This course explores the delights and dilemmas of making physical objects. With simple tools and modest materials (paper and pencils, brushes and paint, glue and recycled cardboard) we will make drawings, collages, sculptures, and architectural models. To make means to imagine and design; it also means to research and analyze. Making engages our minds, bodies, and all our senses.

Making something as small as a pencil sketch or as large as a building is a dynamic process. Like music or dance, it takes time and often requires many interrelated steps. While the process of making unfolds in time, its products endure through time. Works of art and architecture are therefore paradoxically at once dynamic and still. They reflect the dynamic processes whereby they were made. They evoke memories and suggest the aspirations of their makers. Buildings, paintings, and drawings embody ideas about what it means to be alive and to experience the world.

Associate Professor of Architecture and Art
The School of Architecture at the University of Virginia
B.S.E. in Civil Engineering, Princeton University;
M.Arch., Princeton University

Sanda Iliescu is a practicing artist and professor of art and architecture at the University of Virginia. She received a BSE in civil engineering and a Masters of Architecture, both from Princeton University. Among her professional awards are The Rome Prize and The Distinguished Artist Award of the New Jersey State Council of the Arts. Iliescu's artwork is represented by Vagabond Gallery in New York, and Les Yeux du Monde in Charlottesville.

Iliescu has a deep interest in public art and its potential to enrich the community and contribute to the common good. In response to a rash of hate and racial graffiti on campus in 2005, she designed the project, 271 Words, in which 271 local citizens and students painted the words of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. In the summer of 2008, Iliescu worked with local citizens to create Blades of Grass: A Bus Painted for Children, a project sponsored by the Charlottesville Parks & Recreation Department, Piedmont Council for the Arts, and The Bridge/Progressive Arts Initiative. In 2010, Iliescu contributed to the Day of Dialogue at the University of Virginia. Initiated by President Teresa Sullivan, this event began a focused public discussion on issues of violence, abuse, and intolerance on campus. Titled "Lines of Darkness and Light," Iliescu's project entailed the temporary covering of the ten south facing columns of the Rotunda in black, yet transparent veils.
Iliescu's edited volume The Hand and the Soul: aesthetics and ethics in architecture and art was published in 2009 by the University of Virginia Press. Her published essays include "The Garden as Collage" (Studies in the History of Gardens and Landscape Design, fall 2007), "Beyond Cut-And-Paste" (Places: Forum of Design for the Public Realm, spring 2008), and "Laoco├Ân" (City Secrets: Rome, 2nd edition, Robert Kahn, ed., fall 2010).

Lessons in Making

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About this Class

Sanda Iliescu

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