Functional Criticism: A Guide to Critiques in the Graphic Design Classroom

By Yoon Soo Lee.

Published by The Design Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

It is vital for students to understand the process of critique as they situate themselves in this global world where visual language plays a dominant role in how we read, understand, and build relationships with people and situations we do not know of. The building and reading of visual messages are critical as we ask the younger generation to become sophisticated in a propaganda and commerce driven global culture. In my pursuit to do so I have come up with a system of critique that enables the development of the students’ visual thinking process where many a times they have to juggle, balance, and hold on to uncomfortable, unfamiliar, and contradicting concepts. This is where learning begins.

This paper works towards giving structure and guidelines in how students and faculty can participate in a critique process that nurtures and develops the voice of the student: a learning based teaching methodology not just a content driven teaching strategy.

This paper will discuss the following issues:
1. Three rules of practice in the classroom critique,
2. Procedure of the critique,
3. Questions to ask at critiques.

Keywords: Graphic Design, Learning Systems, Classroom Critiques

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp.401-408. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 658.951KB).

Prof. Yoon Soo Lee

Associate Professor, Design Department, College of Visual and Performing Arts, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, N. Dartmouth, MA, USA

One of my main focuses in scholarship, professional activities, and teaching is in the study of identity. How do we create identities? How do we sustain identities? What is the source of identity building? My research and scholarship has lead me into investigations of gender identity, ethnic identity, national identity and racial identity. It is the study about the construction and destruction of a person-role playing, breaking stereotypes and rebuilding the self through the understanding history, sociology, biology and the self. The study of identity manifests in my professional work as I design identity systems for regional, national and international events, organizations and magazines. The identity design systems I have built over the years have variations of the following projects: logos, posters, brochures, newsletters, and booklets. My strengths lie in my history of accomplishments: as an educator, designer, artist, and as a global person, with a balanced yet critical understanding of the complex world of humanity, who professes her understanding through multiple mediums with a strong sense of history while embracing the newness of the world. My evolving understanding of this world through the eyes of being an artist and designer is the strength I give my students.


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