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UTA/SoA Studio Culture Policy: 2015-16 Academic Year

"A program must demonstrate that it provides a positive and respectful learning environment that encourages the fundamental values of 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." NAAB Studio Culture Policy Conditions, 2009

THE SCHOOL COMMUNITY

School of Architecture Overview

The School of Architecture is committed to training a diverse group of students who will shape and lead the design profession in the future. The school implements a set of educational goals through a curriculum where students are encouraged to become independent thinkers and to find their own voice within the larger architectural discourse. The School endeavors to help students to be well rounded in the broad spectrum of architectural approaches and subjects.

Building Community

For the school to be a successful community, the principles of respect and cooperation must be implemented among both faculty and students. This begins with positive and productive classrooms, labs, studios and workspaces. The school should be a positive environment rife with lively debates, sharing of resources and the exchange of ideas.

It is the responsibility of every member of our academic community to treat one another with respect at all times. It is also the responsibility of each member to demand that respect be shown to one another. In order to cultivate an open academic environment, all members of the community should feel their thoughts and ideas are respected. Through such efforts, everyone can assist in maintaining an environment that is conducive to learning. Conversation and/or actions deemed disrespectful, derogatory or counterproductive are not acceptable. No discrimination will be tolerated in the School of Architecture. This includes discrimination of anyone due to race, color, religion, gender, or sexual orientation, but also extends to encouraging the diversity of ideas, philosophies, and methodologies.

Studio Culture Policy

The School of Architecture at The University of Texas at Arlington endeavors to create a supportive and collaborative educational environment conducive to successful personal development for students while still maintaining a rigorous and demanding curriculum focused on an increasingly complex professional discipline. Civilized behavior among students, faculty and staff based on mutual respect is expected in all settings but is particularly important in design studios due to their time intensive nature, the increased interaction of participants and because design studio is central to the students’ education. It is essential that an affirmative, reinforcing environment be maintained to cultivate respect and generate excellence.

Role of the Studio Culture Policy

The Studio Culture Policy (SCP) is a guide to help foster productive environments, healthy and collegial relationships, an understanding of design education as a rigorous and collaborative effort, and a resource for those with questions or who may need help. Based on findings from and initiatives set forth through our professional associations and other departments of architecture, we have set forth the following policy to guide and govern our community in this effort. It is our hope to further imbue our creative culture with positive values such as collaboration, innovation, optimism, respect, engagement, inclusion and courage.

DESIGN STUDIO

The Studio Space

Since studio settings facilitate working in close proximity for extended hours, fundamental respect for personal space and property is required. It is the responsibility of each student to be mindful of their neighbors and the spaces they share. Safety and respect for each other are the most important rules in the studio space. Further, distractions such as broadcasted entertainment, raucous behavior, noxious odors, or anything else that makes working difficult should be avoided and ceased upon request.

The studio should be clean of debris and foods. All perishables should be stored and not out in the open. Cutting area should be free of cutting blades, and electronic tools should be unplugged when not in use. No toxic or harmful materials and/or finishes should ever be used in general and all aerosol usage should be done in the appropriate location in the shop spray booth. For the health and safety of everyone toxic or harmful materials and/or finishes are not be used or stored in the building.

Studio Work

The School of Architecture expects students to develop a sense of self-reliance and independence; to be diligent, attentive and rigorous in their work, and be able to balance a full curricular load. Students should attempt to apply what is being taught in all classes to the work they are conducting in the studio context and conversely take the work they are doing in studio back into the context of their other classes. We value creativity and experimentation and expect students to challenge themselves and maintain an open attitude toward constructive criticism.

Students should recognize the importance of the entire semester’s work, not just the final project. Many times, the most valuable educational insights occur within the iterative working process and the ongoing dialogue during development, not only from completing a beautiful, finished project.

Time management is a crucial personal skill for student success and helps in maintain life balance. Students are encouraged to maintain healthy lifestyles and diets as well as get adequate rest.

Critique and Reviews

The education of an architect is based on a structure of feedback. Assigned work is developed by students through their critical iterative processes of making and testing, being then submitted for the critique and evaluation of professors and invited experts. Such reviews occur throughout the semester and culminate in a final presentation of student work. The studio review process is an important component of the studio model whether it is one-on-one or group review as critical thinking and discourse are integral to studio pedagogy and school culture. The instructor should not provide design solutions to the student but rather gives guidance in their critiques of the student’s work with respect and decorum. The student in turn should respond to the instructor's critique by working out solutions in the design process to improve on their work as an iterative process throughout the semester.

Reviews should be productive in nature. The review is not a place for students or faculty to feel denigrated, humiliated, or personally attacked. It is environment for learning and should be one of the most valued platforms for the exchange of ideas and communication in the School of Architecture. Self-criticism is essential to higher learning. The students should evaluate the appropriate contents for each presentation with a critical mind.

Students are required to participate in their class pinups and reviews as directed by faculty and are encouraged to attend other reviews when possible to expose themselves to the breadth of architectural discourse throughout the building.

Conflict Resolution

In case of conflict, stay calm and be respectful as you communicate your feelings and concerns. By working together we can maintain a supportive and appropriate learning environment. If a disagreement cannot be resolved promptly, seek a neutral third party, such as a member of the faculty, staff or administration to mediate.

SCP Implementation and Maintenance

In order to inform every member of the school community of the Studio Culture Policy, it is present on the CAPPA website and shall be visibly posted in every design studio. Faculty are also encouraged to provide students with individual copies on the first day of class.

Studio Culture Policy Committee will be responsible for updating and resolving any unforeseen issues with the current SCP. The SCP is intended as an evolutionary document to be updated frequently and reviewed and ratified by a full faculty vote each academic year. Any questions, suggestions or concerns regarding the SCP should be directed to the SCP committee. Anyone feeling there has been a violation of the SCP should consult the director of the school.

RESOURCES

Student Academic Resources

Through Student Support Services, UT Arlington provides a variety of resources and programs designed to help students develop academic skills, deal with personal situations, and better understand concepts and information related to their courses. Resources include tutoring, major-based learning centers, developmental education, advising and mentoring, personal counseling, and federally funded programs.

For individualized referrals, students may visit the reception desk at University College (Ransom Hall), call the Maverick Resource Hotline at 817.272.6107, send a message to resources@uta.edu, or view the information at www.uta.edu/universitycollege/resources.

Office for Students with Disabilities: www.uta.edu/disability or 817.272.3364

Academic Support: www.uta.edu/universitycollege/current/academic-support

Office of Student Conduct: For information academic integrity, the UTA honor code and more: www.uta.edu/conduct

Student Health Resources

UTA Health Services: For services ranging from health check-ups to flu shots and more: www.uta.edu/healthservices or 817.272.3829

Counseling and Psychological Services: www.uta.edu/caps/services or 817.272.3671 or 303 Ransom Hall

Police and Emergency Resources: Found at www.police.uta.edu, UTA Police services include assistance call boxes, criminal investigations, key control services, lost and found and more. Personal security escorts and vehicle jumpstarts are available upon request at 817.272.3381.

UTA Police Department Contacts

General email: policedepartment@uta.edu

Anonymous Reporting: Silentwitness-anonymous@uta.edu

Emergency: 911 or 817.272.3003

Non-Emergency: 817.272.3381

Lost & Found: 817.272.2904

Crime Prevention: 817.272.0026

Accident Reports: 817.272.3660

Sexual Misconduct: 817.272.2106 or www.uta.edu/hr/eos/sexual-harassment