Atelier retreat (in Italy):
for university teachers

Photo: Battista. Fagetto Azienda Agricola Agrituristica. Battista is an architect, and used to lecture in Florence. Now he teaches about biodynamical agriculture from his first hand experience. To us, biodynamic is a beautiful immersion in deep time, which is integrated in our atelier’s first hand experience. It has strong roots in Italy, such as through the Slow Food Movement which also had an exhibition in the World Expo in Milan in 2015.

The atelier in Italy is organised as a bespoke assignments for and with clients. If you are an employer - such as a dean of a faculty - and would be interested in the atelier as a pedagogical retreat or training of trainers (ToT) for your lecturers, professors, a new educational consortium, PHD students or otherwise, feel free to contact us, telling us what you you need, so that we can think alongside you and co-create an atelier.

In principle we can organise an atelier once every season. Italy serves are our inspiration and fills all our imagination, yet we can also organise it for you elsewhere, if you can offer to be the local partner for the logistcs etc. Feel free to approach us directly via:

Image: quick sketch of the elements of the atelier as a retreat in the form of a ‘blended learning wave’. Click to expand. Model created by Breimer during the Erasmus+ programme DigtelPro, based on  TU Delft / WP Dijkstra.

Do you like our teacher training such as StudiOpedia, and audio podcast ‘How to design a resilient curriculum’, but need it to be more compact and with more ‘face to face’ in person guidance right at the level of seniority and responsibility of your team of educational professionals?

Could your team use a time horizon reset, a detox from technology, one that brings them back to the present tense, the simplicity of undivided attention and flow? Alternating with working with their hands - away from screens - and la dolce far niente?

We have created a 1-week European atelier that does exactly that. In just one week, your educational professionals’ team can be trained in the technical side of designing a resilient blended or bichronous interdisciplinary and resilient curriculum - one that lasts up to a decade, and gives them a good ground and soil for their own vitality too.  

There is an enormous added value in this opportunity to exchange experiences, in a relaxing environment, with no pressure – just inspiration and cross-learning.

A place where all one’s senses can relax - the optimal conditions for deep learning. Being almost off the radar for a week, is also an excellent way to tune in to deep time - not only for teachers’ own perception of your time horizon, but also for your technical content.

The teacher trainer is our StudioBlended independent senior advisor, Tikvah Breimer (MSc MEd MSc).

The atelier is located in an inspiring and calming setting deep off the beaten tracks, in Tuscany, Italy. Your teachers will be picked up by our personal friends at Pisa airport, to bring the teachers to their estate with biodynamic agriculture and local cuisine.

We can ensure your teams’ undivided attention for the whole week - there is no Internet (the roaming on your phone does work). We aim to offer the resilience course as a compact, analogue training with teachers and peers who are also fully present. A wonderful way to detox, refresh yourself in simplicity.

Find more below, about the atelier concept, the schedule, and participants, the biodynamic stay and the arrangements.

'Ha um gosto de vitoria e encanto na condicao de ser simples.
Nao e preciso muito para ser muito.'

'There is a sense of victory and delight in the condition of being simple.
You don't need a lot to be a lot.'

Lina Bo Bardi / Italian Brazilian architect,
winner Venice Architecture Biennale’s
Special Golden Lion award 2021

Photo: Battista. Breimer 2017

The atelier
The atelier is a unique place of craftmanship. By working with our hands on a product – we make a hand-heart-head connection as the philosopher and sociologist Sennett (2008) explains. The atelier is typically full of all kinds of tools, each with their own purpose – one that you must first familiarize yourself with, and practice with, until you reach the level of the master which is part of a lifelong enjoyment of learning and growth.

Our StudioBlended lead, Tikvah Breimer, is fascinated by this concept of working with your hands in an atelier. For years, in her free time, she has been an apprentice in the atelier of a talented goldsmith. In the field of architecture and urban planning, she worked as a trainer/lecturer in action planning, alongside seniors at the Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies (IHS), Erasmus University Rotterdam (NL). It is in through the combination of both that she created the idea and design for the resilience course.

We use the StudiOpedia in an analogue way for the atelier in Italy. Likewise, we work with the raw material of the styllized cases, away from the screen.

Photo: Niemeyer’s drawings, Breimer 2018

Photo: Niemeyer’s auditorium, Breimer 2018

Photo: Thermae in the vicinity, Breimer 2017

Stylized cases and Schedule
In the atelier, we work with an innovative and contemporary, interdisciplinary/transdisciplinary stylized case. A stylized case is a real-world situation, crafted for pedagogical purposes. Especially for the atelier, the teacher trainer will have developed a unique styllized case on trees.

The styllized case of the atelier touches upon universal themes, and technical content that allows sufficient passion, controversy and depth for educational professionals from all kinds of disciplines. 

The styllized case centers on trees/the forest, and is contextualised to the background region of origin of the lecturers and in dialogue with their dean/team leader, and offers plenty of entries for educational technical design angles, especially interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary curriculum design. 

At the end of the day, the point is not the styllized case, but what it allows you to learn by using the techniques for blended and resilient curriculum design.
Interdisciplinary curricula resonate with our ever more complex reality and world, and therefore with the various technical content fields lecturers work in. Interdisciplinarity/transdisciplinarity is very much in the spirit of Leonardo Da Vinci. His works are over 500 years old now. Leonardo admired everything in nature, including human beings, as integral part of the whole.  

In your freetime, you can admire Leonardo da Vinci’s work, in Florence.

Photo: the Davinci Network, prof. Martin Kemp

Photo: Florence, Breimer 2017

Photo: Your teacher trainer, Tikvah Breimer Florence, Breimer 2018.

Groupwork in the morning, free in the afternoon
Two groups are formed, with a maximum of four participants in each.

The participants can use the styllized case, to gain technique using the modules of the StudiOpedia. We aim for a solid base of ‘hand-heart-head’ understanding of each technique, by working hands-on.

Through groupwork, interactions with the trainer and peers, each lecturer becomes skilled in the formats, lenses, principles and frameworks as they apply them to their stylized case. The contrast and comparison offer new learning, exchange, between the groups.

The afternoons allow for a true retreat. The pleasant environment is also inviting for spontaneous encounters with peers, the teacher trainer without any time pressure, facilitating a more organic way to learn.

Photo: Breimer 2018

A spectrum of teachers is welcome. Course coordinators and (senior) lecturers such as professors, equally as PhD candidates, or consortium members, can register for the atelier by themselves. Every season in Europe offers the possibility for StudioBlended to organize the atelier together with our Italian counterparts. Either a group comes together via a client (ie. a teamleader), or we simply wait until we can curate a meaningful group. The minimum is 6 participants, maximum 8. The small participant group is vital for high impact. 

Photo: Breimer 2017
Photo: Breimer 2017

Photo: Breimer 2018

Biodynamic stay in Italy
Since most university lecturers
work in education as a side-step alongside research, and projects, they may be used to staying in endless similar hotels. We offer something refreshing in its simplicity.

Photo: Rina. Breimer 2017

Photo: Rina. Fagetto Azienda Agricola Agrituristica

The location of the atelier is in a high quality bed and breakfast, one that gives you a chance to breathe and calms you with its beauty. It is situated in an inspiring environment that has added meaning to the objectives of the atelier, showing a more organic way of life.

Deep off the beaten track of the roads in Tuscany, Italy, our StudioBlended lead, Tikvah Breimer, allows participants into her life in Italy, to meet Battista and Rina. Battista is an architect and lecturer himself, who together with Rina decided to give up his working life in Florence and invest in this property to work on the land and grow crops, biodynamically. Rina cooks wonderfully, and treats every lecturer coming in, as the most special person in the world. Together they will allow the participants to immerse themselves in a calming and inspiring environment. 

It is also possible to rent a car upon arrival at Pisa airport, which will allow day trips in the afternoon. For instance, to see Oscar Niemeyers auditorium in Ravello, or bathe in the Thermae close by.

The idea is to stay for a week, to unplug from other duties and avoid hassles of travel, create more opportunities and possibilities for spontaneous meetings with the trainer. All stay for the entire week, to unwind, and be readily available.

We are already organizing ourselves to try and see whether we can offer morning exercise sessions, to train you as a corporate athlete – very much in line with the human capability of resilience. Everything is optional for you to join, spontaneously. We do get up early, to make the most of our most productive brain-time in the morning, and allow you daylight for day-trips!

The evenings are full of wonder, the best of local foods, new company and colored by the season.

Everyone returns home well rested with new resilience  - even the trainer, to show by example that it is possible to deliver a course with human resilience.

You can find the Azienda Agricola Agrituristica here and get a pre-taste of its welcoming atmosphere.

Photo: Azienda Agricola Agrituristica

Photo: Breimer 2018

StudioBlended will arrange everything for you with our local partner, from the pick-up at Pisa airport, the overnight stays and all your meals, homemade from local produce. Your team members only need to book your flight to Pisa, Italy. We chose this entry to Italy, because it is easily reached from across Europe, and the world.

The atelier requires organisation, development of material and time investment by our teacher trainer. We do not make a profit; we only cover our honest salaries, and costs in the total price of the atelier per person. The experience is unforgettable for all of us.

We may run several ateliers per year, it all depends on registrations and the opportunity to create and curate a meaningful group, personalized and tailored just for you. It makes sense to let us know straight away if you are (even slightly) interested. We will then contact you as soon as opportunities come up. This is the Italian way of life!

If you are an employer and see possibilities in the atelier and retreat for your teaching staff, for instance in terms of retainment or to create a community of practice at your faculty - please feel free to contact our teacher trainer Tikvah Breimer directly, and dialogue about your needs, possibilities and

We are here especially for you as unique educational professional, to come alongside you as you work on the curriculum design of your module, course, training or degree, so that you can offer good and resilient education in the long run.

Photo: Azienda Agricola Agrituristica

Photo: Azienda Agricola Agrituristica 2021

Photo: Fagetto Azienda Agricola Agrituristica. If you wish to bring some Meditteranean sensations back home, Battista and Rina make the most exclusive olive oil right from the estate. In case you cannot find a moment in time to join the atelier - feel free to contact Rina directly to place an order. Be mindful of the shipping costs though - we recommend you come in person!   

We are here especially for you in technical and human resilience by design. #StudioBlended Keep asking: does it make sense? This is your day, in your life - enjoy every moment.
StudioBlended Foundation 2023

Curious, and would you like to know more?
Would you like to receive a bespoke quotation?
+31 6 42 47 29 69

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StudioBlended Foundation