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rkuchinsky
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Joined: July 3rd, 2005, 9:20 am
Location: Toronto, Canada
A good crit is very valuable. A crit is not about just bashing someone, but being critical and making a designer defend their choices. Being prepared for this in school is important as it builds skills a designer needs as a professional. If you can't present your design, make it clear why you did what you did and accept criticism you won't go very far as professional designer.

Our school also had very serious crit sessions for every project at every phase. They were usually a full day, and you had to have your work posted up on the walls before the start of the crit at 9am (or whenever it was). You had to be there, in the room as at 9am sharp, the room was locked. If you weren't inside and your work wasn't ready, you got a zero. Taught a lot of people very quickly about being prepared, professional and ready for murphy's law. No excuses (my printer ran out of ink, etc.). It's something I still take with me to this day to every meeting and interview I've had. I not only am sure to have my work on an iPad or other device, but a printed copy, email myself a PDF, and put one on dropbox. That way, I always have backup.

In particular, I remember my final project crits were very difficult throughout the entire year. I was a good student, but many of the professors were seeing my vision for the project, which was more research and forward thinking than most projects the school typically did. It was a haptic communication tool for people to communicate via touch remotely (now there are tons of projects I see around like it). It really forced me to do my research (spoke with people at MIT, and several universities studying the subject in Europe). One crit, I was so prepared for critical questions as the previous crit was really harsh, I made sure I prepared answers and source material for almost anything they might ask me, in addition to everything else I was presenting over the 40min or so presentation. Come the end, the prof asked me a bunch of questions that he thought would stump me. technical things, results of studies, etc. I quickly flipped my slides past the end "thank you slide" to a whole additional set of 20 or so slides with the very questions he had asked, already prepared with answers, charts, sketches, etc. Crits went well after than.

R
The Directive Collective
http://www.directivecollective.com

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