Over the past six years, Veronafiere's course for American Institute of Architects (AIA) members has established itself as a leader in continuing education programs for architects. In fact, at the June 2004 AIA CES Registered Provider Conference and Marketplace in Chicago, a Veronafiere representative was invited by the AIA to speak on a “Best Practices & Trends in Continuing Education” panel. The course's success is due to a unique combination of classroom lectures, field trips, exploration of the Marmomacc exhibition and guided architectural tours. All of this takes place in or near Verona, Italy, a city with more than 2,000 years of stone-working tradition.

Over 70 AIA members have taken the course thus far, and there has been widespread praise among stone specifiers. “I have been all over the world to stone events,” said Darrell Petit of Darrell Petit, LLC in Stony Creek, CT. “This was the best organized and most interesting.”

“Not only would I recommend this experience to anyone, but I would go again in a heartbeat,” said Samuel Herpin of Remson-Haley Architects in Baton Rouge, LA.

The 2005 edition of “Designing with Natural Stone,” co-sponsored by Stone World Magazine, will be held from Wednesday, September 28, through Saturday, October 1, during Marmomacc, a leading international trade fair for the stone industry. Participants should plan to arrive in Verona on Tuesday, September 27, in time for a welcoming dinner and may depart on Sunday, October 2.

Starting with a field trip to a quarry and a granite factory, and continuing with a visit to a production facility for natural stones and agglomerates, the program helps architects learn how marble is quarried, treated, cut, selected for specific jobs, and then installed using the latest products and technologies. The course also includes a tour of Palladian villas, ample time for touring Marmomacc, and, for the first time, a seminar on wine and architecture.

The course is open to 16 AIA architects, each of whom will receive a scholarship that largely covers tuition, hotel and meals. Architects are responsible for their own airfare, as well as a $350 fee for certain local expenses. Scholarships are awarded based on a candidate's demonstrated interest in the field, responsibilities within their firm and experience with stone projects. Selected architects will earn approximately 20 AIA/CES learning-unit hours. Many classes will also count as HSW credits. The course is also recognized by the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada and the Royal Institute of British Architecture, and it will include architects from Canada, the U.K.,w India, Australia and South Africa.

Those interested in applying should send a curriculum vitae and a letter explaining why they wish to participate no

later than July 15, 2005 to Julie Buss at The Consultants International Group; E-mail: jbuss@cig-dc.com; Fax: 202-393-4655.