The following is a short essay for my Design Experience class, regarding the ideal critique.
The ideal critique begins far before the presentation process begins. To have an ideal critique, I would need to be rested and prepared, something that I rarely come close to being. Instead of spray mounting items minutes before, I would have time for rehearsal, timing, and revision of what I would like to say. The night before this, I would also have at least several hours of sleep, and maybe even a shower.
Upon entering critique, I would make contact with each member of the panel, and they would likewise notice my presence. After introducing myself, I would receive an enthusiastic response and likewise a brief intro from each member.
After beginning my presentation, my panel would maintain eye contact and interest. Once pieces have been shown, they would take the opportunity to ask me for further details about my process and ideas. Constructive criticism would be administered with a balance of positive remarks. A highly negative panel that condemns too many flaws tends to make me loose focus on what in particular needs to be improved. Instead, focusing on a handful of improvements makes them stand out more, and therefore more likely to be improved upon.
Also, upon analyzing each piece, a definite reaction would be perceived. If it is distaste, it is explained in a constructive manner, and if enjoyed, likewise detailed. A lukewarm, unenthused reaction would not exist in my ideal critique. As my instructors want me to be passionate about my work, I want my panel to be passionate about my presentation. Even for items that I did not feel confident it, I would remember to “sell” them, and emphasize their strengths while minimizing any weaknesses. Reasons behind things, even if they might have fallen flat, are explained to further plant a positive opinion in the minds of my panel.
After I have presented all my items in the proper amount of time, I would have the opportunity to answer more questions, perhaps a bit more personal or beyond just the work of my projects. With this chance to get to me better, they would thus have a deeper connection to my work. My panel would then take the time to fully complete my critique feedback form, reiterating positive and negative feedback, as well as any other comments. By doing so, they would create a permanent reminder of their feedback that I would reread and reflect upon during the following quarter and also chart my progress during my time at PC.
Upon leaving the critique, panel member would each exchange business cards with me, and the relationships would continue to develop. As a result I would then be offered an internship that would give me an excellent experience and connections, and ultimately lead to a smashing good job. The heavens would then open and angels would rejoice.