© 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited.Purpose: Since architectural design studio education has critical importance on the students' knowledge, skills, and awareness of sustainability, this study presents a point of view about relations between architectural education and social, economic, environmental sustainability perception of students within the scope of design studios. The primary purpose is to investigate the role of design studio education in the context of sustainability. Design/methodology/approach: In the study, the Department of Architecture in Middle East Technical University (METU) was selected as a case study. The impact of design studio education on the understanding of sustainability of architecture students was investigated by conducting a survey with students and in depth-interviews with volunteer lecturers. In quantitative research after formulating four hypotheses, the questionnaire was carried out with 237 architecture students from different years. Then by using the thematic analysis method, the qualitative part of the study was conducted with 11 lecturers. Findings: Findings reveal that the design studio education and theoretical lectures on sustainability are effective in improving students' sustainability understanding. Originality/value: Architectural education supports the students about comprehensive understanding and knowledge of national and global issues. This article conducted a case study to investigate the impact of the design studio on the perception of sustainability. Data were collected from architecture students and volunteer lecturers of METU between November 2018 and February 2019. The research is original examining the importance of architectural studio education in the development of knowledge, skills, and awareness of sustainability.