Name: Emily Sinclair

School: University of Manitoba, Faculty of Architecture

Degree: Master of Landscape Architecture

Year in program: 2nd year

How would you describe your studio experience to a prospective student?
It's like a small office workplace atmosphere while still retaining the great messy art studio aesthetic. The open concept of the JAR studio at the UofM allows for a lot of interactions between students which seems to initiate more peer based learning. Being exposed to the work from everyone helps to push your own work without needing to participate an overly competitive environment.

What are the best aspects of your studio?
The natural light in the studio makes all the difference. Other than that, the amount of space allowed to each student is quite large and having room to spread out seems to help make the work flow more efficient.

Give one tip that has helped you succeed in studio:
Clean your desk! Having a organized and clean workspace lets you have the opportunity to tackle new projects as soon as the manifest - as cheesy as that sounds. Also, make sure you aren't relying on the fluorescent lights in the darker studio times (which, in Winnipeg can mean 4pm in December), having a nice lamp or two will make working much less of a strain on the eyes. Obviously that's two but I feel they fall under the same headline of 'make sure you keep a good workspace'.

What can professors do to create a helpful and supportive studio culture?
Starting to encourage healthy studio habits. Students are very likely going to engage in unhealthy studio habits and professors are usually aware of this. I would have appreciated more (obvious) support from my professors to choose to take a moment to stretch my legs or take a coffee break.

If someone were to deliver an ideal studio care package, what would be in it?
Tea/coffee, healthy snacks, and fresh pens are never unwanted!

What can CASA-ACEA do to help improve your studio experience?
It's hard to say but I wouldn't mind receiving tips on how to make life in studio easier every now and then. Ways to keep mental and physical health in check throughout the school year for instance - or tips from students on what they like to use to keep the creative juices flowing.

Additional facts/tips:
At the UofM the only place to easily buy supplies without a car is the bookstore - so make sure you stock up for times when it's closed! There's also limited choices for decent coffee on campus so if you're picky about your coffee (or want to save money!) try making your own in studio. Most of the studios have a kitchenette or studio-use kettle for such times. In that same line of thought - keep your ear to the ground for UMSU events, they often have weeks where they offer free breakfast/lunch for students in the student centre.