Studio Culture

University of Texas at San Antonio
College of Architecture, Construction & Planning
Our Studio Culture Policy

What is studio culture? It is that first big assignment that everyone tries to set their own guidelines as a group instead of every little detail the professor requests. It is the constant getting up and sitting down to go and critique your peers. It is the support and guidance your professor establishes with you. It is the dialogue between the department and the needs of the students and its staff. It is the long sleepless nights and those 4 a.m conversations. It is the drive and passion in which every student should exude from their being. It is the summation of characteristics in your studio which exist within students, faculty and the department and reflect through your studio environment. The individual should take it upon themselves to not only promote these set of guidelines but also expand upon them. This is a living document, every individual should continue, challenge and promote difference as our community and built environment change.

Today’s design studio is a laboratory for experimentation, discovery, and expression that transcends the predicted, in the name of bettering the greater environment and society as a whole. In light of the critical responsibilities that architects must bear in working to improve on the human condition, while striving to lessen the impact that the building industry has on natural resources, the Department of Architecture, Construction & Planning are committed to the following tenets of an efficient, productive, and appropriate studio culture.

Studio Culture Policy Tenets:

▪ Students are part of a contributing community that shares the responsibility of being respectful and encouraging of individuals and their creative abilities.
▪ Students are encouraged to view the entire faculty, as not simply their individual studio instructors, but as resources and mentors in pursuit of a varied education.
▪ Students are encouraged to influence the faculty to think differently, to not only give them the norm to discuss but also new innovative ideas.
▪ Interactions between students in separate studios and year levels are likewise encouraged in the belief that students have much to learn from one another and that everyone can be a teacher.
▪ Architectural education requires students to think, form opinions, and make sound judgments that can be well demonstrated in the student’s abilities to write, discuss, represent, and produce relative to design convictions.
▪ Being said, students are expected to maintain an open-minded attitude toward constructive criticism and guidance from instructors.
▪ Students should discipline themselves to work hard, establish self deadlines to ensure time management, give great attention to the quality of their work, and to adapt to different studio atmospheres and faculty teaching methods.
▪ When students are in the studio it is expected of them to have good manners by maintaining the studio clean as a whole and respecting others of their work, work space and work material.

▪ Along with the students, faculty too are part of a contributing community that shares the responsibility of being respectful and encouraging of individuals and their creative abilities.
▪ Faculty should recognize that the values of decisions that emerge during the design process are as important as the judgments regarding final products coming out of studios. Failures from which one learns lead inevitably to success.
▪ Faculty should encourage the student to push beyond their design abilities and critical thinking to bring forward the best of their work
▪ Faculty is encouraged to be a learning mentor to any student in the college, not simply those assigned to their current studio.

▪ The Department recognizes the need to allocate adequate time and resources for students and faculty to commit to investigating the inherent issues and complexities of design projects.
▪ The studio should be an environment in which multiple facets of the student’s formal education are brought into discourse with one another
▪ Every student’s work has the capacity to rise to an innovative level of influencing the ever-evolving development of the discipline and profession of Architecture.  Engaged in high ideas as a student, it is our intention and hope that a trajectory of inquiry and commitment to quality professionalism (established while attending University) will be sustained by its graduates over the course of their lives.

Being a commuter campus:
▪ Students should understand that the studio is not only a place to attend during design class, but also a place to begin a new community with peers having the same interests. Therefore, it is encouraged to work in the studio after-hours, to not miss out in peer criticism that helps your design and way of thinking.