Welcome to my blog!

My name is Dan. I’m a faculty member and chair of the Interior Design program at Bellevue College, in Bellevue, Washington, USA – across Lake Washington from Seattle. (For those interested in the geography.)

I’ll be reporting on our study abroad activity in Florence, August 23-September 12, 2017 and sharing with you the activities we’re experiencing. This will include examples of student work, as well as some of my own drawings, as I practice the lessons I’m giving the students along the way.

Accompanying me on this trip is John Passmore – my esteemed Interior Design colleague at BC – and fourteen students interested in drawing and experiencing what Florence has to offer. John’s been an instrumental part of planning this inaugural trip. Thanks to his prior experiences in Italy and near encyclopedic knowledge of Renaissance painters and architects, we’ve been collaborating on the itinerary and curriculum for the past year. What a privilege to be sharing this experience with him and our students.

Also making this trip possible is Li Liu, study abroad coordinator for Bellevue College, who brought this opportunity to my attention. Thanks, as well, to the American Institute of Foreign Study (AIFS), who is hosting our students and faculty through their Florence study center for customized faculty-led programs. Ged, Sophie, Trung, Marta, and Gina have been amazing hosts, and Kirsty, AIFS VP in their home office, and Karen in the USA office of AIFS. This awesome team really does bring the world together.

Finally, I want to thank the Northern Pacific chapter of the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) for their generous contribution to my trip preparation and research through the Spencer deMille Traveling Fellowship. This fellowship allowed me to visit Florence last year, meet the AIFS staff, tour the key sites, live like a local for a couple weeks, and return with the students this year feeling right at home. In addition, the fellowship allowed me to visit Venice and see the architecture Biennale, participate in Anita Lehmann’s drawing workshop in Civita di Bagnoregio, and do a whirlwind tour of Rome on my way home. The entire trip kicked off an amazing sabbatical focusing on drawing and study abroad preparation. I’ll be presenting a report on my fellowship experiences to the IIDA NPC chapter on November 9, 2017.