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Glasgow, Scotland: The Spirit of Place

    July/August – 21 days on-site (with pre- and post-trip class meetings)
    6 Credits consisting of two 3-credit courses:

  • HUMT396: Humanities/Cultural Studies Travel Elective
  • FA396: Fine Arts Studio Travel Elective OR DS396: Design Studio Travel Elective
  • Pre-requisites: Completed Freshman year by time of travel and instructor approval

“Man dwells when he can orientate himself within and identify himself with an environment, or when he experiences the environment as meaningful. Dwelling therefore implies something more than “shelter”. It implies that the spaces where life occurs are places, a space which has a distinct character. Since ancient times the genius loci, or “spirit of place”, has been recognized as the concrete reality man has to face and come to terms with in his daily life.”
 Christian Norberg-Schulz

There is uniqueness to every place, a “genius loci.” Every place both harbors and reveals its own secrets. As we dwell in a place each of us derives our own lessons from the secrets we uncover about that place. These lessons are tempered and framed by the manner of that discovery. The artist-designer utilizes multiple media including a particular medium of his/her choosing for uncovering and grappling with such secrets.

This course is about the conscious awareness and integration of one’s experience of a place into one’s work. Glasgow, Scotland, with its multifaceted history written into its landscape, is an ideal location to explore this process. It is an urban center with ancient roots amidst the largely rural landscape of Scotland; a history formed layer upon layer that must now reconcile competing agendas as an emerging present challenges an ancient past. The art and design work of the renowned group known as “The Four,” emerging from the Glasgow School of Art in the late 19th century, will provide a case study of integration, collaboration, and expression of place. Students will also utilize the facilities at the Glasgow School of Art during their stay.

Through this course, we want students to investigate the relationship between creative work and particular place. Students will have the opportunity to think about how their work can be a genuine embodiment of their experience, in this case, Glasgow. Can they create something there that they could not or would not anywhere else? Can they create something that can communicate to others what their experience of Glasgow was about?

The goal here is for students to be enriched with an awareness of experience and place, so that any time they travel somewhere they may be inclined to bring the same kind of attitude; to seek out that place, the heart or spirit or genius loci of the place.


Robert Lynch, Professor in the Interior Architecture and Design Program, has taught at MIAD for 17 years. Prior to his arrival, Professor Lynch taught in the School of Architecture and Interior Design the University of Cincinnati and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He has previously taught in MIAD’s study abroad program in Ireland.

Courtney Maloney, Associate Professor of Writing & Humanities and Chair of Writing & Humanities has been full-time faculty at MIAD since 2006. She has previously taught in MIAD’s study abroad program in Ireland.

Estimated Cost: $3975
Includes 6 credits summer tuition, housing, field trips, museum fees, studio space on-site and some meals. (Airfare NOT included.)

Application Deadline:
November 30, 2012. Students must apply for program. Deposit of $600 must be submitted with completed application materials by deadline. After student is accepted, deposit is non-refundable.

Minimum enrollment (12) must be met for course to run. Deposits will be returned if course is canceled because of insufficient enrollment or if student is not accepted.
Download application materials

Financial Aid:
Financial aid is available for qualified students. Interested students should inquire at the MIAD Financial Aid office as soon as possible to determine eligibility. Students should be aware that financial aid cannot be distributed any earlier than 7 days before course begins, so other means to cover required payments, purchase of airfare, etc, should be planned.

Payments on balance of course fee and tuition will be due in the MIAD Business Office*:
November 30, 2012 – $600 Deposit After student is accepted, deposit is non-refundable.
February 1, 2013 – $450
March 15, 2013 – $450
July 1, 2013 – $2475 FINAL PAYMENT **

Full payment is required before program begins.
* Payments beyond the initial deposit may also be non-refundable if expenses have already been paid on participant’s behalf.
** Students expecting financial aid can apply this to their final payment

Jenny Krantz, Director, Creative Learning Opportunities & Research –

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