Southern University and Agricultural and Mechanical College

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Studio Culture


Historically, Southern University School of Architecture (SUSA) has had a studio culture that embraces diverse cultures, geographies, and levels of readiness that typically come to a state institutions. This diversity adds to the strength of the studio culture and adds a new dimension to the tasks assigned to the Southern University School of Architecture. The University's admissions policy is grounded in the belief that opportunity and quality can coexist in a diverse educational environment. To this end, the University offers a wide range of learning opportunities designed to allow students of different abilities to obtain and education that will withstand rigorous scrutiny.

The mission of the School is to support the historic mission of the University, prepare graduates for leadership roles as architects, advocate for African Americans in the profession of architecture, engender in graduates a commitment to service to the community and its built environment, prepare graduates to excel in graduate and professional environments, and to compete globally in architecture and allied fields.

In respect to our mission, SUSA employs the Studio Culture Policy to govern actions and reactions concerning the studio environment, expected outcomes pertaining to teaching methodology and pedagogy, psychological effects of the jury process and standards of performance concerning the student body.


Studio Culture Policy Statement

The studio at SUSA is the repository/hub/backbone of the curriculum. It exposes students to defined educational objectives and design inquiry, ideas and processes in a challenging, thought- provoking environment conducive to analysis and synthesis with applied rigor.

Studio objectives from each year level are collectively established in curricular review in accordance with the mission of the school and the NAAB criteria. Both studio process and design solutions are evaluated in relation to the stated objectives. Juried reviews with professionals are valued for their diversity of critical commentary as well as for intellectual rigor. Juried reviews allow students the opportunity to develop and refine ideas and conduct self-assessment for personal development and professional development.

The Studio itself consists of the student body, the faculty, staff and the community for which it serves as a School of Architecture. Relationships among studio members are courteous, engaging, honest, professional and respectful of the diversity of individual backgrounds.

The School has created a set of core values that the Studio is to have at its helm and every intention towards these values shall be carried out under governance of this policy. Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to build relationships that promote an optimistic, courteous, sharing, and innovative environment respectful of the diversity of individual backgrounds. These core values include:

Studio Values

  1. Promote Design; through exploration, innovation, and research.
  2. Provide a positive studio environment that expresses the importance of success and failure in design. 
  3. Create avenues by which students can express their creativity, while applying the proper restraints necessary for each level of instruction. 
  4. Require strong inquisition skills of the students 
  5. Reduce possible mental stress cause by integrating related courses. 
  6. Insure that proper recognition is given for success and explain reasons for failure adequately, in line with the nature of our profession. 
  7. Allow students to have a unique characterization of personal space to express their sense of identity/design/creativity, etc. 
  8. Keep the maintenance of the facilities condusive to a clean, healthy, and safe learning environment. 
  9. Provide avenues for students to voice student concerns quickly and efficiently. 
  10. Create and maintain an environment that is rich in energy, passion and idealism. 
  11. Faculty members have the right to expect that each student will value, and thus benefit from, the diversity afforded by each individual classmate. 
  12. Faculty have the right to expect that each student comes to the studio with the desire to learn from others and the desire to assist others with their learning needs, creating a robust shared experience where thoughts, concerns, and ideals are advanced by the community as a whole. 
  13. Engagement 
  14. An innovative studio culture embraces the assumption that learning can be achieved through a variety of processes, and that these will vary from student to student and project to project. 
  15. Honesty 
  16. Synthesis 
  17. Applied Rigor