During the study tour students experience the Scandinavian approach to the design of public spaces which are multi-layered, deeply complex, and designed with elegant simplicity. This people first approach also strives to also accommodate ecological function and climate adaptation without sacrificing one aspect for another. Through sketching, diagramming, note taking, and photography, students document these approaches as precedent for their studio work.
Following the trip, the studio begins in Seattle during the autumn quarter. During the studio, the students focus on applying lessons learned during the trip to a local site with the guidance of the studio faculty and the continued involvement of a Danish Master Teacher. Each year the studio takes on a different theme based on the project site and needs, but all are grounded in the approaches and experiences from the study tour. This involves working at various scales from districts to design details without compromising human use and ecological function.