If you are a leader, Make sure you give props.

Sort of sad to know people will be criticizing your designs negatively throughout your life. Its bad enough I get negative feedback from my father when I show him my designs and that does put you down. But I never want it to be something I`d have to get used to. You spend hours/days on something to impress someone and they attack you as if you don’t have enough of a headache already from trying to get everything right. We don’t share the same brain so why the hell would we have the same innovative ideas?

We don’t share the same brain so why the hell would we have the same innovative ideas?

No we do not. And no one person “designs” a manufactured product. Critique is part and parcel to the process of industrial design, engineering, and many other fields my friend. Get used to it. It is a constructive process that helps ferret out problems;consider it “feedback” and use it.

A bit of advice. If you take all of this as a personal attack, you’re doomed. And if you can’t “defend” your concepts to the group/management they will not make it through to the final product. As the old saying goes, “If you can’t take the heat, you’d better stay out of the kitchen.”

How do you guys feel about praise in design school? I have always pushed hard to get critique as soon as possible on every new concept for a project I produced on my course and that is often from lecturers who know good design and (being from a good school here in England) have high standards. All my friends have NEVER asked for critique because to be honest, they are often terrified. Do you think praise from lecturers should be so scarce in Design school as if in industry? Do you think it gets to the point where it simply deters students from asking for critique if they receive little praise for the good stuff and only criticism for the bad?

Where I went to school there was a strong critique culture. Students were encouraged to participate heavily in critique, picking apart other students work, or at times siding with the student and arguing with the professors. I remember getting into a 20 minute argument with a professor over a detail. We hashed it out, loudly. At the end of the conversation the professor walked up to me, shook my hand, and said “you believe what you say, I wanted to make sure, you’ll do well.” Another professor would walk around on crit day with a coach’s whistle, try to BS him and the whistle would be blown and you were done for the week. There were professors who were more encouraging, but I don’t remember learning from them. If you want encouragement, call your mom on Sunday morning. In school they shod be separating the wear from the chaff. Every semester a few kids would drop out. My sophomore class was about 65, my graduating class about 40. Of those 40 maybe 10 or 15 made it as industrial designers. A rigorous critique culture teaches you how to defend your ideas, make your point, and to know when you’ve missed something, to know when to shut it and listen.

A couple of years ago I was pitching to a German auto exec who had been 30 years in the industry. We got into a rather loud argument during which my coeavues seemed a bit horrified. At the end of the discussion he walked up to me and said “very good, I trust you, how much do you want to do this project?”

I’m not going to lie, school was hard, emotionally, metally, and physically, but that is what I was paying for. To rip me down and build me back up. The tougher professors I am indebted to. Find the tough ones, get extra time with them. It will be worth it!

I’m not going to lie, school was hard, emotionally, metally, and physically, but that is what I was paying for. To rip me down and build me back up. The tougher professors I am indebted to. Find the tough ones, get extra time with them. It will be worth it!

We lived in parallel universes yo.

I knew it was going to be a tough year when Papanek’s replacement took a look at a rendering that I’d been working on for an hour or so (way too much time for what it was) wadded it up and told me not to get too “in love” with my sketching. I immediately hated his guts, but within a week I was sketching a lot faster, and as a result I got better quicker than I otherwise would have.

I’m so glad you brought this up earlier on in my school career, I have been doing it but no where near as much as I should so I’ll be sure to emphasise this point! ‘To rip me down and build me back up’ - this is my first year and I’m currently in the ‘rip me down’ phase, however I do feel the critique for recent projects has really helped me build up!

Yo, do you guys in the States have specific critique sessions? I’m only in first year and I haven’t come across anything like that, I assume it comes later on?..

Just been presented with the same scenario with my sketching in a current project! Very pleased to have got this feedback!

here’s another one :wink:

It was the first week of the semester and I was “warming up slowly”. For some reason I thought it would be OK to hang out late one night, and then half ass an assignment. My professor reamed me, slowly and mercilessly. It was actually embarrassing. He called me out hard, and somehow worked other students into it saying things like “it would be one thing if you were Scott, he sucks, but your actually good. It is like I gave you both $100 to invest, and Scott, the half talent he is, buried it in the ground, but at least I still have my $100 dollars, not a horrible idea. But YOU, you decided to burn the $100 in a fire last night, and now we have nothing!”

Anyway, after licking my wounds from the tirade, I threw myself into the next assignment. Just really cranked. The next week when it came time to crit, the prof says “who would like to go first?”, and I jumped up. He gave me a suspicious look, moseyed over to my project, studied it in detail, then said “very good, EVERYONE, this project is the bar by which you will be judged today, I hope some of you worked hard.”… now that was encouragement, because it meant something. When I did poorly, he dindt say “now Michael, whats wrong, did you want to go out with your friends last night?”, no, he practically killed me. The next week when I worked hard, he knew it, I knew it, and he let everyone else know it.

I cant imagine making it through education without getting your stuff ripped off the wall, crumpled up, and tossed back at you at least once (happened a few times to me). I think that should be one of the ‘things every designer must do’ list. It hurts, but it apparently seems to be a key component to being a successful designer.

Every school is a little different. I went to two of them and they had critique sessions almost weekly for each “studio” class. These sessions would last between 4 and 6 hours. In one case one went all day and we came back after dinner to keep going.

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.