Studio classes lie at the core of design education, and Critique is its signature pedagogy. Students work on projects, learning to provide solutions to hypothetical problems, and are evaluated through a series of presentations. Critiques are where the bulk of teaching, learning, and assessments occur. They are a dialogue, the active engagement of students discussing their work and process with others. Critiques function as both learning activity and assessment tool. Through the presentation process with feedback, students reflect on solutions, personal skills, strengths, and weaknesses.
As illustration, we outline the practices used in conducting Critiques, highlighting lessons learned in the Visual Arts and the Built Environment (VABE) program. We will discuss how Critiques foster communication, analytical and evaluation skills, and community, encouraging students to learn from others and develop critical awareness. Through group exercises, session participants will explore how reflection enables deeper engagement, and appropriate Critique etiquette facilitates balanced discussion. Planning for Critiques, developing critiquing strategies, and identifying useful models will be reviewed from a range of disciplines. We will discuss the strengths and weakness of the Critique method, uncovering less frequently articulated stories and suggesting best practices for instructors in preparing this pedagogical approach.