Studio culture policy


Effective Studio Culture Policy is meant to specify the rules and regulations regarding the behavioral and learning activities undertaken in the design studio during  the  semester.  The policy  has  common  issues  among  all  studios  of  the program, with some specific considerations in vertical levels of the design studio courses. Through the Studio Culture Policy, innovation and discipline are stressed on in the studio environment for the design projects at the all stages of the study plan. 
In order to set and ensure the enforcement of the Studio Culture Policy, special committee on design courses of the program has been formed of distinctive and able professionals  in  the  field  including  the  program  Chair, faculty,  and  expert  design instructors, who took the responsibility of reviewing all design courses in terms of student performance criteria, project typology of each studio, policy and follow up on implementation. Meanwhile,related committee on physical resources of the program takes  responsibility  for  maintaining  and  improving  the  physical  condition  of  the design studios as an essential part of the studio culture. Furnishings, smart boards, data show, drawing tables and chairs, and meeting areas have been planned on the state-of-the-art quality standards.
The studio culture policy is also based on the student / student and student / faculty relationships which should be based on mutual respect whatever the gender, culture, color, religion and physical abilities. The studio culture encourage the students  how  to  think  in  a  creative  manner  using  the  advanced  techniques  but without ignoring the environmental and cultural and understanding of the society.
In 2016, the Architectural Department initiated a dialogue between the faculty, administrators and students to assess the learning environment and studio culture and discuss the establishment of a Studio Culture Policy.


The policy states:
Learning is a social as well as a physical and aesthetic act. Every effort should be made to maintain a professional atmosphere, socially and physically conducive to intellectual development, production and academic exchange. The Department building is the primary place for students, staff and faculty to work, communicate, think and learn. All members of our Department community must ensure that we serve as a model of mutual respect, consideration and support.
Studio Culture Policy reads as follows: The students and faculty support a student-centred studio learning culture that is based on the following principles:
- Students should lead to balanced and healthy lives.
- Students should maintain a productive, distraction-free workplace.
- Time is more than just an endangered, continuous resource.
- There is a world outside of the design studio.
- The design does not just exist in your studio but in all classes.
- Design is the integration of many parts.
- The design process is as important as the final product.
- Collaboration is the art of design.
- Design is inherently an interdisciplinary act.
- Even educators can learn.
- The good of students must prevail.
- Critiques are learning experiences, not target practice.
- To design for many, parts of all must be included.


In this vein, the learning culture fostered by the Architectural Department at HU is characterized by:
The Department provides a lively atmosphere, which encourages optimism, constructive thinking and acting, and a fervent pursuit of the best in architecture. Exploration, discovery, and creative imagination are supported by student and faculty interaction.


The department fosters a healthy environment that enables students to accept others’ thoughts for who they are, to feel and perceive situations from their perspective and respond accordingly, to put themselves in their place and think like them, and to take a long-term attitude towards the advancement of their situation by looking for solutions to meet their needs. The studio environment develops a skill set of architectural students containing listening, reasoning, understanding, disposition, perception, comprehension, and communication that enabling them to understand and identify with another student's context, emotions, goals and motivations.


Respect for one another:
Members of the studio community, including both faculty and students, interact with each other with constructive dialogue and respect other members’ property and wellbeing in the community. Respect their ideas, work, and philosophies race, color, origin, sex, handicap or disability, age, religion, or belief.  Mutual appreciation among faculty and students creates an environment in which all benefit from the sharing of knowledge and good judgment.  Faculty will work to enhance the best of student talent and abilities. Students respond to good faculty instruction and advice.


Faculty will sustain a well-organized and clearly delineated program of study.  Students will involve themselves in the learning process actively and engage the school community in a positive and self-disciplined manner.


The learning and teaching setting are opportunities for giving full emphasis on architecture as the underlying purpose of the department’s academic programs. Studios will provide the place where architecture has its clearest manifestation within the Department.


Recognizing that architecture is an inclusive field and represents a process of iterative synthesis, the faculty assists in bringing the widest possible range of knowledge and creative thinking to bear on student learning. The spirit of exploration, discovery, and critical thinking will be infused with a commitment to a search for truth that brings all together into a holistic understanding of architecture.


Time is valuable, and it requires careful allocation to a wide variety of activities, not only adequately providing for effective study, but also many other aspects of life.  In the interest of the students' fullest personal development, the school and its faculty will endeavor to establish reasonable schedules for learning activity.


The studio will foster a competitive yet collaborative environment. This environment is nurtured through collaborative course activities and, more importantly, by a philosophy that students should regard each other as colleagues and members of a studio community. The value of communication between students would better serve to encourage confidence, instead of defensiveness, empathy, instead of self-centeredness, and teamwork, instead of a star mentality. Students must learn about the importance of collaboration, knowing that without it, architecture won’t exist. Students should support one another, learn from each other, and be open-minded when collaborating.


Critical Practice:
Design studio encourages innovations, questions, reevaluating, and redefining in order to push for forward thinking in the study and practice of architecture.


Design studio demonstrates the ability to actively participate by creating work that challenges oneself in his/her specific skill-set level. It contributes - to the best of one’s abilities - a product that is well-developed based on the conceptual objectives assigned.


Students should understand and be committed to studio content, and take advantage of resources. Students should work to achieve personal and academic goals in an effort to learn more from your work and that of your peers. Students should present at every studio session as attendance and attentiveness are essential to success.


Fairness in Grading System:
Faculty will treat students with fairness and consistency, without bias. Likewise, students will treat faculty and staff with respect and courtesy. Students can expect clear grading criteria from faculty including expectations regarding attendance, participation and completion of projects. An innovative, vibrant studio environment should have a fair and reasonable grading system that explains what is expected to achieve each grade level. While all learning needs assessment, the grading system should provide enough breadth and depth to enable the student to understand why one has received the grade. The grading system should consider the student’s process, as well as the final product. Evaluations should enable students to learn self-assessment and be critical of their own ideas. Grading should encourage students to take challenging positions rather than doing what the instructor wants!


Intellectual and personal growth:
The studio environment will foster intellectual and personal growth by encouraging individual expression in a context of the large community. Individual alternatives and approaches will be encouraged by faculty and the student members of the studio groups.


Creativity and innovation:
Creativity is the hallmark of the studio experience. The architecture faculty at HU encourage students maintain an environment in their studio that embraces freedom of expressing academic and creative ideas, promotes a healthy professional collegiality, and provides maximum technical convenience and safety.


Pursuit of excellence:
Expectations of excellence is a critical component of the architectural Department learning culture. Each member of the studio community will be expected to produce works of highest quality in intellectual depth and in technical perfection. Key to the pursuit of excellence is that the expectation for quality and progress applies equally to both faculty and student. Just as there is the expectation that students endeavor to pursue excellence, Architectural faculty is also expected to pursue excellence in teaching and that they embrace continuous learning and improvement.