Rice, L. and Sara, R. (2011) Crit(ical) encounters. In: Architectural Education Encounters Conference, Sri Lanka, 2011, Colombo, Sri Lanka, August 2011.
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The crit forms the primary narrative through which architectural education is operationalized. The crit or ‘design review’ inhabits a liminal space through which the process of learning architecture and development of professionalism are curated. For over a century the crit has been used, but has developed very little in that time and in effect has been centred on the binary role of tutor ‘critiquing’ and student ‘defending’ design work. This research paper examines the findings of a CEBE (Centre for Education in the Built Environment) funded project in the UK that critically examines the role of the crit. The research adopted a multi-media research paradigm to investigate contemporary approaches to crit/reviews. Perspectives from both student and tutor were examined, along with critical examination of video-documentary footage of various reviews. Discourse analysis of language and dialgue of crits in a variety of institutes were also used. The key findings of the research point towards a liminal space of fear and paranoia rather than an educational space. One of the key ambitions of the research is to make an impact in the real-world whereby the research will inform good practice guide.