The primary focus of the Design Studio is on Architecture as a Process.
The process becomes evident through the development of the project by such things as the methods of problem-solving employed by the student, the analyses performed in the various phases and evidence of the path(s) of thought throughout.
The phases may include such items as (in no particular order and not meant to limit the options):
Programme analysis (matrices, bubble diagrams, etc.)
Concept(s) – development & analysis
Building Code (life safety, barrier-free access, etc.)
Technical (building systems, etc.)
Qualitative issues (aesthetic, social sensual, etc.) &/or
Quantitative issues (square footage, lighting levels, specified relationships, etc.)
In each phase, there are numerous options that are available to the student. The student must demonstrate an openness to address these options and to show an understanding of their ramifications (positive/neutral/negative) and follow a logical and justifiable path/process in choosing between them.
The RAIC Syllabus provides Studio Instructors with a “Brief” to guide them and to help maintain national standards and directions. For each project, this document or a written synopsis of it will generally be provided to the student, or else the Studio Instructors will offer a verbal explanation of the focus (foci) to the student.
It may be inappropriate to provide the written Brief in some cases, as it could be seen as to overly limit the student’s options or directions of study. It is not our intention or place to limit the student’s options, but instead to broaden the student’s views and to assist the student in focusing on various views and/or aspects of them. As well, the Brief is often written in generalities to address broad issues, while individual students may need different or more specific emphases to strengthen specific aspects of their skill sets.
September 4, 2002