Ester Armanino

Living in a story



Product Description


«Writing is like a house that I don’t live in. A house which I build for others», according to Annie Ernaux. However, for some writing is a road to walk. For others it is a world-village made up of exchanges, relationships and ebbs and flows. Therefore, every writer has to be part architect if they want their story to meet a reader’s primary need: living in it.
Yet, how do you make the setting of a story truly perceivable despite the fact that the reader’s vision are in their own imagination? How do you move from the quantitative and measurable concept of space to the qualitative and habitable concept of place?
During this writing workshop, you will be working as architects and factory workers, town planners and designers, and you will have an unlimited budget, as creativity is limitless.
You will deal with each topic through short and fun exercises, which, like any self-respecting project, will have their own specific scope, not to overlook dimension.
Through map scales, you will examine the topic of cities. The invisible ones described by Italo Calvino will offer a possible geographical map invoking the telling of the cities where people live, which are actually visible but not entirely «writable».
You will also explore the most interesting and audacious contemporary houses in the world while looking at projects and photos enabling you to write about the place, which, in a scale closer to our own, represents us, better than any other one: the house.
While getting down to a more detailed scale, you will look into things, objects and how they define our age, while disorientating us if, by chance, something else ends up being out of place through a time capsule.
Finally, you are going to see how even non-places – such as supermarkets or airports – can obtain the same dignity as places through storytelling.

During the course, you are going to do a class practice activity, while watching over a story that will go through further edits and re-writes. This will enable you all to live in the same place. Taking inspiration from Lars Von Trier’s Dogville, where the city is merely a map of white marks on a stage, you are going to build a village inhabited by your stories and made up of invisible but credible walls, in which each of you will have their own parcel of land. You can download the map here. There is a small villa on the hills, a petrol station just outside the village, the site of a house under construction and a museum. Where is your story going to live?

Lessons will start in September and will go on for three months.

I’d like to enroll, how can I pay?
If you want to make a bank transfer, email us at, and we will send you the details. If you want to pay online with PayPal, add the course to your cart and follow the instructions.

How does Classi-fy work?
You’ll have to follow a weekly timetable of appointments, which can be video lessons or notes to read. You’ll have deadlines to write and share your homework on Classi-fy website. You’ll read what your classmates write and you’ll be able to comment or receive feedback on what you write. You’ll be able to meet each other and talk about the lessons on the forum – ok, we already know you won’t only talk about that, but that’s part of the fun. Sometimes your teacher will post a video in which he publicly analyses the work of the class, but you’ll receive your personal evaluation also from your classmates, during the debate.

What are the technical skill necessary to take part to the course? Do I have to install a special program on my computer?
You’ll mainly work online, therefore all you need is the internet connection. On website you can share your documents, watch the video lessons, download teaching material and text your classmates.

What does it happen at the end of the course?
The class will come to Scuola Holden, in Turin, in order to attend the final lesson and collect your diploma. Eventually you’ll meet everyone and, if everything is right, you’ll have a beer together in Borgo Dora to celebrate.