The Context and Experience of the Critique: A Qualitative Study

By Spencer Barnes.

Published by The Arts Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

As public reviews of student work by faculty, peers, and professionals, critiques are invaluable to design education. A critique is a creative feedback tool that serves the purpose of providing instruction and insight, helping students to develop their own sensibilities and discernment with regard to design. At times, though, critiques can be misguiding and students are left desiring more conclusive feedback and closure. This stems from a variety of factors. Currently, very few pieces of art and design literature record any inquiries or research into the rich experience and context of the critique. In order to enhance the efficacy of the critique in design education, its mechanics must be studied and one must derive a means of driving the design process from beginning to end. A qualitative research study was conducted to investigate current critique practices in collegiate design education – the patterns, interactions that take place, contexts, and outcomes of the critiquing process were explored. This study can be used to introduce other design educators to the intricacies of critiques as well as provide them with a foundation to improve and expand upon the critiquing process, allowing them to become better evaluators of design and students to become self-reliant critical thinkers.

Keywords: Critique, Qualitative Research Study, Experience, Context, Efficacy

International Journal of the Arts in Society, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp.1-6. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 494.433KB).

Prof. Spencer Barnes

Adjunct Assistant Professor, College of Design, Department of Industrial Design, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA

Spencer Barnes is an adjunct assistant professor of Industrial Design in the College of Design at North Carolina State University. He holds a Bachelor of Graphic Design and a Master of Industrial Design, both from North Carolina State University (NCSU). Currently he is pursuing a doctorate in Technology Education at NCSU. His research interests include the efficacy of Industrial Design education, graphic literacy, visual rhetoric, and blended learning.


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