Graduate School of Design
48 Quincy Street
Gund Hall
Cambridge, MA 02138



The Spring 2012 Studio Lottery will be held Thursday, January 19th. The following guidelines will help you navigate the Lottery and the results

Studio Option Descriptions:
Descriptions for studio options will be posted on the GSD Course Bulletin at You will find the studios' scheduled meeting times and critic biographies there as well. Please note that the course bulletin is an active document; updates to the course bulletin will be taking place until lottery day, and in some cases, after the start of the academic term.  

Lottery Day:
The order of presentations and information about studio field trips will be made available in the lobby. Dean Mohsen Mostafavi will offer his welcoming remarks in Piper Auditorium promptly at 9 am, after which Mark Mulligan, host of the Option Studio Lottery Presentations, will open the presentations. Please be on time and in your seat in Piper Auditorium no later than 8:55 am.

To participate in the studio lottery, you must be enrolled in one of the following:
MArch I, 5th or 6th term; MArch II, any term
MLA I, 5th or 6th term; MLA II, any term
MAUD or MLAUD, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th term
MUP, 3rd, or 4th term

If you are in MArch I or MLA I, you may take no more than one studio option outside of your department (except by prior approval of your Program Director). MAUD and MLAUD in their second term must take a studio offered in the Department of Urban Planning and Design. If you have any questions concerning your eligibility, please consult your Program Director.

While the studio site visit is a requirement, if you should be unable or unwilling to travel, your critic will assign alternative work for you in lieu of participation in the trip. Please note that travel is always accompanied by certain risks. If the trip includes travel overseas, please keep in mind that immigration regulations are making it more difficult for international students from some countries, including many Asian nations, to leave the U.S. and then return. Many visas expire after 6 months in the U.S. If this is the case for you, you will have to go to the U.S. consulate in that country and have a new one issued. That can be problematic and is not recommended as failure to get a new visa will make it impossible for you to re-enter the U.S.

Please be sure to use your legal name as it appears in your passport exactly for all transactions such as airline tickets to avoid any confusion. For students selected for studios with trips, please bring a photocopy of your passport with you to the first studio meeting. Please note that students are responsible for obtaining the necessary visas for the trip, and any cost associated with this is in addition to the listed cost associated with the studio trip.

Please note all students traveling to international sites will be required to pay $300 toward the cost of airfare and lodging plus incidentals.  There are no exceptions to this policy and it is charged regardless of the level of funding of a particular studio.  Incidentals can include visas, taxis, airport taxes, meals, fees, and other costs associated with the trip.

Critics are advised that all studio options are, in principle, open to all eligible students in architecture, landscape architecture and urban planning and design; and are intended to accommodate at least a few students from other programs. However, not all students in all programs will possess the capabilities necessary to undertake certain projects that may be proposed by critics. A critic may state that the proposed project may require students to have a particular background.  Studios that are intensively oriented toward one discipline may be irrelevant for students outside that discipline and possibly not conducive to progress in their course of study. This should be taken into consideration when you rank your choices on the lottery ballot. Please see this website for more information:

Lottery presentations:
Studio critics will present their studio option offerings on Thursday morning. The presentations will be in random order as detailed in the Order of Presentation document. Presentations take place in Piper Auditorium and begin at 9:00 a.m. Critics are encouraged to be thorough in their descriptions, including pedagogic objectives, appropriateness to students in programs outside the department offering the studio, course schedule, critic attendance (for visiting critics), and travel plans. Please pay close attention to these details and consider them when you rank your choices on your ballot. Critics will be briefly available in the lobby and auditorium for questions after presentations are complete.

Lottery Ballot Procedures:
After all studio presentations are over and the lottery is announced "Open," go to the page at: and follow the instructions there.

In order to evenly distribute the load on the Lottery Web Server, please delay the entry of your ballot on the system according to the schedule as follows (The time you enter your ballot has no impact on the outcome of the lottery):

Last name beginning A - F, please enter after presentations end
Last name beginning G - L, please delay 30 minutes after presentations end
Last name beginning M - R, please delay 1 hour after presentations end
Last name beginning S - Z, please delay 1.5 hours after presentations end

All ballots must be completed on line by two hours after presentations end. Students who do not submit their ballots online and in person by that time will be randomly assigned a studio.

Your ballot is binding and cannot be changed after entered one time. Please review your choices carefully before hitting "Submit." As with any on-line transaction, please do not hit the "Submit" button more than once. Please report any technical difficulties to HelpDesk.

Lottery ballots will be available online at as soon as presentations have ended. You will need your HUID and PIN in order to complete the lottery form. Use any web-browser (Netscape, Explorer, etc.) on any computer inside the GSD, including those in the library, or room 516.

Also, please submit a paper ballot, which will be used as a back up, to Room 409. In the unlikely event that these paper forms are used, students with missing or incomplete forms will be assigned randomly to a studio.

If you do not know your HUID and PIN, please visit for assistance. For technical issues with the lottery process, see Help Desk in Room 520; if you have questions about the lottery procedure or your eligibility, please see the Program Coordinator in your department immediately. Note that you will be allowed to enter the lottery only one time. Please make sure your choices are correct before submitting the form. If you need to change your entry, you must report to the Program Coordinator in person.

Reminder! Students must complete all fall 2011 course evaluation in order to participate in the option studio lottery, the limited course enrollment lottery, or register for classes.

You must select six studios on your ballot, unless you wish to be assured of a studio option from your department. In that case, list preferences from only your department; you will also need to select that option on your on-line ballot and check off that box on your paper ballot. You should inform your program coordinator when you drop off your paper ballot in 409 that you wish to be in a studio offered by your department only. LA and UPD students must rank all of the choices offered in their departments and may leave the remaining choices blank. Architecture students must list six preferences. Failure to do so will result in preferences being randomly assigned up to the correct number of preferences. Note, Urban Planning students may not be eligible for all studios offered by UPD. Those students must select, in order of preference, all studios appropriate for UP, including those that are all appropriate for ALL programs, as listed on:

Submit your completed lottery form on-line and your paper ballot to Room 409 no later than 2 hours after the lottery presentations have ended.

Notes: Assignment to the studio options is determined by a computer program, which seeks to maximize "Total-Highest-Choice" across all students, limited by available studio spaces. No priority is given on the basis of department, degree program, or semester. Failure to submit a lottery form on-line will result in a random assignment to a studio. The lottery will be supervised by the Program Directors and witnessed by a Student Forum representative. The submitted on-line lottery form and lottery results are binding. Any exceptions to this rule will be made by Friday afternoon, by a committee consisting of the Program Directors and the Executive Dean. Students should submit a written appeal to your department's Program Coordinator by 9 AM on Friday, January 20th. Exceptions are seldom granted.

Announcement of Results:
Results of the lottery will be posted outside departmental offices as well as on-line on the GSD website,, by approximately 6 p.m. on lottery day.
Room assignments for first studios meetings may be updated online at that time. Please be sure to double check times and locations for first meeting times as they may change throughout the day. This information can be found at: Many option studios will be meeting on Friday, January 20th and information about the location of those meetings will also be available on this website.

Studio desks will be available for occupancy on the evening of Friday, January 20th, at approximately 8 p.m. Given the overall logistics, we cannot give an exact time, and we would greatly appreciate your patience during the process. Students should not enter the trays while the desks are being labeled. Please refrain from any intrusive behavior (e.g. following the desk labeling staff around) as this only causes delays. Laura Snowdon will email students not enrolled in thesis or studio during the first week of classes if there are any available desks available for sharing. However, please be aware that there may not be any extra desks this fall.

Classes begin:
Classes begin on Monday, January 23rd, but most option studios will hold their first official class on Friday, January 20th. This is particularly true of option studios with irregular class schedules.

Final reviews and exams:
The final review schedule will be posted on the course bulletin after the start of the semester. All students should plan on being present throughout the entire final review week April 26-27, April 30, and May 1-2, as well as through the entirely of final exam week, May 8-11.

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