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The work of critique in architectural education
Göteborgs universitet, Institutionen för pedagogik, kommunikation och lärande.
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The research reported here is an investigation of instruction and assessment in architectural education. The focus is on the practice of critique, an educational activity in which instructors and professional architects give students feedback on their finished projects. Taking an ethnomethodologically informed approach, the interests of the thesis revolve around questions of how critique is done as an occasioned instructional practice. The empirical material consists of video recordings of critique sessions at a Swedish school of architecture. The core of the thesis consists of four empirical studies. Study 1 deals with issues of professional vision and the ways in which the graphical surface of the presentation is seen. Study 2 addresses the significance of intentions in the setting. The study examines how the relation between students’ stated intentions and the presented designs is treated by participants. Study 3 deals with the use of precedents and references, analyzing how critics respond to students’ ways of handling intertextual aspects of architectural design. Study 4 focuses on the material and spatial set-up of critique—the differing affordances of digital slideshows and posters for presentation and discussion. Critique is found to be a site where architectural proposals are treated for the purposes of instruction as provisional and improvable, and where their significances are detailed in exhibitions of architectural reasoning and judgment. Such exhibiting involves identifying and elaborating on problems and qualities, and articulating values that are visible in the envisaged buildings and their graphical representations. These interpretations may be juxtaposed with the expressed intentions of students, as these appear in verbal presentations or in textual accounts. Their interrelations are inspected and discrepancies are noted and discussed. On the basis of the analyses in the thesis, the function of critique is argued to centre on the juxtaposition of student-produced objects with professional competences for seeing, articulating, assessing, and contextualizing these objects. In organizing the educational program around cycles of production and critique, architecture is provided with a powerful means through which design competences, and the assessment practices that lie at their core, can be made massively present within, and constitutive of, the developmental processes through which students acquire the intellectual, aesthetic, and discursive repertoires necessary for competent architectural work.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Göteborg: Acta Universitatis Gothoburgensis, 2010.
, Göteborg studies in educational sciences, ISSN 0436-1121 ; 298
National Category
Architecture Pedagogy
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-209120ISBN: 978-91-7346-688-2OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-209120DiVA: diva2:717338
Public defence
2010-09-10, Göteborg, 18:50 (English)
Swedish Research Council
Available from: 2014-07-08 Created: 2013-10-14 Last updated: 2014-07-08Bibliographically approved

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Lymer, Gustav

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