The core of the Institute’s program is the design studio. The studio meets three afternoons per week―encompassing desk critiques, design tutorials, reading discussions, and pin-up reviews. Criticism is rigorous and constructive, and follows an academically established architectural -review format. Students are expected to work in studio at least five days a week to advance their projects independently between sessions.
Design tutorials provide students with the tools and techniques to integrate 2D- and 3D-design principles with various software and digital-media platforms. The studio develops students’ abilities to visualize design problems, and to explore, test, and adapt solutions through a variety of analogue and digital media including drawings, models, diagrams, and renderings. Tutorials address spatial concepts ranging from basic geometrical arrangements of points, lines, and planes to more complex morphological systems. Each student receives individual attention and guidance from their design advisor, with whom they meet at least twice a week. Students are assigned readings in architectural and urban history, theory, and criticism relevant to their topic of investigation.
Several times during the summer, students present their work to the group in the form of a digital ‘pin-up.’ Students will learn to develop a coherent project narrative and to articulate their ideas in both a verbal and visual format. Pin-ups provide a valuable opportunity for students to learn from each other, and are critical in preparing students for the formal presentations at the mid-term and final reviews.
The mid-term and final reviews provide students the opportunity to present their projects to a sizable audience of architects, designers, and educators there to provide unique perspectives and insight into each student’s work.
Each student is provided with a dedicated workstation equipped with the latest in both 2D and 3D architectural and graphics software, full access to the Institute’s network printers, copiers, and scanners, and a rich library of digital resources. Facilities also include a small print library and model shop, as well as a formal presentation space for digital pin-ups and reviews.