Fear and Learning in the Architectural Crit

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The crit forms the primary narrative through which critical design thinking in architectural education is operationalized. The crit, ‘design jury’ or ‘design review’ inhabits a liminal space through which the process of learning architecture and development of professionalism are curated as a rite of passage. This pedagogic process is typically centred on the student presenting design work to a panel of tutor and visiting critics and fellow students. At its best, it can be used to explore ideas and develop understanding through dialogue between all parties. More commonly, it centres around the binary role of tutor ‘critiquing’ and student ‘defending’ design work. This research paper examines the findings of a CEBE (Centre for Education in the Built Environment) funded project in the UK to record and understand current student and staff experiences of the crit process through an online survey. The key findings of the research show that the crit process is one that both students and staff value in principle, but that it often fails to fulfil its potential as a place of constructive critical dialogue. Stress and fear are the most consistent experiences of the majority of students. This paper explores the positive and negative implications of this on student learning.


How to Cite: Sara, R. & Parnell, R. (2013) “Fear and Learning in the Architectural Crit”, field. 5(1).