Crunch Time

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As the end of our time in Italy nears, our final projects do too. The last five weeks have built up to these last few days. Wednesday is our final review for the map we are creating of “The Eternal City”, Rome. On Friday we visited Hadrian’s Villa in Tivoli, and the gardens and fountains at Villa d’este. Since then the pressure has been on.

Back at the apartments each group has their spaces covered in various templates, french curves, pencils, and paper. We are on the home stretch and can see the light at the end of the tunnel. For Natalia and I the rendering is in full swing. Perspectives have been prepped and filling in the details is the name of the game. We have taken over the laundry room in the women’s apartment, setting up drawings and spreading out onto the drying racks.

If you were to walk around the two apartments you would see an organized mess unified by chaos. Our motivation at this point is seeing the development of each other. Up until a few days ago we were rigorously sketching in our moleskins (sketchbooks). Now our attention has shifted to large-scale final drawings on 12” x 18” paper.

As a group our base map is near completion and we just need to finish rendered drawings to fill in the gaps. The shape that is in development is obscure and strange, it will be looked at upside down, right side up, and will make you twist your neck to figure out what is going on. This is all in hopes of creating an interesting view of the city of Rome, which breaks down our perceptions of time and space, and to see the city in a new unique way.

With four days remaining we are being powered by 1-euro Redbull, espresso shots, and pasta. Sleep will be made-up between our Wednesday reviews and Saturday when we leave to Turkey. At this point all-nighters are immanent. The silver lining is that we will have improved our skills as designers, architects and landscapers alike, and that these next few days will fly by.

Our time in Italy has been beyond description; pictures even fall short of explaining what we have experienced thus far. We have created lifelong friendships and bonds that will go beyond this trip. We have learned from each other, and been each other’s motivation. So now, we buckle down and prepare for our final week in Rome.

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