The Programme

The Programme


Course Outline & Structure


The year-long academic course is structured as follows:


·         Four month-long classes, divided in three core study modules, which run from October until the end of January in Venice

·         Three-month internship in any possible country (self applied, with assistance from the course team)

·         Five month-long period devoted to the final thesis (curatorial project)


Seminars form the core of each module’s programme, led by a select group of Professors from IUAV and fed into by a collection of Visiting Professors from a range of different disciplines and institutional backgrounds. The intention is to encourage a continual open dialogue through group discussions in order to develop ideas related to new exhibition formats, means of communication, and the expanding horizon of contemporary “curatorship”.


Lectures will be delivered by numerous curators, professionals and cultural practitioners including designers and architects. Key topic discussions will be based on required readings and the collective analysis of major theorists and critics (critical writing exercises will be a regular practice during the three study modules). In addition, field trips will be arranged in order to offer participants in the course an opportunity to visualise and analyse curatorial strategies from the past and the present.



History, Theory, and Contemporary Practice

The module will focus on the historical evolution of “curatorship” and exhibition making, with a close attention given to contemporary case studies in the fields of architecture and design. A comparative analysis of exhibition making between art and architecture will form the area of discourse for seminar discussions.



Object, Subject, Format

This module will focus on topics related to the purpose of the exhibition, examining ideas related to the nature of the object, the narrative of the subject, and the experimental potentiality of format.

Key areas that will be discussed include: representation and presentation in architecture and design, and the strategies and languages for display and communication within a wide variety of media.

Part of this module will be dedicated to the specific approach and project plan for the participant’s individual curatorial thesis project. This will assume the format of a Catalogue Essay. A colloquia will be convened and will bring together critics and writers, experts in visual media, semiotics, and anthropology, as well as practicing curators.



Thinking Outside the (Museum) Box

The first part of this module will be wholly devoted to subjects related to the museum, large international exhibitions and public spaces, and the spatial dynamics and behaviour of the public – including the role of digital platforms and social networks.

The second part of this module will be framed as a laboratory in which skillsets acquired thus far will be applied in order to analyse and verify the strategies outlined in the exhibitions of La Biennale di Venezia during scheduled group visits. Particular emphasis will be paid to proposals that open and merge with other disciplinary areas and generate reflections on the current boundaries of curatorial practice.



At the end of the third module, students will begin a three month-long internship in one of a broad range of possible institutions, organisations, and companies. This placement can be within museums, cultural institutions (such as the Biennale, Triennale), with autonomous professionals, online publishing platforms, or with print media. The experience of this internship is not only a moment to complement further independent research and to have hands-on curatorial practice, but is also an opportunity to build real-world relationships and future collaborations with colleagues and professionals involved in the expanded curatorial field.



The course culminates in an independent thesis, conceived as an academically rigorous written research for an original exhibition project. The output will be a Catalogue containing an essay explaining the conceptual framework, the elements to be explored, the concept for display within a determined space, and a complete and thorough description of all the topics required to materialize the exhibition project. The final presentation can assume different formats according to the theme and strategies.

During all of the modules, class time will be dedicated to the thesis theme with faculty tutors. The thesis project will be presented by the student and discussed with board comprised of faculty members following the internship