Criticism and Design

Critique in design  has been a crucial component in the design process. Learning from critique has been valued in all practicing arts and forms a basis of design education. Though critique helps experts point out problems, the ultimate goal is to teach design students to be able to critique themselves and thereby improve through reflection and as explained in Donald Schon’s Reflective Practitioner it helps designers to improve themselves by constantly reflecting on their practice and making improvements along the way.

Criticism in design on design agendas and design fields is similar in intentionality although different in its mode. Theorist and critics have had taken this mode of critical thinking and reflection to call out designers like Dunne and Raby who are trying to contribute to knowledge and practice of design by offering an alternative vision and role that design could play. After all designers are responsible for the mess they have made in the society.


Dunne and Raby have certainly made a great contribution to the field of design by adding another dimension to design and caused a shift in perception of design beyond its “form and function” identity. They have motivated and created a whole new species of designers who ask what if question and create provocative artefacts to carry forth the idea for design as a tool of reflection and sparking debate.

But, we have to be really careful about this role of design as we have seen through past experience what design has contributed to…..complexity, unsustainable choices and serving as a fuel for capitalism are a few in the list.

Cameron’s critique is spot on as young aspiring minds need to understand fully the consequences of such design choices and its far reaching effect. There has to be a valid strong voice in the academia and industry that questions such practices and brings out the flaws and repercussions. We need to see how it affects everyone not only in the group where it is exhibited or presented but also, globally.


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