“Those who know how to control themselves, measure their autonomy and abide to rules will not only make a perfect job, but will also become good citizens” (Richard Sennett).
Training should allow workers and craftsmen to be fully acquainted with their profession, to fulfill themselves through their jobs, in a cultural and professional growth throughout their life-span. In over thirty years, thousands of children, school and university students, business technicians and freelancers have participated in lectures, workshops, courses and school-yards in Italy and abroad.
The cross-border aspect is another feature that distinguishes SEUM’s founding motto; art, travel and craft are the hubs for a training across borders, such as exchange projects with other countries and long-lasting relations with Compagnons du Devoir in Paris, Sagrada Familia yard in Barcelona and Unesco office for Iraq.
SEUM alternates face-to-face lessons with educational and cultural visits, workshops and yard schools, on the basis of the Principle “Learning by Doing”. Participants are required to be involved in an active way, to share common goals, to be capable of problem-solving and assessment of results, than merely assimilation of concepts and mechanical repetition of gestures and actions. “I never taught anything to my students, I just put them in the best conditions to learn”: Albert Einstein.
The SEUM European design and research area aims to incentivise the exchange of experiences, training research and innovation in eco-compatible development, while also promoting employment.
The experimentation of new approaches and skills is a fundamental step towards the integration of training, work, education and orientation policies, ensuring that training and qualification paths and processes yield effective and lifelong responses to personal hopes, production system and labour market requirements.
MASTER is a fundamental project which stimulated and generated intensive activity at SEUM, as part of the Equal initiative. Over the last three years, this activity has involved over a hundred students in both Italy and France, in a training path developed in Arezzo, Paris and Barcelona.
This demanding path of theoretical lessons, laboratories, internships and on-site training has enabled students to qualify as architectonic surface conservation and maintenance professionals.
SEUM has also channelled its skills into the experimentation of innovative activities, funded by European programmes, such as the MED MAIN product for the reduction of greenhouse gases through the use of Intelligent Materials which positively impact the health of inhabitants and contribute towards reducing environmental pollution and the overheating of buildings. The success of this experimentation is a starting point for the development of further projects which SEUM aims to pursue over the next few years.
“One cannot know properly his own culture if he ignores others’ cultures” (Ryszard Kapucinski).
SEUM has always offered moments of encounter, exchange and confrontation both in partnership projects and in decentralized cooperation activities. Med Cooperation, a project by the Tuscan Regional Authority along with Ucodep (now Oxfam Italia), involved Israeli and Palestinian technicians in the restoration of monumental heritage, along a desired route to Peace. Fresco Urbano brought together artists from Argentina, Finland, France, Israel, Morocco, Palestine, Spain, United States, Tunisia and students of the Artistic High School of Arezzo, all of whom worked as a team on a great painting inspired by a work by Piero della Francesca. UNESCO for Iraq has involved SEUM in courses for architects, engineers and archaeologists, coming from Baghdad and Mosul, on restoration of cultural, civil and religious heritage.
PMSP Palestinian Municipality Support Program saw SEUM collaborate with the Italian Consulate in Jerusalem, the Palestinian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquity and local organizations for the restoration of historic buildings in Palestine as in Hebron, declared a World Heritage Site. SEUM carried out professional training courses in several French towns, destined to workers in labour mobility or job/school alternation in Italy and France. In short, SEUM promotes experiences aimed at breaking down geographic and cultural barriers in order to fuel the hope of a better future.
SEUM is committed to studying, researching, consulting, and promoting the value of Place Identity. Its most important contribution was within the PIUSS Integrated Urban Sustainable Project of Arezzo, giving advice on urban scenography and environmental sustainability, with particular attention to some of the most important systems of the historical town: public lighting, place-name stones, wayfinding system, identification system and road signage.
Another important study involved collecting and classifying all the stylistic features of the urban landscape of Arezzo, on how the colour of surfaces (facades, walls and rooftops) could influence a place and determine the main aspects of its identity.