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Studio Culture Policy

The School of Design studio culture policy outlines the practices and guidelines that ensure a productive environment critical to a studio-based education. It is based on shared values of optimism, respect, engagement, collaboration, and innovation between and among the members of its faculty, student body, administration, and staff. The design studio is at the core of a student’s educational experience at Pratt. Three guiding principles – creativity, community, and commitment – shape the guidelines. 


The School of Design believes in problem-based, iterative learning-by-doing. The design studio is a unique educational model where students produce creative design solutions for problems posed by the studio professor. There are no “right” or “wrong” answers, but rather independent responses that are a product of critical thinking, research, discussion, and creative action. 

The economic, environmental, and cultural issues we face today are complex and, in many ways, unprecedented, inviting students and faculty to imagine new and inventive solutions. Value is placed on a student’s ability to develop new methods of inquiry and experimentation.


The design studio is a community in microcosm, as well as part of the larger academic community. A design studio is often conducted as a series of open-ended discussions between students and faculty, where students propose ideas and show work, and faculty shape and guide development with formal and informal critiques. Students value the professional expertise of the faculty in helping guide development, while faculty value the perspectives and interests of students.

A core community value is respect. This respect extends to every student, faculty, staff member, and visitor of the Institute, and the way in which we use our individual and communal spaces. Respect is also critical for each other’s work, ways of thinking, and differences.

Studio-based learning helps students find their own creative voice within their discipline while also fostering collaboration, exchange, and co-design.

The School of Design adheres to the Academic Integrity Policy set forth by the Institute. 


Design disciplines are social disciplines. As we endeavor to design systems, products, and environments that center the wellness of the user, we also promote and encourage individual habits of health and wellness with regard to sleep, mental and physical health, and engaging with each other as a community. Health and well-being are part of an integrated learning experience. 

Individual habits of wellness yield a collective cultural benefit. These communal habits include keeping personal and public workspaces and communal spaces clean, showing respect for others’ property, products, workspaces, and work habits, and thoughtfully using materials – reusing and recycling as appropriate. Everyone in the studio is a steward of the studio. Individual work processes should not interfere with other students’ work processes or thwart the use of the studio for productive dialogue and exchange. 


Students are expected to attend all classes and critiques and commit the appropriate amount of time to develop their designs. The quality of time spent on studio work is more important than quantity. Students will do their best when they make every effort to manage their time wisely in order to effectively complete all of their work. Students must also recognize that studio learning is balanced by other forms of learning and as such attend all of their courses.

The DESIGN CENTER is a work and teaching space for all faculty, staff, and students.  
Return furniture to its designated location when you are done.  

LOCKERS are first come first serve but only one per student.
Use blue tape and a School of Design sticker to mark the locker with your name.

A note on personal items
Pratt is not responsible for lost or stolen personal belongings or items. Students should remove valuables or store them in a locker when not present in the studio.

A brief summary of how to think about our spaces:

STUDIO is a collective and collaborative workspace.  When working in the studio, please, 

  • Clean your workspace regularly.
  • Keep voice volume to an acceptable level.
  • Use headphones when playing any audio device.
  • Do not leave food in the studio.
  • Throw out trash regularly.  
  • Cleaning supplies, brooms, and dustpans are in each studio for your use.

CLASSROOMS are a space for teaching, learning, and working. When you use a classroom please,

  • Return chairs, tables, whiteboards, etc. to their designated areas.
  • Dispose of all trash before you leave.
  • Take all work, materials, food, and drink with you when you leave.