Design reviews are when you pin up your work and present it to tutors, guest reviewers and other students for discussion.
They may seem daunting, but why are they so important in developing your skills?
1. They encourage ongoing reflective review
We encourage you to get into the habit of reflecting on your work. being self-aware is one of the best ways of preparing for a review – it helps you to develop a balanced view of your work.
“The reviews really help you grow in confidence by presenting your work. It’s all about learning, rather than criticising.” – 3rd year student
“After a bad review I tend to step back from it for a week, then go back to it when I’m not feeling crushed. It helps me look at my feedback more clearly and work out what to do to carry the project forward.” – 2nd Year student
2. They help you to prepare for project milestones
A review deadline often helps to push a design project forward – and helps you develop skills that will be required to manage project deadlines in practice or in other work.
“Take on criticism, but always reflect on whether that criticism holds weight…” – 3rd Year student
“Being prepared for questions from reviewers is really important.” – Mature student
3. Reviews encourage cross-studio knowledge exchange
The review is an important chance to share ideas amongst different tutor groups. This provides valuable insight into the different ways others might have been working.
“It is good that tutors switch around – you can gain differing opinions… it can seem confusing when tutors’ opinions differ, but it’s also very useful in helping you learn to review your own work.” – 1st Year student
“I like seeing what other groups have been doing – it helps me get a perspective on my own work.” – MArch student
4. You can receive input from across the industry
At some events you might gain feedback from guest reviewers. Our visiting professors are leaders in the profession and are very generous with sharing their experience and expertise.
“We have practicing architects coming in for tutorials and reviews. It’s a very good thing – having their input gives another perspective, and helps you to develop more sophisticated projects.” – International Postgraduate student
“Ask the questions – it shows that you’re interested and that you’re trying to extend your own learning and knowledge base.” – MArch student
5. They help you learn to manage success and failure
Some reviews won’t go so well – it’s important to learn to take this experience and use it as a positive influence on your work. Remind yourself that you are here to learn.
“Tutors do try to be realistic… rather than dwelling on a project that has lots of faults, sometimes they’ll focus on lessons to be learnt from failures, in order to make sure the next project is really good.” – 3rd Year student
“All students and staff are so supportive. When you have a bad review, students give support and offer a different perspective.” – International Undergraduate student