Studio Culture Policy

Be Present. Be Respectful. Be Responsible. Be Smart. Be Amazing. 

Be Present. 

1.   Ultimately, it is the cooperation among students and the relationship between faculty and students that determines the ethos of the School. In order to participate in the ongoing development of the SoA community, students need to take advantage of the opportunities to attend lectures, participate in special educational events, and make their voice heard through the student organizations of the School.

2.   All students have the responsibility to contribute to the success of their classmates and to actively participate with one another across all year levels.

3.   Because we do not work in a vacuum, all faculty and students have the responsibility to anchor their work in the broader context of the local and regional community, professional practice, and world events.

Be Respectful. 

1.   Diversity enriches every setting. Faculty or student harassment based on gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religious practice, and/or physical ability, either direct or indirect, will not be tolerated in the SoA community.

2.   The constraints of a student’s economic circumstances should not affect his or her overall evaluation or daily standing in studio with either professors or peers. Students must communicate any such constraints to the professor if these constraints are affecting the materials or methods that can be employed in a specific project.

3.   A professional demeanor is expected by all members of the SoA when addressing any student, professor, or guest of the SoA. The intent and tone of all criticism on the part of both students and faculty should be constructive and should invite discussion.

4.   All students have the right to an environment in which they can work comfortably. No student should have to ask others to lower their voices, use power tools outside, turn their music down, remove offensive graphics, avoid language that may be offensive to others, etc.

5.   Students and faculty alike should maintain the excellent facilities of the School through appropriate use of the computing, critique, studio, library and lab spaces.

6.   Students and faculty are responsible for being aware of SoA’s Safety Guidelines.  All members of SoA’s community should promote an awareness of safety and security throughout the School and its facilities.

Be Responsible. 

1.   Faculty are responsible for making their teaching objectives and methods appropriately transparent to the students, explaining their terminology and frames of reference, thereby promoting greater student understanding, questions and participation.

2.   Effective learning requires periodic assessment of some kind. Because grades provide a limited breadth and depth of feedback, other forms of assessment, such as individual written or verbal feedback, is to be used in conjunction with grades.  Students should also understand that desk critiques and studio critiques are forms of assessment as well as feedback. Timely and appropriate forms of assessment – offered by the faculty early enough in the semester to allow students to respond effectively – serve not only to evaluate performance but also stimulate intellectual growth.

3.   In addition to more formal evaluations such as mid-term or final reviews, students and faculty should also engage in deliberate and continuing dialog relevant to each stage of the design process.

4.   All critiques should be conducted in an organized and professional manner, including adequate preparation of the jurors and timeliness on the part of both students and faculty. Review formats should encourage students’ participation as often as possible and whenever appropriate.

5.   All studios in a specific year level should be coordinated to ensure they are uniform in objectives and evaluation criteria, with similar workloads and specific requirements for drawings and models.

6.   Faculty and students are responsible for playing an active role in studio, being present for discussions, guidance and instruction, and being attentive to the course hours. 

Be Smart. 

1.   Faculty and students should understand and respond to the fact that student work is improved by the opportunity to get a reasonable amount of sleep every night, eat healthy meals, and exercise regularly and participate in other aspects of University life. Time management should be taught and modeled by the faculty.

2.   Neither faculty nor students should focus on studio to the detriment of other courses either conceptually or in terms of the time commitment required. All should recognize and respect the importance of non-studio courses within the School and non-architectural courses within the larger University.

3.   Excellence in an architectural education depends on making connections both across the architectural curriculum and between architecture and other disciplines on campus. Faculty are expected to support students by allowing time for the work these courses require by coordinating with other classes offered within the architectural curriculum.

4.   Students benefit from the life experiences gained through extracurricular activities both within and outside the University setting such as cultural events, participation in community activism, participation in campus organizations, etc. Students must make thoughtful choices as to how to spend this time profitably, and faculty must trust the students to do so, allowing time for these kinds of enrichment activities.

5.   Learning collaborative skills is necessary to obtain an excellent architectural education. Students and faculty alike should be role models through the sharing of their work product and process in both formal and informal settings with their peers and with each other. The importance of this practice is to extend the meaningful nature of their work, draw on the ideas and expertise of others, exercise clarity of written and verbal communication, and model a strong work ethic.

Be Amazing. 

1. All students have the responsibility to lead – to surprise and inspire both the faculty and their fellow students through the creativity of their ideas, the craft of their making, the clarity and organization of their ideas both verbal and in written, and/or the depth and appropriateness of their questions. Everyone is capable of leadership, and everyone is expected to develop and exercise leadership skills, each according to his or her specific strengths.

The SoA is committed to promoting an environment of respect and academic excellence.  Students are encouraged to raise concerns, conflicts, and questions regarding this policy with their faculty members. Additional support may be sought through SoA’s Program Director‘s and the Director's Office.