Note: This is a student project from a course affiliated with the Ethnography of the University Initiative. EUI supports faculty development of courses in which students conduct original research on their university, and encourages students to think about colleges and universities in relation to their communities and within larger national and global contexts.

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Title:Architecture Studio Culture: an Evolving Education
Author(s):Coenen, Andrew
Studio Culture
Spring 2010
RHET 233
Abstract:Ethnographic Research was conducted on the U of I campus to look more in depth at the School of Architecture design “studio culture” and what impact this has on students in the program. Studio culture across the country is changing in response to mandated policy changes, concerns over the health and well-being of students, and the necessity for programs to adapt to a modern campus and more universal education. These mandated policies in schools are being promoted by administration; however their effectiveness is in question. These changes are analyzed against the role that administration and students play in the formation of positive and negative or dangerous studio culture practices. Hours were spent observing and documenting ( in combination with three years of personal experience in architecture design school) studio culture at the School of Architecture through visiting design studios and documenting activities, people, and artifacts found in the space. Interviews were also conducted with students with experience in studio and studio culture to obtain a more personal view into studio culture. Other sources include articles written by NAAB (National Architectural Accreditation Board), the association in charge of certifying the architecture programs at all universities in the United States, as well as articles and passages from professionals and educators regarding the importance of studio culture in schools. Research concluded that creating a positive change in design studio and studio culture is a necessity and the only way this can be achieved is through the active participation and cooperation between students and administration to maintain a challenging, progressive, and safe learning environment.
Issue Date:2010
Course / Semester:Rhetoric 233 (Principles of Composition) is an intermediate expository writing course where students refine their skills in critical reading, argumentation, revision, anticipating audience, and editing. In this course, students explored the relationships between language, culture and identity, as well as examined the ways that writers understand their surrounding cultures, contexts, and audiences (and what that means for their writing). They explored how writers use language to not only express themselves or their ideas, but also to do something—act politically, resist dominant structures, express agency, enact change, etc. As part of the Ethnography of the University Initiative (EUI), a major part of this course was to produce an in-depth research project, where students chose some aspect of language, culture, and community/identity to study on the University. They engaged in ethnographic research methods, which included collecting data, observing and participating in their chosen culture, recording their findings, and analyzing what they collected and recorded.
Date Available in IDEALS:2010-06-02

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