Milan and Siena 2020

Beauty, leadership, and innovation

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A course about beauty: its meaning, its history, its connections to culture and the economy, and its role in generating value, innovation, and well-being.

An experience of beauty: one month in Milan, a world capital of fashion and design, and one in Siena, a perfectly preserved medieval city that included the creation of beauty as part of its original constitution.

Study aesthetics, cultural economics, smart cities, storytelling and fiction, Italian film, creative industries, and beauty as an indispensable device for change and sustainability.

Visit fashion showrooms and concept stores, the oldest surviving bank in the world, the hospital-museum Santa Maria della Scala, the Vespa scooter collection in the Piaggio Museum, the Isola Bella in Lake Maggiore, and some hyper-contemporary cultural spaces such as the Armani Sylos and HangarBicocca.

Learn the techniques for making espresso and latte art, the basic procedures to creating a professional logo—and indeed create the logo for our program under the supervision of leading strategic designers. Spend the night in a castle in the prosecco region, with a visit to a cantina that has been making the famous sparkling wine since 1600.
Join one of Siena’s contrade and participate in the momentous preparation for the Palio, the horse race that for centuries has taken place annually in Piazza del Campo.

No knowledge of Italian required. Optional Italian language instruction is offered both at the beginner and intermediate/advanced level, though not for credit.

No prior courses in the humanities or economics are required to apply to the program. Part of what makes this program rich and incisive is the very fact that our group will be composed of students in the arts and humanities, laboratory sciences, and social sciences and economics.

All this and more, from June 16 to August 18, 2020.

For further information about the program and the course of study or to be put in touch with students who attended the program in previous years, do not hesitate to contact the program director, Prof. Francesco Erspamer,