolina, USA (from 2017)

Previously affiliated

Waterloo University
Ontario, Canada
(from 1995 to 1997)

Facultad de Diseno, Arte y Arquitectura
San José, Costarica (from 2003 to 2013)

Czech Techincal University
Prague, Czech Republic (from 2000 to 2015)

Waterford Insitute
of Technology

Wateford, Ireland (from 2000 to 2015)

Instituto Tecnològico
de Monterrey

Monterrey, Mexico (from 2001 to 2014)

School of Architecture,
Tsinghua University

Bejing, China (from 2011 to2015)

University of Cape Town
Cape Town, South Africa (from 2008 to 2015)

MIT Massachussetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, Massachussetts, USA

Tokyo Institute of Technology
Tokyo, Japan

Technische Universitat Dresden
Dresda, Germany

Università degli Studi dell'Aquila
L'Aquila, Italy

Accademia di Architettura di Mendrisio
Mendrisio, Switzerland

Makerere University 
Kampala, Uganda

Waseda University,
Tokyo, Japan

School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Chicago, USA

Università di Roma - La Sapienza
Rome, Italy

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