COrtonaOPen3D in English

CortonaOPen3d is a workshop of SmartCityDesign

The Workshop will take place in the exceptional city of Cortona (Arezzo, Tuscany, Italy) Participants will follow a 3d Open Source software course Blender and will develop individually or in group an architecture-design project or an artistic installation inserted in the context of the city of Cortona.

The workshop is composed by lectures; project workshop, tutoring and conferences. Students will use the software to develop a project guided by teachers and tutors expert in design, project, history and software. The workshop is international, the languages spoken are Italian, English and Spanish.

The Blender course will last 16 hours of frontal lessons, it has been developed from a 15-year teaching experience at the Milan Polytechnic by Professor Gianluca Vita and is structured so that the learned techniques and concepts may be transferred to any other 3D graphic and modelling software.



With the participation in the Workshop 4 credits are assigned to the students of Architecture of the Milan Polytechnic of the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera and of the Escuela Superior de Diseño de Aragón

Each student must verify his own academic situation before the subscription.


The concept of “SmartCity” is quite simple, you could say that the Smart-city is, (as for the the Smart-phone) a city with “more things inside”. Simplifying we can say that Smart-city means a city that exchanges information among citizens, administration and the economic fabric in a fast and efficient way.

The fact that it is a clear concept does not help us to answer the question of what a “SmartCity” should be, because of the fact that it is not yet clear what are the possibilities (and dangers) of “smart” cities. We can say in fact that the objects we live with are always “smarter”, but their intelligence it is not always useful becaus is not transformed into quality of life and quality of things. Therefore it is necessary a project system, we call it SmartCityDesign, that transforms the “city object” into something more useful and beautiful.

Using the “intelligence” of objects to think better cities has always been a project theme of the CortonaOPen3D Workshop. The objects become intelligent, the telephones and the city become “Smart”and design can no longer reasonably avoid “being connected”. It is essential to know how to project “from the spoon to the town” understanding that today who projects a house, a museum, a chair, a poster or any “thing” can not avoid putting the problem of “if” and “how” to interact with technologies.

After having identified needs and opportunities participants will freely develop a project of design, art or architecture that should be illustrated with a series of renderings to two juries.

One of the juries will be composed by the participants of the workshop, the other by university professors, members of the administration of the city of Cortona and artists. The two juries will evaluate the quality of the projects and their coherence with the premises of the workshop.


Open Source software is already a consolidated and reliable reality with which it is possible to replace or implement “traditional” software, consenting to who uses it to obtain elaborated graphs of high level and quality without the need for economic investments or to follow illicit practices.

Open source is also a project philosophy that innovates and brings into crisis the traditional concepts of intellectual property, establishing an innovative economic process with great perspectives. They are programs that are updated and developed among all its users. Open source does not mean “work for free” but “earn differently”.

The software that the participants will learn is Blender, a software that allow to produce renderings of stunning quality. Reliable and solid, under open source license and freely usable as professional without time limits or functions FOREVER on PC, Mac and Linux.

The fact that this software is open source became a point of strength for young professionals who start their career with a powerful instrument, without any limitation. They may use it for their projects, and also to bring their “own” software to the studios where they will be hired without any problem of license.

Program of the Blender course

Designed for those who do not have 3D modeling experience and want to learn a powerful instrument without commitments. The Blender software is Open Source and can be used (without paying any license: forever!) also for professional use on PC, Mac and Linux systems.

It can be freely downloaded from the website:

Introduction to software and modeling: The Blender software is presented and installed. The interface and the operating principles thereof are explained. It goes immediately to the manipulation of objects. The objective is to create accurate and fast three-dimensional models creating objects directly inside Blender or starting from a .dwg file

Materials and textures: To the modelled objects a “shader” (usually called “material”) is applied, which imitates the reaction to the light of the objects … It is important to understand the nature of the materials and their operation to avoid wasting time in details and complications useless and to get to have a style of their own. You can work realistically or graphically according to the preferences, the situations and the result that you want to obey. Light and lighting: The tridimensional objects are “staged” with virtual techniques similar to those used by photographers in reality. A scene will be created and the lights will be positioned imitating interior or exterior situations, as happens in the cinema or in a photographic studio. You will be taught to choose between the different types of existing lights and standard configurations for indoor and outdoor render.

Camera, photography and rendering: Getting a good render depends largely on the choice of a good framing. Is about “taking a picture” but it is not enough to know how to do it technically, you also have to develop a certain sensitivity for the “cut” of the frame and the language of the image itself. In this class we explain some fundamental rules to make a good frame and get the best possible render.

Photo retouching and postproduction: When the render has been done it is always necessary to intervene to improve its appearance and communicative capacity. This operation can be done inside Blender or using a digital retouching software like Gimp. It is necessary to learn to look at the image in an objective way and understand what can be improved and how to do it. Some modifications are based on objective modifications, others on the aesthetic sensibility of each one. We will study and discuss about different cases of project communication in order to improve our sensibility to contemporary image and its trends.


The participation fee is indicated on the REGISTRATION page of the website and includes the lectures of Blender, the use of the class and conference rooms, the revisions of the projects and of the renderings, and the digital material that will be given to each student.

The fee does not include accommodation or travel that are under the responsibility of the participant.


COrtonaOPen3D 2019 will take place between 1 and 9 August 2019

Follow the link CALENDAR for further informations


Participants can choose freely an Hotel or B&B in Cortona. The organization is constantly available for any advice regarding the stay and the trip both if you are participating alone or as a group.

Follow the link above for further informations