Studio Crit

What is a ‘crit’?

A ‘crit’ (short for critique) is a process of formal analysis or criticism. It forms an important stage in your project, module or programme, when you have a chance to organise, present and discuss your work with tutors and your group.

It is usually a part of the assessment process, prior to the final marking, giving you an opportunity to reflect on what you have done and gain a range of opinion on how well it is working and ways it could be developed further.

Typically a ‘crit’ will explore these basic questions with regard to your work.

  • What have I done in response to the module/brief or requirements?
  • Why have I chosen this approach? Ideas, concepts, issues, context?
  • What methods have I used and why? Techniques, processes, media?
  • What’s working, and what could be improved? Strengths and weaknesses?
  • What can I learn from others’ reactions and suggestions?

Why do ‘crits’?

The prospect of a ‘crit’ can be a bit daunting, but bear in mind that it will be a valuable learning tool, which will help you reflect on your work and yourself. For example ‘crits’:

  • Help you to organise and present your work
  • Help you to put your thoughts and ideas about your work into words
  • Give you an opportunity to practice at speaking in front of others – it gets easier with practice!
  • Help you take stock of your own learning and progress
  • Allow you to get opinions and feedback from your tutors and other students – fresh ideas and alternative approaches are always helpful
  • • Allow you to check that your work is meeting the criteria for assessment

Getting the most out of ‘crits’

Before:

  • Read the assignment brief carefully, including the learning outcomes and assessment criteria
  • Bearing these in mind, check you understand what is required of you
  • Look through your work and sort it into a sequence that shows the development of your thinking and practice
  • Jot down ways you would answer the questions above
  • Make yourself a checklist of points to prompt you in the ‘crit’

During:

  • Have an ordered selection of work available to view
  • Ask a friend to take notes on the points raised – you can do the same for them
  • Listen carefully to what others say and try not to take things personally– it’s the work that is the subject of discussion, not you
  • Remember everyone else in the group has been or will have to go through the same process and your fellow students will be feeling exactly the same as you
  • If you are invited to comment on a fellow student’s work, always try to start with a friendly positive comment

After:

  • As soon as possible after the session, review the discussion and notes made by your peers
  • Use the notes from the ‘crit’ to plan your next steps
  • Keep adding ideas and thoughts to your reflective journal. Over time this will reveal your working process, and help you become more conscious of your own strengths and weaknesses
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