Studio Culture



Schools of architecture and landscape architecture have policies that describes the culture of the design studio and the expectations of students and faculty involved in studio-based education. These policies are based on the fundamental values of optimism, respect, sharing, engagement, and innovation between and among the members of its faculty, student body, administration and staff, in the studio environment, but also all other learning environments, both traditional and non-traditional.


NDSU Learning Culture Policy – 2017

Who We Are.  We are the students, faculty, and staff of the Department of Architecture and Landscape Architecture at North Dakota State University. We are the professionals of the future who will shape the built environment, the values of our society, and the legacy of our discipline. We celebrate the accomplishments of our peers, promote the personal growth of character in individuals, and encourage the thoughtful discussions between one another.

Goals and Direction.  The goal of this Studio Culture document is to establish a framework for healthy and constructive learning in our department. This document will be reviewed and updated on a regular basis, in a process involving students, faculty, and staff.

How & What We Learn.  In recognizing that a great range of skills and traits will be developed within the Department, we agree to work together to develop critical thinking through thoughtful and provocative discourse and hands-on studio experience. We work to develop our leadership skills by engagement in our department and our community. We engage our community directly through participation in public discussion and functions, thereby enriching and widening public understanding of our professions. We collaborate with disciplines other than our own, in an effort to deepen our understanding of the holistic nature of environmental design. Innovative teaching and learning, through creative and constructive discussions, assignments, and critique, become the means of testing and defining what we see as possible and plausible.

Social and Ecological Responsibility.  We acknowledge our collective responsibility for our own health, safety, and welfare and that of our clients and the community, within the environment understood as a whole. Within this broad framework, we seek to maximize our resources through innovative design and creative use of materials, as we test the boundaries of ecological thinking, research, and applications. We also actively advocate for social and economic equity for all members of society through the design of the human environment. We maintain an enthusiastic view of our future in pursuit of sustainable design, innovative thinking, and collaborative processes.

Responsibilities.  Our students strive to maintain a healthy, safe, and balanced lifestyle in the design studio, to manage their time effectively, and to welcome diverse points of view and approaches. Students work to sustain communication with faculty during all stages of design, including communication of their needs as students. Students bring new and constructive ideas to discussions and critiques, with an emphasis on creativity, forward thinking and innovation throughout the design process.

Faculty strive to establish and sustain an open environment for communication, high standards and expectations, a dedication toward constructive critique, and transparency in assessment. Faculty challenge students intellectually while providing them access to resources. Faculty expectations are established with recognition of students’ academic work loads, and respect for those dimensions of life outside of the design studio.

Our staff work to facilitate and support a safe, accessible, and open environment, promoting excellence and creativity in all aspects within the department.

Open discussion. Students, faculty, staff and department visitors are always encouraged to take part in an open, informal critique and discussion of each other’s work in a constructive and respectful manner. We recognize the importance of constructive feedback from both designers and non-designers in our exploration of concepts and learning.

AIAS and NAAB Partner to Promote Healthy Studio Culture

Studio Culture: Stories and Interpretations

Toward an Evolution of Studio Culture


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