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8 May 2013

Architecture Student Receives Fontainebleau Prize

Graduate Architecture student Diego Arias-Caballero has received the 2012 Premier Pris de l’Ecole des Beaux-Arts de Fontainebleau and will return to the Chateau Fontainebleau and join the faculty of the Fontainebleau Summer Academy during the summer of 2013 as a teaching assistant. The Academy provides prize winners with a studio at the Cité Internationale des Arts in the heart of Paris for three months.

Diego_drawing-R.jpg The Fontainebleau Prize is awarded to the top student each year at the Fontainebleau Summer Academy, based on drawing ability, engagement in the program, and ability to communicate in all aspects of presentation (drawn and verbal). At left is a drawing entitled Parking Lo(t)ve, produced by Diego while participating in the 2012 Fontainebleau program.

An international graduate student in the 2-year Master of Architecture program, Diego was selected to receive Virginia Tech’s 2012 Fontainebleau Scholarship. Established by Architecture alumnus Robert Turner (B.Arch. 1972), this biennial scholarship, first awarded in 2004, has enabled a selected architecture student to participate in the Summer Academy, held southeast of Paris at the 16th century Chateau Fontainebleau, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Beginning in July 2012, an international group of 21 university students assembled at the Chateau Fontainebleau for four weeks of workshops and seminars, followed by a week of travel in France. The workshops involved participating in weekly interdisciplinary design charrettes. In the final charrette, each architecture student teamed with a student of musical composition. For Diego, this workshop became the highlight of the program. He found working with the composers to be inspiring, discovering that they “think similarly to architects.”

The architecture faculty for the 2012 Fontainebleau Summer Academy included director Anthony Emmanuel Bechu, Tom Sheehan, Pablo Lorenzino, Anne Scheou, Antonio Fausto, Phillipe Niez, David Leclerc, Jean-Guy Lecat, Daniel Vaniche, Margaret Gray, and Mireille Roddier. Referring to the rich educational environment at the Chateau Fontainebleau, Diego indicated, “It makes you very productive.” He looks forward to returning to France following graduation for this year’s Fontainebleau Summer Academy.

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