Exploring How Design Students Think about Criticism: A Study Protocol

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Design criticism is an important tool for practitioners to make sense of the way we interact with each other, our environments, and objects. With the changing role of design and the designer it is increasingly important that students are able to engage in productive critique as part of their design practice. However, the current education model does not explicitly break down and develop these skills nor does it seem that students have a developed understanding of its value. The display of fear when faced with a studio critique of work may attest to this as well as demonstrate a general lack of theoretical knowledge that should be a foundation of design practice, which may be compromising the ability to situate work socially and to fully understand their role as a designer. This paper describes an exploratory study protocol that aims to investigate the current state of how design students think about criticism and what value they place on it as part of their design process, and is also a means to identify future areas for investigation. This study is the first part of a larger project that aims to develop a framework for a more critical design education. The method for data collection and analysis is presented for discussion, and critique.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Cumulus Conference, Milano 2015
Subtitle of host publicationThe Virtuous Circle - Design Culture and Experimentation
EditorsLuisa Collina, Laura Galluzzo, Anna Meroni
Place of PublicationItaly
PublisherMcGraw-Hill Education
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)9788838694059
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes
EventCumulus - International Association of Universities and Colleges of Art, Design and Media 2015 - Milan, Italy
Duration: 3 Jun 20157 Jun 2015


ConferenceCumulus - International Association of Universities and Colleges of Art, Design and Media 2015
Abbreviated titleCUMULUS 2015


  • criticism
  • theory
  • practice
  • education

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