University of South Florida

School of Architecture & Community Design

USF College of The Arts

Studio Environment Policy

(Policy date: October 2016)

Topic I: Quality of life


Stress is inevitable in architecture school, therefore it is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle to manage stress.

  • Take breaks! Don't get caught up overthinking your work. Give some time to yourself so you can re-approach things with a clear head.
  • Stay active! The Campus Recreation Center is right across the street. Exercising reduces stress and helps clear your mind.
  • Enjoy life! Make time in your schedule to do things that you enjoy!
  • Eat healthy! It is often hard to find time to cook but remember your body needs nutrients to stay active.

Work Smart

Time management is key for architecture school. Students are encouraged to work smarter, not necessarily longer, in studio.


Sometimes it seems all-nighters are inevitable, but you should still try and avoid them. A few hours of sleep will help you to be more productive in the long run.


We strongly recommend you seek counseling services when experiencing stress, depression or anxiety that interferes with your well-being. Call or stop by the USF Counseling Center (SVC 2124, 813-974-2831) during office hours of Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Interdisciplinary Opportunities

It is important to reach out to the College of The Arts (CoTA) and the university  in general to stay involved in interdisciplinary activities. Outside projects and works will provide fresh ideas and inspiration for your own projects. SACD students can get a free Arts Activity Card by visiting the CoTA Student Services & Advising Office, in FAH 120. This card grants student of the College of The Arts free and discounted tickets to college-sponsored events.


Topic II: Studio Culture

Juries & Critiques

Public presentations and display of work is valued and essential in an architectural education. All discussions should be respectful and professional in manner. Students are expected be present for the entirety of jury.

Studio & Open Ended questions

Studio-based learning is a unique and valuable educational model that allows for open-ended questions, for which there may be no "right" answers.

Design Process

SACD values the following:

  • Design intention: ideas that motivate the project at hand.
  • Design process: the student's rigor in the development of ideas and application of research in the process of design.
  • Design product: the material and visual quality of the studio's final design proposals.
  • Guest lectures: guest lectures are of great benefit to student development and their understanding of the profession. Plan to attend lectures associated with the SACD Lecture Series.


Collaboration is encouraged throughout the curriculum. Mentorship opportunities are encouraged and provided through the student organizations American Institute of Architecture Students and Student Women in Architecture.

Student-Student Relations

The intensity of studio culture can lend itself to conflicts that should be resolved peaceably and mutually. Mentors and student leaders can also help resolve conflicts.

Go to your instructor if the conflict involves: Harassment of any kind, physical or verbal assault, alcohol or drug related issues, or any action that would result in danger to a student's or instructor's health, safety or well-being. All SACD students are required to abide by the USF Student Code of Conduct. Visit the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities for more information about your student rights.


Topic III: Decorum


  • Respect our building, workspaces, and colleagues. Keep your work space clean.
  • Do not borrow other students' belongings without students' consent.
  • No aerosol spray adhesive or painting outside of Spray Room (room HMS 329)

Health & Safety

Keep flammable items stored and contained responsibly in the fire cabinet in HMS 329 or off-campus.

No Pets

No pets are allowed in the architecture building per USF policy.

Alcohol & Drugs

No alcohol and illegal drugs are allowed on campus.

Studio Security

Look out for one another. Report any suspicious activity to the University Police Department (813) 974-2628.


Keep all interior and exterior corridors clear of furniture, projects and trash. Keep wall-mounted fire extinguishers clear.

Noise & Music

The studio is an open environment; be respectful of your noise level. Excessive noise can become a major annoyance to those around you. Shouting or loud behavior is strongly discouraged! Help us concentrate. The use of headphones is strongly encouraged!

Cell Phones

Turn cell phones OFF during class, studio hours and juries. No texting during juries!

Electrical Safety

Extension cords are prohibited. Only surge protectors are allowed. Keep electrical cords out of the aisles and don't overload receptacles. No small appliances (space heaters, toaster ovens, etc.). Absolutely no power tools are allowed in studio – portable or otherwise.


Per USF Environmental Health & Safety Policy, the use of tobacco and vapor products is not allowed on campus or inside any building. USF is a smoke-free, tobacco-free, and vapor-free campus.