Landscape Architecture College of Design

Tradition in Transformation

Tradition in Transformation is a Spring Semester program that explores Istanbul as a city that is constantly engaged in the dialogue of modernity and tradition. Istanbul serves as a living laboratory, rich in history, curious in juxtaposition, and perennially captivated in the relationship of past, present, and future.

This program focuses on the city of Istanbul, but begins with a five-week drawing class in Rome to draw intellectual connections across East and West through art and religion.

Courses are taught by faculty from the University of Minnesota's School of Architecture, Department of Landscape Architecture, and academic institutions in Rome and Istanbul.

Courses Include:

  • Rome: Drawing (-in) the Eternal City. An immersive drawing class that will study, analyze and investigate the spaces of the buildings, landscapes, monuments and public spaces of Rome. The course will also include site visits to Ostia Antica and Tivoli.
  • Istanbul: The City in Visual Culture. A seminar course, supplemented with guest lectures from Turkish academics, historians, architects, landscape architects, and photographers that explores the city’s visual culture.
  • Byzantium + Istanbul: Crossroads of East and West. A history course that explores the broad arc of Byzantine and Ottoman architecture and landscape. The course will also include visits to Bursa and Edirne — the earlier capitals of the Ottoman Empire, and will include walks and “on-site” lectures through the city.
  • Istanbul Design Studio: Tradition in Transformation. An interdisciplinary design studio that looks at the legacy of the Bosphorous, and its importance as an essential artery of the city.

In both Rome and Istanbul, students will have access to fully equipped academic centers (with studio space, classrooms, and student service support). The course fee covers all housing (in shared apartments), UMN and departmental administration costs, metro-cards in Rome and Istanbul, visas for students in Turkey, all field visits, site trips and museum and monument access, as well as the cost of the flight from Rome to Istanbul.


Open to University of Minnesota College of Design undergraduate students in the B.Arch, BDA, and LD+P programs.


  • Vince deBritto, Lecturer in Landscape Architecture
  • Brad Agee, Lecturer in Landscape Architecture
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