ISB Summer School 2019


Artena, Italy, July 13–20, 2019


The power to transmit is skyrocketing while our human capability to communicate is dying. This global phenomenon is accelerating to the point of deteriorating communities and adversely affecting social relations, politics, and justice, along with the symbolic systems of cities, rurality, and landscape.


We need design to build real communication among human beings, recover the environment, landscape, and means of production, as well as rethink political economy for a new and wise form of belonging.


After five years of study, our international working group will gather July 13–20, 2019 in the ancient town of Artena, Italy to design solutions together.

Thinkers, designers, writers, entrepreneurs, politicians, economists, citizens, activists, and artists will gather for a deliberative democracy experience aimed at bringing home seeds of future.


Impressive keynote lectures will counterpoint circular transdisciplinary workshops to prototype a biourban model of city, landscape, and civic organization that encompasses identity, politics, epistemology, and design.

Theory and exploration will be put into practice exactly where we will live and work among some of the most inspiring designers, artists, and thinkers in the world.


The International Society of Biourbanism 2019 Summer School will be held in Artena. Historically known as Montefortino, literally “Mountain Fortress”, Artena is a picturesque hilltop town situated in the Italian Lepini Mountains of Lazio. The historical center of Artena dates back to the 13th century. Its form has been protected by two natural ravines along its sides, hindering urban sprawl. Artena had been destroyed and rebuilt five times until 1557, hence its saying: “Ex cinere resurgo—From ashes, I rise”.

In Artena, we root into lectures, design, and practices that converge in the Mediterranean. As part of the school, we explore the neighboring sites of Sperlonga, Segni, and Sabaudia. Located just 40 minutes from Rome (by either car or train), Artena and its surrounding mountains and seaside welcome a mild warmth, making summer very pleasant and alive.


Living and working together in a special biophilic, historical environment is integral to the ISB experience. Participants will stay in the historical village center, enjoying the local architecture and building techniques. We will gather inside the village and share meals in a typical “cantina”.

Social Activity

There are excursions with drawing/photography sessions for steeping in the environment and critical biourban issues: the medieval city of Segni with its Cyclopean walls, whose stakes predate Rome; the foundational city of Sabaudia, echoed by Pier Paolo Pasolini’s lesson, and the gorgeous town and beach of Sperlonga, facing the sunrise of the Mediterranean. This day trip offers a few hours of crystalline sea, sun, and contemplation. Concerts, such as Live Artena, exhibitions, and artistic practices cross our activities throughout the entire week.


The summer school is in English and Italian (translation available).

Summer School Fee

€520 + lodging (€175 for 7 nights, shared double accommodation) + meals (€125 for 7 dinners and snacks/vegetarian and halal available upon request).

Enrollment is booked upon payment and includes the ISB 2019 membership and insurance. Visa assistance available. The fees for lodging and meals are due on site.

The school’s tuition is kept as low as possible so that it can be as accessible to as many valuable people as possible.

Registration Deadline

June 20, 2019

An admission request along with your CV should be sent to:

Please note that space is limited. As a result, applications may close earlier than presented.

International Society of Biourbanism Design Summer School

Unique, dynamic, independent and international, the Biourbanism Design Summer School is much more than a school of architecture and urbanism. Born as a global biourbanism research network, the school aims at producing a functional and effective human-oriented design. Its events include public lectures, symposia, seminars, workshops, research clusters, and fieldwork. Tutors, lecturers, and researchers are recognized across various disciplines. The school is held at its consolidated home in Artena.

Follow for more details:

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Contact:  +39 393 942 6561

Parallel Mule School

There will be a 3-day practice to learn the art of muleteering from Maestro Emilio “Occhio” Bucci, official muleteer of Artena and member of the longest lineage of Artenese muleteers. Mules are central to the life of this ancient town that prohibits cars. Thanks to Emilio and his mules, the municipality of Artena is a national recycling success. E-mail with “Too Mule for School” in the subject line, or call +39 393 942 6561 to enroll in this parallel practice.

Image: “Sandworm” by Marco Casagrande, photograph by Nikita Wu Chi-Ling

Previous ISB Summer School’s

SUMMER SCHOOL 2012 with Walking Through the Borgo

SUMMER SCHOOL 2013 with Regeneration City