The First Year Architecture Program at Auburn University focuses on the practice of practice or the art of synthesizing thinking and acting. The objectives of the studio course concentrates on habits of mind and habits of work—how you think and how you act. It is the very nature of studio culture to embrace such objectives understanding and conveying studio as a class, studio as a place and studio as an activity. The transference of this understanding of studio culture to the beginning design student lies squarely in practice as in practice makes perfect—do it over and over and over again—as well as in the practice of design, synthesizing thinking and doing, the very nature of the act of the profession.
Studio teaching is often defined through the physical outcome of projects and the specific, tacit objectives these outcomes directly address. However, it should be the constant flexible, nimble negotiation of the instructor to maintain a fluid emergent ecology of expectations achieved not through project completion but rather through the collective experience of the studio. This experience relies upon the strength of the collective to develop skills around collaboration as well as self-reliance. It relies upon the constant drive toward the development of a curious mind that understands the value in persistence, of work as an investment, in disengaging in order to re-engage, in multiple streams of investigation, in material creativity, in delegation and dependence of and in others, in adaptability and agility, in the difficult but true reality of studio culture…. the success of failing and understanding that this means failing forward—the value of habits of mind and habits of work.