On dealing with critique

One of the things we haven’t touched on a lot yet in the course are the ideas of critique and feedback, ones that are both central to the discipline of design as well as to Papert’s theory of Constructionism. And of course, being a maker and a designer in a digital age means means being part of a culture where we share things we make regularly, and often with massive, sometimes invisible, audiences on the internet. This inevitably means that we’ll have to deal at some point or another with trolls, haters and general negative nellies. So, when I came across this wonderful video about how to encounter comments and critiques well online, I had to share.

And of course, feel free to critique in the comment section. ; )


1 Response to “On dealing with critique”

  1. 1 Kylie March 6, 2013 at 4:06 am

    Commenting — thanks for the invitation 🙂 Yes, this is a great point as constructionists view the type of critique and reflection posed here as a crucial site of learning (why? is something we can chat more about in class if we’re so interested).

    As I think about what is posed by the IDEO/d.school model of design thinking, the critique is framed more as a listening stage (i.e., a gathering of important information), which might be a useful reframe for those with little experience with more formalized critique experience. Here’s my thoughts and reflections: From my experience, it’s difficult to encourage a process of critique in a course when few people have experience in Fine Arts or fields where they have experienced this type of culture. So for example, when we’re asked to post comments or talk about the work produced in Scratch, students in the past will err on either not responding or only saying positive things, which does little to encourage growth in the course and making it difficult to truly enact a studio environment in say an education course.

    That said, within this course, the critiques about the prototypes are much closer to the studio model of critique. My sense is that the emphasis on designing for users naturally places learners in an empowered position to critique (offering both suggestions for what they would like to see remain and what should be changed as the designer[s] continue to iterate). It also creates a comfortable place to listen for feedback — i.e., you’re showing a low-resolution product and not something that you were hoping to be the final product.

    So all in all, I’m seeing this model of user-based design as a way to meet the goals of constructionist learning environments.

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