Students like architecture junior Damini Sayeed can no longer pull all-nighters in the architecture studio where students create models of buildings and structures. Studio hours have shifted from being open 24/7 to assigned time slots on weekdays only.
“Usually we have 24/7 access, so we are there all the time,” Sayeed said of the new studio regulations. “Between classes I would go to the studio. In the morning I am there, sometimes all night, so it’s been very different.”
UT School of Architecture communications coordinator Kelsey Stine said in an email that the college limited studio hours because its priority is the safety of students. The studio is now open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., with the first half of the day open to students with morning classes and the second half reserved for students with afternoon classes.
“We have done our best to preserve students’ ability to be on campus and to provide some access to maker and tech spaces,” Stine said. “Ultimately, our decision to limit the hours of access was centered on the health and safety of our community.”
Sayeed said she had almost no access to the studio over Labor Day Weekend to complete a model she was working on. Instead, Sayeed said she transformed her living room into a makeshift workspace, where she had to hand cut all of her materials because she did not have access to a laser cutter.
“I feel bad for my roommate sometimes because we take up a lot of space,” Sayeed said. “I’m trying to decide if I want to go (to the studio) during the week or just continue building at home, because it definitely is harder to do at home, but transporting everything is also not ideal.”
Between huge boards of paper, knives, blades, rulers, triangles, and scales, Sayeed said she would have to take several trips to transport everything to the studio by foot.
“I understand that these (precautions) need to be taken,” Sayeed said. “It makes sense, but it’s definitely impacting what would normally be happening with our education.”
Architecture junior Jacob Levy said he does not understand why the studio is not open on weekends with the same separated time slot as the weekdays. Stine said in an email that the studio is not open on weekends because the entire building is closed.
“I don’t really have space to do it at home,” Levy said. “My room is kind of small because I live in an apartment. I’d probably end up stepping on a screwdriver, and that’s why we have a studio: to work on things … but we literally can’t.”
Levy said before the pandemic, building models typically occurred on weekends, and creating and revising the model’s sketches and drawings happened during the week.
“It’s still a tough situation,” Levy said. “A lot of my classmates are going to try and do it at home, and kudos to them if they can make that work. I just don’t see how I can do that comfortably or nicely.”