The 10th edition of “Designing with Natural Stone” will run from October 2 to 6, 2008 in Verona, Italy, in conjunction with Marmomacc, the leading international stone trade fair. Over 150 AIA architects from all over the U.S. have participated in previous editions of the course, and applications for this year’s course are now being reviewed.

Veronafiere offers this course, which is co-sponsored by Stone World magazine, to help architects learn advanced techniques in the use of marble, granite and other stone materials. The program is a unique combination of classroom lectures, guided architectural tours and field trips to nearby quarries. This year, in addition to visiting a local quarry in the Verona region, participants will travel to Carrara and visit the quarries used by Michelangelo - as well as to natural stone processing facilities. This comprehensive approach helps architects to better understand the full cycle, including how marble is quarried, cut, processed, finished, selected for specific jobs and installed, using the latest technologies and products.

In addition, the course provides time to explore Marmomacc, with its 1,300 exhibitors of stone and stone-related products and services from around the world.

“Designing with Natural Stone” has been recognized by the AIA as a “Best Practices and Trends” program. Comments from recent participants support this judgment:

“I am very glad I was able to attend the course. The friends and introductions I made are valuable, and the exposure to the Italian stone industry and learning experiences are appreciated and of good value.” - Brian O’Neill, Architect, Fulton County General Services Department, Atlanta, GA

“The opportunity to visit the quarries, meet the people and learn about the products will be extremely useful to me and my firm. No matter how many years of experience you may have, one of the things you learn while attending a course like this is how much you don’t know and how much more you need to learn.” - Ron Hobbs, Ron Hobbs Architects, Garland, TX

“The week was a beautifully choreographed symphony of learning, stone, food, wine, friendship and inspiration. May we all return to Italy with projects to build in stone.” - Naomi Darling, Studio ABK Architects, New Haven, CT

Participants earn about 20 AIA/CES learning-unit hours. Many classes also count as HSW credits, and two will focus on stone and sustainable design. The class is limited to 30 architects, including 16 from the U.S. and others from Canada, the UK, South Africa, India and Australia.

Scholarships - covering tuition, hotels and meals - are awarded on a competitive basis, based on a candidate’s demonstrated interest in the field, responsibilities within their firm and experience with stone. Participants are responsible for their own transportation to Verona as well as a $420 registration fee.

Those interested should submit a curriculum vitae and a cover letter specifying why they wish to participate in the course. The deadline for submitting applications is July 15. Applications can be sent to: The Consultants International Group: 1616 H Street NW, Washington, DC 20006; Fax: 202-393-4655; E-mail: