The idea of hosting university students in his office came to Renzo Piano in 1992, in memory of his late brother Ermanno.

The agreements with Rice University in Houston (1992), the University of Brasilia (1999) and Harvard University (2001) enabled the first students to arrive in the office.

In 2004, with the establishment of the Foundation, the promotion of internships at the Renzo Piano Building Workshops in Genoa and Paris has become one of its principal activities, with the aim of offering training experiences to students and recent architecture graduates.

During the six-month internship the students have the opportunity to visit the Foundation’s headquarters and archives, conduct an inspection in one of the building sites in progress, accompanied by an architect from the office. In Genoa, students are hosted in the apartments of the Foundation while in Paris they are assisted to find accommodation in the city.

In the office the students work like any other architects, joining one of the teams and actively participating in every phase of the project and the construction site. The goal is learning by doing, bridging the gap between university teaching and the profession.


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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