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 – 2011

Who We Are.  We are the students, faculty, and staff of the Department of Architecture and Landscape Architecture at North Dakota State University.

Goals and Direction.  The goal of this Learning Culture document is to establish a framework for healthy and constructive learning in our department. This document will be reviewed and updated on a yearly 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 making. We will work to develop our leadership skills by engagement in our department and our community. We will engage our community directly through charitable action, and participation in community discussion and functions, thereby enriching and widening public understanding of our professions. We will 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 of the community, within the environment understood as a whole. Within this broad framework, we will seek to maximize our resources through innovative design and the creative use of materials, as we test the boundaries of ecological thinking, research, and applications.

Responsibilities.  Our students will 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 will work to sustain communication with faculty during all stages of design, including communication of their needs as students. Students will bring constructive and new ideas to discussions and critiques, with an emphasis on creativity, forward thinking and innovation throughout the design process.

Faculty will strive to establish and sustain an open environment for communication, high standards and expectations, a dedication toward constructive critique, and transparency in assessment. Faculty will challenge students intellectually while providing them access to resources. Faculty expectations are established with recognition of students’ courseloads, 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 at all points within the department.

Open discussion. Students, faculty, staff and visitors to the Department are always encouraged to take part in open, informal critique and discussion of each other’s work in a constructive and respectful manner.

To learn more about efforts by AIAS groups across the country to define a Studio/Learning Culture Policy, please see the following: