Critics (i)

5th Year Crit

Let’s face it. As students of architecture you will have to face the review and the jury over and over again… You have to defend your piece (of proposal; of thoughts; of ideas)…

 At the AA, they basically have crits, review and jury. Crits are when you present to your studiomates and your studiomaster. Review is when you have other critics involved. And Jury is when they look at all the work in your portfolio including the latest work. You will have a jury panel consisting of the most senior and difficult member of staff for your jury.

The UM school of architecture operates in almost the same way but differ at the jury part. We basically have crits and review, the equivalent being the Interim Crit and the Final Presentation. In a sense the Portfolio Review is the Jury, but this is not made ‘hard’ enough, unlike what is being practiced in the AA. Even the juror’s reputation will be at stake here. So imagine a studiomaster arguing intensely with another studiomaster over a student. Such a thing is discouraged in UM. They had a similar thing when I taught at UTM in the early 90s. But the worst argument was between the technical tutor and the studiomaster whose students’ work was more (shall we say) deconstructive or in other words, not being able to be constructed. That’s typical of Malaysian schools. I had experienced that once or twice in my early years as a lecturer at UM, for the 2nd – 4th cohorts, but not now. I think students nowadays are not really good ‘drawers’ (draughtsman) so they cannot really provide the amunition for argument. They tend to play it safe somehow.

I feel that the lack of drawing skills correspond with the lack of exploration. The lack of drawing skills here mean that the lack of manual drawing techniques.

Maybe we have to use different tactics and expectations now.



  1. Agreeee..
    ‘play it safe’…. This become a ‘culture’ in our school..
    i thnk, the problem come from the student too..
    Wat is their intention of studying Architecture?
    if jz wan to pass.. then,
    wat kind of work u can expect?

  2. ‘Play it safe’ is an attitude, where if you trip up, you will bruise badly… I think the school need to turn a corner and find a direction that it needs to be striving for…

  3. Students will always be lost if they do not “identify” themselves as potential architects… students need to breathe, sleep, drink, eat architecture….

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s