We believe a hands-on laboratory setting in the design studio is unparalleled in teaching future professionals to deal with complex problems, multiple clients and indeterminate answers.
At Carnegie Mellon, the architectural design education is a unique, intensive, laboratory-based learning environment with a full range of media for exploration and decision making—sketching and drawing, woodworking and model making, writing and public speaking, and computer modeling.
The project focus in the design studio supports the strategic merging of the art of design with sciences and technology - a multi-disciplinary endeavor that other fields are just discovering. To this end, the design studio sequence at Carnegie Mellon is structured around the in-depth, quantitative transfer of ten knowledge bases to be fully resolved in the studio context - either in the same term or in the term preceding the studios.
With a 1:12 student professor ratio, each studio foci bring diverse approaches to the knowledge base shared in joint seminars and joint critiques of the student work. Studio design problems are selected to allow for the full exploration of the studio emphasis and the range of media most effective for that exploration ? from sketching, painting, drafting, and photography, to model making, construction and design build, to two and three dimensional modeling, to writing and performance. Students build a rich and diverse portfolio of professional projects and effective forms of communication each motivated to improve the quality and richness of our built environment.
Design is not the application of discrete knowledge bases, however, but the integration of cumulative sequences of knowledge cutting across issues of composition, materials, occupancy, site, systems integration and design in context. The studio sequence is dedicated to increasing levels of capability and innovation, not layered learning, striving to continuously strengthen the quality of student design work and the expressiveness of their creative production.