The Studio Experience

Following in the Beaux-Arts tradition, all students were (and still are) expected to do the majority of their work in studios. The combination of creativity and pressure from time constraints leads to memorable shared experiences.  

From a Reminiscence by former student and professor, Tito Patri, (BS ’55):

“Studio classes were held in the drafting room, which was large and open with big north facing double hung windows and heavy level drafting tables. They were arranged in regular rows, and each seated a single student. We used buff tracing paper taped in place followed by heavier 1000H white trace to develop and record design ideas, from rough conceptual scrawls to final presentation drawings.

No one dared bring a radio into the room lest the sound disturb our concentration. Drafting room "crits" were mostly informal, initiated by the faculty member and unavoidably involving fellow students who clustered around hoping to learn from the mistakes and good ideas of the "critee." The professor seldom criticized the student, and the best of them engaged us by initiating the discussion with an inquiry like, "Now, what is your basic idea here?" Or on harsher days, “Now, is there a basic idea here?”[1]

[1] Patri, Tito, "Shifting Paradigms and Banjo Player in the Drafting Room," Landscape at Berkeley.

The Studio Experience