Architecture Studio Policy

1. The Policy

The Studios Culture of CBU Architecture will value generosity of spirit, open discourse, continuous testing of ideas and a commitment to excellence on the part of all the participants. It will promote a culture of engagement in which students develop intellectually, technically, ethically and spiritually through interaction with problems, opportunities and people not only within the field of architecture, but beyond it.

2. Process of implementation and Maintenance

The members of the CBU Architecture community agree to uphold the Studio Culture Policy. The policy will be a working guide for Studio Culture at CBU. The Policy will be introduced to students at the Academic School Orientations, posted in the studios themselves, available on the CAVAD website and included in the Student Undergraduate Catalog.

A team of faculty and students will review the policy annually, determine its efficacy and ensure its implementation. Revisions to the current policy will be discussed by the team with the common goal of maintaining a healthy studio environment that supports holistic growth through the sharing of knowledge, ideas and experiences.

3. Studio Design

Studio is the central component of an effective education in architecture. Studio learning encourages dialogue, collaboration, risk-taking, innovation, and a “learn-by-doing” pedagogy. The Studio atmosphere is a unique learning community that fosters increased scholarship as well as personal connectedness and an attitude of “iron sharpening iron.”

4. Faculty

Students are encouraged to think of all the faculty of CBU Architecture as “their” faculty, not just their particular Studio instructor. Interaction between students in separate studios and between students in separate years of the program is encouraged, as is interaction between students in the separate disciplines of CAVAD.

5. Time Management

Students and faculty must lead balanced lives and use time wisely, including time outside the Design Studio, to gain from all aspects of a university education and life experiences. Although we believe in the Studio as the backbone of the architectural education, we also believe in the value of a rich, fully engaged life that is deeply involved in spiritual maturity and service.

6. Interdisciplinary and Collaborative Opportunities

We believe that Design is the integration of many parts, that process is as important as product, and that the act of design and of professional practice is inherently interdisciplinary, requiring active and respectful collaboration with others.

The CBU Architecture program is built on a foundation of interdisciplinary learning, and opportunities to promote and experience this philosophy are inherent throughout the program. We seek every opportunity for collaborative processes and learning opportunities, not only within the program, but across the disciplines of CAVAD, CBU and the larger community outside of our walls. We will highly value cross-disciplinary design studios and design-build project opportunities that span disciplines and reach into our community. This is in keeping with our University Student Outcome to “implement a personal and social ethic that results in informed participation in multiple levels of community.

7. Assessment

Design critique is an integral part of the learning experience. Students will learn from faculty, but also from peers and from the experience itself. Making clear, understandable and comprehensive presentations of one’s ideas, both graphic and verbal, and then learning from the critical feedback that the presentation generates, are vital learning experiences that help prepare students for professional practice. We highly value honesty and forthrightness, in a constructive atmosphere of respect and encouragement.

CBU’s architecture program encourages assessment for design and studio courses that affirms the values of respect for a student’s ideas (intention), the development of these ideas (process), and the ability to make those ideas spatial & material (product). Students will therefore be graded on an understanding of the concepts that motivate and initiate the project at hand (grasp of ideas), the student’s rigor in the development of ideas and use of information in the process of design (work effort), and the material and graphic quality of the project’s final products – be they models, drawings or representations in other media (communication of ideas). Some advanced Studio projects will also consider the appropriateness of the proposed design solution in its real-world context.

8. Diversity

CBU Architecture values social, intellectual and disciplinary diversity, as well as diversity in race, nationality and gender, in its staff, faculty and student population, as well as in its curriculum. We support active, open discourse, and the Studio must be a place where diverse life experiences and opinions are shared. A culture of respect and open inquiry provides the foundation of a life-long learning perspective that begins in architecture school. This attitude is in keeping with our University Student Outcome to “respect diverse religious, cultural, philosophical, and aesthetic experiences and perspectives.” The program is currently recruiting students from high schools representing a wide cross section of Southern California’s ethnic and socio-economic communities. We are also involved in the ongoing recruitment of international students.

* Studio Policy is an evolving draft, which is being regularly assessed, negotiated and ratified with students and faculty.