STUDIO CULTURE POLICY 2015 -16
The students and faculty of the Architecture and Interior Design Programs of the Department of Architecture housed within the College of Architecture, Construction, and Planning exist and thrive within a studio and learning culture specific to our shared creative work. Our aim is to:
• Contribute to the structure, utility, and beauty of our built environment;
• Contribute to the improvement of the quality of place in our cities and homes, as well as our work and learning environments;
• Support a positive relationship between buildings and the environment (incl. built/altered landscapes).
The following tenets are established to help all to grow, learn, and strive for excellence through our collective efforts within the UTSA Architecture and Interior Design Programs:
TENETS of STUDIO and LEARNING CULTURE
All students are encouraged to initiate and foster a life-long learning process and to establish a trajectory of investigations that will sustain a continuing creative life within the profession.
Students and the faculty share a responsibility to contribute to making the studio an environment that is respectful of their development, participating in the intellectual life of the school, and being conducive to a focused creative and critical practice.
Studio is a collaborative teaching and learning environment in which multiple facets of culture, science, technology, practice, and learning are brought into discourse with one another.
The most valuable insights emerge from an ongoing and iterative dialogue with the work, not from the judgment of the finished project. The students’ ongoing design work is the center of studio discussion. Each discussion is never intended as personal criticism, but as a constructive critique and mutual dialogue about architecture.
Students are also expected to engage the intellectual and experiential opportunities offered within the program, university, city, region, and globe. Architecture is best understood in person and ideas are best developed and honed by discourse, learning, and desire.
All student work has the capacity to rise to a level of excellence such that it could influence the dynamic and evolving discipline of architecture and design.
Students and faculty are expected to attend all classes, be on time, stay in class, and be diligent about completing work outside of class. Reading, learning, and exploring ideas outside of class is essential.
The studio is both a place of work and dialogue. Lectures, presentations, discussions and reviews should enhance the learning environment while being balanced with adequate time for productive work.
All stages of the design process require the ability to think clearly, critically, and coherently, to make persuasive arguments and sensible judgments. Values are established through the iterative processes of making, drawing, modeling, representing, discussing, reading, and writing.
While each faculty member carefully establishes the requirements of the assignments / projects given, these assignments in return challenge each student to learn how to time manage their own work efforts in order to investigate the inherent complexities of each project.
Students should develop a sense of self-reliance, resourcefulness, intellectual rigor, and independence, to discipline their working habits, to give full attention to the quality and craft of their work, and to adapt to different studio environments. All should maintain an open attitude to diverse viewpoints, constructive criticism, and advice of other students and faculty.
Devices / Distractions
Participation in studio is about self-development, which is best supported by time with your colleagues and instructors and not with friends and family via phones or other electronic devices. Such devices are expected to foster learning in the studio and classroom, not hinder it.
Particular to our situation as a commuter campus, students and faculty should be sensitive to dependence on commuting to and from campus, particularly its impact on timeliness and ability to work late in studio. Obligations to studio work, assignments, attendance, and timeliness remain priorities, so impacts should be rare and the effects mitigated responsively and responsibly.
Faculty and Peers
Students are encouraged to think of all faculty at the school as “their” faculty and not only their particular studio instructor. Interaction is encouraged between students in all studios and all years of the program. Students should strive to learn from as many faculty as possible during their studies.
In consideration of the careful this new policy has been established, it is important that it be subject to continual renewal, critique, and revision. These policies should be reviewed annually.
This Studio Culture Policy is an evolving document. If you have comments or constructive suggestions on its development, please contact the Chair of the Department of Architecture.
For more information on the nationwide discussion on “studio culture,” please see the following publications by the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS):