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Architecture Studio Culture Policy

A supportive and collaborative studio environment that fosters design excellence, creativity and critical thinking is an essential aspect of life at GSAPP for students, design faculty, and staff.
The studio is a place of collaboration and dialogue

The studio is a creative and inclusive space that encourages collaboration between students, design faculty and staff. In the core studios, students work individually or in teams in studio sections on a shared studio brief within a collaborative environment. In advanced studios in the third year, students work alongside post-professional students from all over the world, collaborating with others with a range of professional experience. History/theory, visual studies, building technology and elective courses offer a diversity of skills, techniques and critical approaches that mutually support the studio. Student-led groups offer opportunities outside of coursework to socialize, generate interdisciplinary conversations, reflect on experiences, and organize around diverse voices and perspectives. The studio model seeks to prepare students for the professional world. Faculty-to-student ratios are maintained to allow for optimal contact hours between student and design faculty. In the First Year core studios, students are further supported by student mentors selected from their 2nd or 3rd year. Each student has their own workspace with a computer installed and maintained by GSAPP IT at collaborative tables and share common resources such as printers and model making space to work together. Students have access to a 24hr maker space as well as on-site plotting (OPS) and a fabrication lab.

The studio encourages an open dialogue between students, faculty, and support staff. Students meet individually with their instructors to discuss their progress. In collective pin-ups active discussion encourages a diversity of voices and opinions in every level of design development within a supportive environment. Design reviews are conducted in the spirit of constructive debate between faculty and students and are open to other students and visitors to the School. The studio environment is a safe place for personal expression while maintaining the highest standards in all aspects of academic integrity and personal well-being of students. A studio “Code of Honor” guides principles of academic integrity. GSAPP adheres to the anti-discrimination and harassment policies established by the university. Students can give feedback through course evaluations that are completed each semester. The Academic and Student Affairs Office and the Finance Office maintain an “Open Door Policy” so that students can visit without making an appointment. The GSAPP Program Council composed of a group of students from each program elected by their peers, act as coordinators and communicators between the student body, faculty, and administration.

The studio is a place of health and wellness

GSAPP continuously supports its students in leading well-balanced lives by fostering a healthy studio environment. Students are encouraged to take care of themselves, both mind and body, and treat each other and the studio space with mutual respect.

The studio encourages a holistic and balanced approach to work, recreation, eating habits and rest. Students and faculty work together to plan and strategize how to develop healthy time management skills to complete work and make deadlines. In an open dialogue with faculty, students are encouraged to advocate for their time. Final studio reviews and history/theory/technology assignments are staggered to minimize any overlap of deadlines. To encourage healthy work habits and rest, submission or printing deadlines are set the night before public reviews.

A healthy studio environment extends to taking care of the studio space itself and mutual respect for each other’s work, materials, and supplies. Students take self-responsibility for their own workspace and are expected to treat each other’s time, space and well-being with consideration and care. GSAPP continually encourages students and design faculty to foster environmentally sustainable habits including responsible material use/reuse, printing, energy conservation, and recycling.


A wide array of resources and helpful student information are available to students on the Academic and Student Affairs and the Policies and Resources webpages.

Resources include: Studio Procedures, Grading Policy, Student Health Services at Columbia, Counseling and Psychological Services, Sustainability Columbia, Disability Services, Campus Security, Dodge Fitness Center, Anti-Discrimination Policy, Pregnancy and Childbirth Accommodations, University Apartment Housing (UAH), Publications at GSAPP, Making at GSAPP, Student Organizations at GSAPP