Making Yourself at Home and Studio Culture

One of the best things about going to school at CU in the ENVD program is studio.  Studios are a unique element that most traditional students pursuing an undergraduate degree don’t get to experience.  That being said, it’s important to make yourself at home in your studio space. Many of us know first-hand that this program leads us to spend many hours in our studio space.  Therefore, many students like to bring in plants to fill-up their studio area, and others pin-up things, such as posters or their school work.  If you don’t have space to pin-up, students tend to tape items to their desk, such as a picture.  These desks are ours for the semester, and we will spend more and more time at them as the semester goes one.  If you don’t want to display items on top of your desk, you can store them away in your drawer.drawers.  Having something small that personalizes your space and makes you happy can make all the difference to feeling more at home in your studio.

Now you may be asking “but what if I share a desk?”  It’s easy! You can still add something to your space.  Why not make a new friend and exchanges sketches or pictures?  You can add a picture to the top of your drafting board so that every time you look up you see the picture.

One of the things I have at my desk is a series of pictures that motivate me.  They are pictures I have either taken myself or projects I have worked on.  

My studio space in the Creative Labs at the Center for Innovation and Creativity (CINC)


Besides personalizing your studio work area, you’ve probably noticed a greater sense of studio culture, which is a unique element to design schools.  We spend so much time together in the building working on similar projects with similar end results (e.g. building a bridge across Boulder Creek) that you begin to form great relationships with your peers and build community.

Another part of studio culture is maintaining a balance between your health and safety. You may have heard that design schools are notorious for having all-nighters.  Although some students choose to do this, don’t think that you have to stay up all night to get things done.   The later you stay up, the worse your body may feel, and if exacto knives are needed for your project, you run the risk of injuring yourself, which only can put you farther behind.

Studio culture also involves collaboration and camaraderie.  You’re working side-by-side with other students, and many of them have already completed the studio course you are currently taking..  In ENVD, we are one big happy family. We are all here to learn so don’t be afraid to ask questions and share ideas!

Lastly, studio projects are made up of a vast ecology of materials.  Remember to be mindful of what types of materials we are using in our projects, and what may happen to those items after we dispose of them.  We are in the Environmental Design Program after all, so let’s take advantage of the ‘Take it or Leave it’ items available to us in our studios.
Thanks for reading!