Rosalynn Wells | May 8, 2019
First year architecture education provides foundational techniques that allow students, who enter architecture school with a range of artistic skill levels, to develop the sketching and watercolor skills that are essential to Notre Dame’s approach to design. Professor Giuseppe Mazzone, who teaches the first semester studio, is charged with helping students develop those skills. During his Fall 2018 studio, he found a fascinating way to introduce first-year students to creating shades and shadows in their work. Prof. Mazzone designed a project for first-year students to recreate the Parthenon Frieze in graphite on mylar. The resulting project is a stunning 77 panel representation of the frieze. Prof. Mazzone explains his inspiration for the project and his teaching process in an interview below.
*Interview edited for clarity and brevity.
School of Architecture (SOA): What is the Parthenon Frieze project and why did you choose to include it in your freshman studio?
Mazzone: Usually in the freshmen class there is an assignment intended to teach shape and shadow. I wanted something where each student could contribute to a larger project. There were 75 students and I felt like the frieze was a good option because it contains similarity in terms of the subject–for each part of frieze, there’s a person sitting on a horse. So each student would have a similar contribution to the project. During the summer I redrew the whole frieze because I needed to make sure that all the students had the right challenge but it did not need to be exactly identical for all of them. I did the drawing slightly smaller than the original and I scanned the whole drawing. So I assigned each part randomly to students. They were free to give their own interpretation to their portion of the frieze. I gave them references for some of the parts to show them the shapes and shadows.
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