April 11, 2018

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Washington, DC – April 11, 2018

The American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) is proud to announce a new partnership with the National Architectural Accreditation Board (NAAB). The NAAB accredits professional degrees in architecture.

As part of the NAAB Conditions for Accreditation, architectural programs around the country must demonstrate that they provide a positive and respectful learning environment that encourages optimism, respect, sharing, engagement, and innovation between and among the members of its faculty, student body, administration, and staff in all learning environments, both traditional and nontraditional. This is called Studio Culture.

In the spirit of studio culture, the NAAB has agreed to partner with the AIAS to promote the InStudio Blog series. Each quarter, the AIAS will highlight a NAAB Accredited school’s studio culture to promote positive and respectful learning environments in academia.

Studio Culture is a topic that has been studied by the AIAS for over a decade now. In 2000, the AIAS established its first Task Force charged to study contemporary architectural education and the studio culture environment.

“The NAAB is delighted to support the AIAS, as the organization continues to inspire ever-more positive, constructive, and supportive learning environments for students. In 2001, the AIAS published the breakthrough Studio Culture Task Force Report. This document led to a significant addition in the 2014 NAAB Conditions for Accreditation, to include Student Performance Criteria requiring architecture programs to demonstrate a commitment to this type of nurturing studio atmosphere,” said Helene Dreiling, FAIA, Executive Director for the NAAB.

Throughout the years, and throughout several different publications, the AIAS has attempted to define what studio culture is, redesign what we thought it was, write guidelines for preparing studio culture policies, and spread awareness about all the negative things that have led to a need for these policies. Throughout this process, the AIAS has created the InStudio Blog which highlights different studio cultures in schools around the country.

“The AIAS is using the InStudio Blog to confront the challenge of improving studio culture by focusing on what’s working, what’s positive, and what’s actually making an impact on student outcomes. The NAAB is the ideal partner in this effort, as we both believe in the value a great studio culture brings to architectural education today,” said Nick Serfass, FAIA, Executive Director of the AIAS.

The AIAS continues to analyze and evaluate the progress that has been made since its first studies. The organization and its collateral partners have amassed a wealth of knowledge on the topic of Studio Culture which will serve as the foundation for a series of critiques, publications, think tanks analyzing the future evolution of the policy, and our recent blog series: the InStudio Blog. Most importantly, the technological shift that has taken place in architectural education will play a vital role in discussing the learning environment at both a physical and digital scale.

The InStudio blog series will kick off the partnership with the NAAB in April 2018.



The American Institute of Architecture Students is a non-profit, student-run organization dedicated to programs, information and resources on issues critical to architecture and the experience of education. For more information, visit www.aias.org or call Kimberly Tuttle at (202) 808-0036.


The National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) accredits professional degrees in architecture offered by institutions accredited by a U.S. regional accrediting agency. All 54 U.S. registration boards accept the NAAB-accredited degree for registration; 37 of those boards require it. naab.org