Texas Tech University

Studio Culture Policy

This policy will be revised/updated during the Fall 2023 academic term.

I.1.2 Learning Culture

The program must demonstrate that it provides a positive and respectful learning environment that encourages optimism, respect, sharing, engagement, and innovation between and among the members of its faculty, student body, administration, and staff in all learning environments, both traditional and non-traditional.

  • The program must have adopted a written studio culture policy and a plan for its implementation including dissemination to all members of the learning community, regular evaluation, and continuous improvement or revision. In addition, the plan must address the values of time management, general health and well-being, work-school-life balance, and professional conduct.
  • The program must describe the ways in which students and faculty are encouraged to learn both inside and outside the classroom through individual and collective learning opportunities that include but are not limited to field trips, participation in professional societies and organizations, honor societies, and other program-specific or campus-wide and community-wide activities

From the NAAB 2014 Conditions for Accreditation

Fundamental Values

Optimism – ensuring an expectation for a sustainable, healthy and better built environment and world.

Respect – ensuring compliance with the TTU Statement of Ethical Principles which states that the University is “committed to the recognition of differences between individuals, the inherent dignity of all individuals, and the elimination of discrimination”, we encourage an environment of mutual respect between and among our faculty, students, administration and staff, and a tolerant attitude for each individual's work, methods, and differences, and recognition of the values of both theory and practice.

Critical comments about another faculty's teaching pedagogy and assignments are not appropriate in the presence of students. Respect includes discretion when discussing other faculty members, especially with students.

Sharing – encouraging a sharing and questioning of ideas and knowledge through a collaborative and interdisciplinary environment between and among our students and faculty. Students are encouraged to view process work and final presentations in other studios throughout the curriculum as this is helpful in achieving success in the design studio.

Engagement – ensuring a commitment to and eager participation in the studio environment by both faculty and students. Engagement also extends beyond the studio or classrooms to the College, University and community. Our students are encouraged to participate in organizations within and outside the classroom, as these activities can be essential to a student's understanding of their place in the global environment.

Innovation – promoting innovative teaching and learning methods which enhance critical thinking and design skills within a studio setting.

To maintain these values each of us must have a clear understanding of our shared responsibilities.

Studio Etiquette

Faculty and students should maintain an environment that is secure, non-disruptive, respectful, mutually civil, and conducive to working individually and in teams, and to listening to the instructor and to other students.

Time Management

The college supports its students, staff and faculty in leading balanced lives. Students are expected to work intelligently and efficiently, though not necessarily longer, in the studio. The college discourages staying up all night as counterproductive and unhealthy. Time management is included as a learning outcome for first year students in their introductory course “Design, Environment and Society” and the enhancing of this skill should be encouraged throughout all studio coursework. Faculty members are encouraged to require an appropriate workload in each class.

Learning Assessment

Learning outcomes, policies and assessment methods should be clearly stated in every syllabus. Students are urged to work with faculty to judge when work is substantially complete. Students are entitled to assessment and feedback throughout the semester as this is an integral part of the studio environment. Faculty members have the responsibility and the right to provide criticism and assessment of each student's work and, as such, it is not a violation of studio culture to do so.


Critique is an inherent part of the assessment process in design education. Desk critiques and pin-ups are the most common forms of review. All studio participants are encouraged to exchange ideas, opinions and experiences in a collegial manner.

Formal reviews in a public setting are fundamental to architecture education. This is a unique opportunity for students to communicate ideas through oral and visual presentations. Participation of students, academic faculty, professionals, and community members is expected in public design reviews.

Internal design reviews are held at the completion of each semester by the faculty for the benefit of reviewing the program. Students may or may not be asked to be present during this review process.


Documentation of the work completed by the students during the semester is important for the student, the faculty and the college. Printed presentations are necessary and required for end-of-semester reviews in the HCOA and may be included in student portfolios. Digital documentation is a significant way to archive student work and portfolios. Faculty may require both forms of documentation as a part of any design studio.

Administrative Review of the Policy

Studio Culture is one section of the Huckabee College of Architecture Policy Manual. As such it is subject to review every three years by a task force of faculty and students appointed by the administration.

Approved by HCOA Dean's Council, September 14, 2015
(April 1, 2009, Amended: January 27, 2012, Amended September 4, 2015)
(Amended to correct gender bias language July 20, 2019)