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crit72 fall 2011

architects must team only accentuate this negotiated state. This reality underscores the need for employing a variety of teaching methods which encourage more active participation and critical thinking skills. Objectively examined, the architecture review as practiced is an incredibly inefficient tool for teaching students to design and think critically. One could imagine a number of alternatives which could reduce this strain and reliance on verbal-centric and juror-led reviews. A modified, more transparent version of the Beaux-Arts charrette system which assembles student work, but is collectively evaluated by the entire studio without a verbal presentation by the student, could be an interesting experiment. The professor could grade student participation during the critique process. This way, students could develop critical thinking skills productively, rather than on the defensive and overly self-interested. Another possible alternative could embrace the proliferation of social media technologies. The role of social media in recent political movements suggests they are a powerful medium for the dissemination of ideas. They encourage participation, they are immediate, and they are not as spatially fixed

as many architectural traditions are. Their ability to connect people and facilitate conversation should be embraced by the design review practice. Images and animations of students’ projects could be presented on a screen followed by a live feed chat featuring posts by professors and students discussing the work. The jury could take on the aspect of a collaborative game that might even make this drawn-out practice more lively and stimulating. Though perhaps this is not a singular replacement of the traditional jury, it might be one of many tools used in a diverse repertoire of methods to catalyze discursive engagement. So the question remains: why is it that architecture schools have not adopted a serious challenge to the status quo of the juried architectural review? Premised on false assumptions and ultimately ineffective as a teaching tool, the crit has exhausted its use in the face of tremendous technological and cultural change. Students deserve a re-energized, more engaging and empowering pedagogical method for evaluating their work, though the substantive implementation of alternative approaches may be a slow and continually evolving process. C

Crit: Journal of the AIAS Fall 2011  

Crit, a celebration of student work in the field of architecture (ISSN 0277 6863), is published by the American Institute of Architecture St...

Crit: Journal of the AIAS Fall 2011  

Crit, a celebration of student work in the field of architecture (ISSN 0277 6863), is published by the American Institute of Architecture St...

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