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 exclusively for clients. If you are an employer - such as a head of a faculty - and would be interested in the atelier as a pedagogical retreat or teacher training for your lecturers, a new educational consortium, PHD students or otherwise, have a look at our brochure [forthcoming new academic year 2022] for the price options of the atelier. In principle we can organise an atelier once every season.
For the overarching logic, see the course portal. Or get a quick impression with our 1 table overview showing you the differences between the variations.

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 resilience teacher trainer course, but need it to be more compact and with more ‘live’ in person guidance right at your level of seniority and responsibility? Could you use a time horizon reset, a detox from technology, one that brings you back to the present tense, the simplicity of undivided attention and flow? Alternating with working with your 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, you can be trained in the understanding, skills and capabilities of designing a resilient blended or bichronous– one that lasts up to a decade, and gives you a good ground and soil for your own vitality too.

This atelier is an exclusive opportunity and especially developed for course coordinators, or (senior) lecturers who are involved in (new) blended or bichronous curriculum design. 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 your 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 your own perception of your time horizon, but also for your technical content.

The atelier can be easily followed up in a modular way with highly tailored consultancy package. Upon creation of a unique course design, you receive a resilience course certificate. For more details, see our employers page. Our audio podcasts can be listened to freely prior to the atelier, or used to consolidate learnings after.

The teacher trainer team consists of our StudioBlended teacher trainer, Tikvah Breimer (MSc MEd MSc), and (if relevant) a core team of visiting senior lecturers from Europe who add depth to the stylized cases.

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

We can ensure your undivided attention for the whole week - there is no Internet (the roaming on your phone does work). We 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.

'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. It is in through the combination of both that she created the idea and design for the resilience course.

The resilience atelier is about technique – and consequently also the art of teaching.

Whilst the original resilience course reimagines the atelier in an online learning platform, it is the atelier in Italy that allows for that actual hands-on understanding.

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 resilience atelier, we work with innovative and contemporary stylized cases. A stylized case is a real-world situation, crafted for pedagogical purposes. Especially for the atelier, our StudioBlended lead will have developed two unique cases.

The cases of the resilience atelier touch upon universal themes, or technical content that allow sufficient passion, controversy and depth for lecturers from all kinds of disciplines - and also run smoothly into each other.  

The styllized cases are contextualised to the background region of origin of the lecturers and in dialogue with their team leader, and offer plenty of entries for educational technical design angles, including interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary curriculum design - a specialisation of our teacher trainer. The latter fits our ever more complex reality and world, and therefore 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. The atelier will equip you with techniques to be able to design such an interdisciplinary or even transdisciplinary (combining sciences with other disciplines such as art or nature) curriculum.

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.

Two groups are formed, with a maximum of four participants in each. The visiting senior lecturers introduce the cases (an option).

The participants can use these cases, to familiarize themselves with the techniques of the StudiOpedia. Through groupwork, interactions with visiting lecturers and peers, and capacity development by the teacher trainer, each lecturer becomes skilled in the formats and lenses. Each group then designs a course around their stylized case within the week. The contrast and comparison offer new learning, exchange, between the groups. A solid base of ‘hand-heart-head’ understanding also, for those who later on follow up with the online course to design their own unique course.

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

Photo: Breimer 2018

A spectrum of lecturers is welcome. Course coordinators and (senior) lecturers, equally as PhD candidates 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, and pool of senior visiting lecturers. We simply wait until we have a group that makes sense together. The minimum is 6 lecturers, maximum 8. It is indeed an atelier where the teacher trainer and visiting senior lecturers are there especially for the lecturers. The small participant group is vital for high impact.

The aim of leisure time together is to unwind, but equally to form professional friendships, which can then carry on the impact of the atelier way beyond the stay in Italy.

Photo: Breimer 2017
Photo: Breimer 2017

Photo: Breimer 2018

Follow up consultancy
If you wish, our teacher trainer can follow up with you with individual consultancy for you as a lecturer or course coordinator, to come alongside you as you work on an actual output that will lead to the design of your university course. Have a look at our ‘fit for purpose package’ and ‘punctual interventions card’, or the ‘organic trainings’. In terms of learning outcomes, the atelier in combination with the remote individual follow up, gives a solid foundation for the outputs designed specifically for your faculty, and develops your skills and capabilities for life.

Alternatively, you can join the next group doing the resilience course in a bichronous way, and - having the practice of using the methodology already, gain so much depth and applicability in your design for an actual course at your faculty.

You can interact with our teacher trainer Tikvah Breimer on location, about what you long to design, and together agree on a tailored package.

Biodynamic weeks-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.  
The pick-up depends on flights and is from Pisa airport. It is also possible to rent a car, 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 trainers and lecturers. They too, 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.

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, from the pick-up at Pisa airport, the overnight stays and all your meals, homemade from local produce. You 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 and the senior visiting lecturers. We do not make a profit; we only cover our costs in the total price of the atelier per person. The experience is unforgettable for all of us.

Price is seasonal, and can be tailored to the client depending on options and possibilities of the client or the curated group of people forming, please contact us for the current price.

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 opportunities.

We are here especially for you. Keep asking: does it make sense? #StudioBlended Simplicity and Resilience up to a decade. This is your day, in your life - enjoy every moment.  

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 / human resilience and simplicity by design. #StudioBlended Keep asking: does it make sense? This is your day, in your life - enjoy every moment.
StudioBlended 2022

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KvK-number 86242598 (Dutch)

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NL 86 39 07 29 5 B01

Formal account follows soon (summer 22).