Studio Culture in UST

I have this nagging idea itching to get out in the open. In UST we lack Studio Culture. Our students bring their work home and most of the process is done in private. They come in with plates almost done and ready to submit. Design is isolated within a subject. There’s not enough idea incubation. There’s not much dialogue outside the classroom. The library even minimized their drafting area.

UST Students
My Graphics101 Class

Here comes the idea: Why don’t we have a room(/s) where students of any year level could do their plates? A safe place to plug in their laptops and basically do their submittals there. Professors could just hang out for consultation/ discussions. Imagine discussions of fourth years with second years. It may not be open 24hours but I’m not sure how much more money the institution would spend on electricity for keeping this room going for at least 12hours of the day. It’s going to be messy, quite noisy but fun.. in my head. haha!

I want to see messy walls with studies, a corner for open criticism and an idea board. Weekly or monthly themes for discussion. I WANT THIS TO HAPPEN SO BADLY. Maybe it can be something like the Room of Requirement in Harry Potter. It’ll be everything we’d ever need.

I’ve learned that there are some things we need to consider before we put this into action: how it works with the current curriculum, the resources UST already has (and that we can work with), budget and certain restrictions like safety and security. Having a studio culture in UST would also mean students paying more for the electricity/ additional operating hours of the building plus the hours professors would have to dedicate into this program. Imagine the space allocation of all three thousand architecture students having one table the entire year. BUT this doesn’t mean we couldn’t get better by creating a safe space for students to incubate, discuss and play with their ideas 🙂

Maybe we can find ways to make it happen.


16 thoughts on “Studio Culture in UST

  1. Agree! Siguro “Studio Culture” is career specific (architecture, visual art, etc.), but I think a general productive space is lacking in most schools talaga.

  2. Studio culture can be accomplished if only the design professor would utilize all the design hours given every design class….. i know many of our faculty does this, but students seems to be scared of sharing their ideas to others for fear of being copied ……which is a possibility ….. however being a former administrator…… doing things is not as easy at it seems …… financials., logistics , infrastructure and manpower are to be considered …… as they say rome was not built in a day,,,,,,

    1. Hi Sir! So happy you stumbled on my little blog.
      I agree with the restrictions we already have in place and I believe student welfare matters to the administration (past and present). I just feel for the students who are in micro dorm spaces without tables to work with after class hours. The library used to be that safe space for gipit dormers.

      It’s also not in the culture of the students to actually do the work in school while everyone’s watching. I remember some of my classmates didn’t like the idea of other people peeking into their process. So maybe it wouldn’t have to be a 24/7 kind of facility?

      I believe the current admin is cooking up something 🙂 Happy to hear from you po!

  3. You got exactly what I was thinking of since I started 4th year whild thesis is on-going. 10 years from now, I’m going to build a place where students and freelance professionals could work. Inside the building, showrooms of different companies would be set up there to showcase different technologies and materials for the sake of clients and for the up to date needs of students and professionals. There would a floor where students could work on their plates and where professionals could work while also enjoying the company of people, inspiring each other’s idea and lending down knowledge. In my head, I would name the place “Designer’s Cathedral”. It’s still raw, but rest assured I would be working on this to make it happen for us designers and for future designers. 🙂

    1. It’s so exciting to think of NEW WAYS of working/ learning and doing. A lot can happen in 10years! Let me know if I can contribute/ help make this happen. A step in the right direction is getting the industry, the academe and the profession in line with each other.

  4. Hi Archt. Andrea, I’m so amazed with how you’ve been revolutionzing and innovating your classes in UST College of Architecture, as a former student (back in the days Beato was still being constructed), we used to use the library drafting area as our routine workplace. The thing is it doesn’t encourage collaborations due to the rule of silence. So great that you wanted to spur that change in our college as the trend in contemporary & corporate workplaces are already becoming like that nowadays, encouraging more huddle spaces & promoting more collaborations. Architecture schools abroad like in New York promote group processing of designs rather than competition with each other. More of laboratory setting complete with concept modelling materials & 3D printers! This is what we need to prepare our students for the real world of Architecture which promotes team work & being a team player must take its root from school level. Cheers to a new breed of Architect Educator like you! You bring so much inspiration & motivation to the future Filipino Architects

    1. Hello! It’s been quite some time since I’ve written this entry. Good to find you here, fellow alumni.
      The current AD system, along with the new hallways we have are now in place. With the help of our current admin, there are now workplaces outside classrooms where they could also pin up their works. I’ll show you a photo. Maybe I’ll write about it when I carve out time.

      Competent vs. competitive. I like the idea of starting a culture of excellence and collaboration in school. Help us see them through in the industry. We’ll all have to play our part 🙂

      1. Thank you Ma’m,
        Wow! seeing a lot of awesome things going on at Beato. These indeed encourages students to collaborate more & exchange ideas.
        It also makes vacant hours & subject time gaps more productive & constructive. These spaces also trains them into the art of speaking. A lot of times in the past, students only crams to learn how to speak & present their work (and themselves) just a few hours before the thesis delibs; now even regular Design plates may be deliberated among themselves. These “huddle” spaces would prepare them ahead into building their confidence in front of others which is actually a key skill in the industry. Though not exactly the ideal, it’s another example of an interior design solution & sensibility, providing improvements & enhancements on the seemingly “non-essentials”. It probably won’t hurt much as well to design (or write about) napping capsules for the “college that never sleeps”. ^,^ awesome planning class session btw, seeing lots of interactions..

      2. I’m happy to report that our students are getting better at presenting both themselves and their work. Ang gagaling nila, honestly.

        This early, I try and tell them to manage themselves very well. Being able to “not sleep” is an indicator that they are not balancing their time and effort very well. I do not believe in glamorizing exhaustion; so I try and see how we could adjust some things for plates not to be too demanding (and yet still pose an interesting challenge for them to learn from).

  5. That’s great Ma’m. I agree. I love your holistic approach to teaching. It’s good to hear that early on, you are teaching the students that apart from working “hard”, working “smart” is the way to go. Just sad to say that as much as nobody wants to talk about it, substance use and/or smoking has been part of college life of some students doing all-nighters. (I don’t know nowadays) This is partly due to the thought that they tend to feel more creative or work faster when they have something else in their system. My uncle who is an alumnus as well, used to tell me how they filled whole walls with empty cigarette boxes they consumed while doing their thesis. If not any other substance, we ourselves turn to caffeine, which later on becomes an addiction or dependence as well. Great to know of your emphasis on managing themselves (and ourselves) well. Time to break that mantra of the college that never sleeps for the well-being of everyone. I want to see you as the future dean Ma’m.🐼

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