Students and Faculty participate in the 4th annual Cultural Exchange Workshops


Preparing students for a future in the cruise ship and super yacht design industry is a goal of the College of Architecture + The Arts Interior Architecture’s Certificate in Cruise Ship and Super Yacht Design (CSSY). Students in this certificate program have just returned from a cultural exchange and study abroad program, in which they visited the cities of La Spezia, Florence, Rome, and Papenburg, Germany. The trip was organized by the FIU Department of Interior Architecture in partnership with University of Genoa’s Naval Architecture program at Promostudi La Spezia Polo Universtario ‘G. Marconi’ campus., and Royal Caribbean. As a part of the CSSY program, an Italian Cultural Exchange Workshop occurs in the spring semester: FIU interior architecture students travel to Italy to work with Italian students and faculty and to learn yacht and cruise ship design, and naval architecture faculty and students from the University of Genoa visit FIU in the port city of Miami to learn the same.

In the week-long workshops, students from different countries work in teams on design projects. At the end of the workshops, they present their work to industry experts who help guide their learning experience. In addition to team projects, the workshops include trips to shipyards, boat shows, and lectures by leading designers and manufacturers. “There is nothing that compares to learning-by-doing,” says Janine King, Chair of the Department of Interior Architecture. “This is a very rich and important learning experience for our students.”

Upon completion of the week-long workshop in La Spezia, the group traveled to Papenburg, Germany where the Meyer Werft Company is building the next Royal Caribbean cruise ship. Coordinated through our alumni, Kelly Gonzalez, Vice-President, Architectural Design, Newbuilding & Fleet Design at Royal Caribbean, students received a tour of the shipyard, toured Royal Caribbean’s site office at the yard, climbed aboard the new ship under construction and also toured the full-scale mock-up room. This was an unique, exciting and informative trip for these talented students many of whom will be the next generation of designers in this growing industry.

The featured image is of Interior Architecture CSSY students visiting Azimut | Benetti in Viareggio, Italy

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