The 15th edition of “Designing with Natural Stone” will run from September 23 to 27, 2012, in Verona and Milan, Italy, in conjunction with Marmomacc, the world’s leading trade show for stone and design. More than 235 architects from across the U.S. have participated in previous editions of the course. Scholarship applications for this year’s course will be accepted until July 15.

Veronafiere offers this course 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 local quarries, as well as to natural stone processing facilities. This comprehensive approach enables architects to better understand stone’s full lifecycle — including how marble is quarried, cut, processed, finished, selected for specific jobs and installed — all using the latest technologies and products.

The 2013 edition will include visits to a nearby Breccia Pernice quarry and stone processing plant, an architectural tour of Verona, case studies of The Smith Center for the Performing Arts in Las Vegas, NV, and the Canadian Museum of Human Rights in Winnipeg, Canada, sessions on sustainable stone design, and a day-long visit of Fila Industria Chimica’s headquarters and laboratory. Fila, a manufacturer of surface care and maintenance products for natural stone and other materials, will host participants as part of the company’s 75th anniversary celebration. In addition, the course provides time to explore Marmomacc, with its more than 1,500 exhibitors of stone and stone-related products from around the world.

A new educational session offered this year will challenge architects to use their time at Marmomacc to select stone for a specific project – participants will be provided with specifications for either a residential or a commercial project — and then present their selection to a panel of stone experts. This interactive session was conceived to guide architects through a practical, hands-on stone selection process.

“Designing with Natural Stone” has been recognized by the AIA as a “Best Practices and Trends” educational program. Comments from last year’s students support this judgment:

“Although I have previously been to several quarries and fabrication plants, I found this course to be very useful in that it provided a complete overview of material selection, quarry, fabrication, testing, and installation methods. There was also a good balance of lectures, facility visits and cultural visits. The course was very relevant to my current work.”— Nicole Dosso, Skidmore, Owings & MerrillLLP, New York, NY

“In general, the quality of the lectures and lecturers was excellent, a one-of-a-kind positive experience of practical educational value and interest.”— J. Patrick Allen, Langdon Wilson International, Newport Beach, CA

“The course was absolutely relevant. It provided great insight into the history and industry practices and methods for the use of stone as a building material. This was truly a focused learning experience covering all aspects of this industry that anyone using stone materials in their practice should not miss!”— Steve Trott, Hnedak Bobo Group, Inc. Memphis, TN

Participants earn more than 22 AIA/CES continuing education hours. Most classes also count as HSW credits. The class is limited to 30 architects, with 16 from the U.S. and the others from Canada, the U.K., South Africa, India and Singapore.

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 $490 registration fee. Those interested should fax or e-mail to the address below their curriculum vitae and a cover letter specifying why they wish to take part in the course. The deadline for submitting applications is July 15.

The course is co-sponsored by Stone Worldmagazine and supported by the Marble Institute of America, which donates a copy of its MIA Dimension Stone Design Manualto all participants.

Please send applications to: Larissa Presniakov, The Consultants International Group: 1616 H Street NW, Washington, DC 20006; Fax: (202) 393-4655; E-mail: