Critical Method: A Pedagogy for Design Education

By Alexander Wright.

Published by The Design Collection

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

The paper presents an applied model for the practice and teaching of Architecture: Critical
Method. This method has been developed by Alexander Wright in the course of the last twenty years.
The paper illustrates how it has been applied in the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering
at the University of Bath in teaching design at undergraduate and graduate levels. The paper outlines
the lineage of the model and its roots in critical rationalism. It also provides an account of the various techniques used in generating design solutions within Critical Method and illustrates the role of criticism in the design process.
The paper includes examples of how Critical Method is employed in setting design projects, assessing
student work, teaching design and in raising students’ critical self-awareness. The paper also outlines
the practical pre-requisites to adopting Critical Method in architectural education.

Keywords: Design Process, Design Method, Design Education

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 5, Issue 6, pp.109-122. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.177MB).

Prof. Alexander Wright

Head of Architecture, Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering, University of Bath, Bath, UK

Alexander Wright is Head of Architecture and Associate Dean for Learning and Teaching in the Faculty of Engineering and Design at the University of Bath. Alex studied as an undergraduate at Bath before undertaking his Diploma in Architecture at the University of Cambridge and his Masters in Design at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, where he studied as a Harkness Fellow. Alex is a practicing architect who has developed a particular interest in the design process in the course of teaching and practice over the last twenty years. He is currently an Independent Examiner for the ARB (Architects Registration Board) and an Expert Advisor to The Department of Culture Arts and Leisure (NI) on architecture and the built environment. Alex is a recipient of several teaching prizes including the Leadership in Learning and Teaching Award presented by the University of Bath in 2009.


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