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Abstract

In design education, the critique is a communication event in which students present their design and critics provide feedback. Presumably, the feedback gives the students information about their progress on the design. Yet critic feedback also serves a socializing function—providing students information about what it means to communicate well in the design education context. Using a qualitative research methodology, this study explores what critic feedback reflects about expected communication competencies in design studios. Results suggest that communication competence in this setting involves interaction management, demonstration of design evolution, transparent advocacy of intent, explanation of visuals, and the staging of the performance—all of which imply a communicative identity for students that is tethered to the content and delivery of the presentation, but has implications beyond the content and delivery to the broader disciplinary culture. Implications of this study provide insight for faculty and students involved in pedagogical spaces in which feedback plays an important role in the instructional process—suggesting its potential for shaping disciplinary identities, relationships, and social contexts.

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