What is Design Studio at IE University?

@IE University

The Design Studio is the heart of architectural education at IE University, where students come together to create projects that identify and solve real problems.

Every year, our Bachelor in Architectural Studies students undergo a midterm review, in which faculty and guest critics evaluate the progress of Design Studio projects. The Design Studio is the heart of architectural education at IE University, where students come together to create projects that identify and solve real problems.

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Student with guest critic during the mid-term review. Photo credits @Roberto Arribas

“The Design Studio is both a physical place and an intellectual place where the students bring together the range of things they’re learning in all of their other classes,” says program director David Goodman. Students can participate in the courses from their second year until their final year. The course, along with the Design Studio topics, progresses as the years go by, becoming more complex and integrated with what students are learning in the program.

2nd Year

In second year, the Design Studio is about creating an experience, and developing different building uses that contribute to the overall form and strategy of the space.

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Group presenting in Segovia’s great hall. Photo credits @Roberto Arribas

3rd Year

In third year, the Design Studio deals with manipulating building materials to create a desired effect, and developing projects within the existing structures of an urban environment.

4rth year

In fourth year, topics become more complex, using repetitive elements to create collective city housing. This will prepare students for their undergraduate thesis by dealing with groups of buildings on a larger scale.

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Professor giving feedback. Photo credits @Roberto Arribas

5th year

In fifth year, students will work both individually and in groups to study and analyze site conditions, propose a program, design a project, and define its construction system. The project being developed by this year’s class dealt with Architecture and Tourism and is based in Mallorca, a vibrant hub for international tourism.

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5th year student presenting her project on Mallorca. Photo credits @Roberto Arribas

The project, which is focused on the Playa de Palma area, will develop 3583 acres (1450 hectares) of land for tourist and residential purposes. It is intended to be a mixed experience, combining culture, natural landscape, wellness, sports, shopping, and gastronomy in a space where tourists and residents can coexist. There is also an urgent need to connect the pine forest, bordering the current urban area, to the beach. The idea is to encourage tourists to explore the area beyond the beach, which will in turn aid in the regeneration and restoration of the Torrent de Jueus area.

More information about the Design Studio: