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Since the establishment of the Planning Complex Cities studio, we have built routines that support the formation of a socially engaged studio group. During the 2019/2020 round of the studio and due to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, many of these routines – largely drawing on on-campus meetings – lost their viability. As a response, students became engaged in developing new online-formats that compensate for a lack of in particular informal social contacts. They, for an instance, invented the so-called Smart Breaks – moments to lean back, to reflect, and to enjoy the academic setting that they came to experience at TU Delft in the first place (see also related posts on this webpage). When restrictions concerning social distancing became softer, these online formats were complemented with responsible physical meetings. Throughout the period, they were also augmented with active involvement of students in relevant events organized by third parties, in particular the section Spatial Planning & Strategy (see also here).

It is our mission to further develop these approaches to the formation of a social studio group. For this reason we have developed a set of guidelines for the allocation of on-campus and online studio activities*. You can find these on our Brightspace website. Principles we considered while developing these guidelines concern (1) a careful distinction of educational formats by their reliance on physical contact, (2) reservation of precious on-campus time for informal but animated peer-to-peer contact, (3) support for the formation of dedicated/focused discussion groups, (4) good use of online academic life at home and at partner institutes, (5) effective and transparent communication, (6) respect for individual and cultural preferences for protective measures, and (7) avoidance of over-regulation.

*Please note that guidelines may change during the course of the studio, in response to both, wishes of students and requirements that stem from the development of the pandemic. Please also note that guidelines add to the rules that are defined by TU Delft, the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, and the Department of Urbanism.

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