perpetual beta

The VCFA MFA in Graphic Design Program Blog

VCFA MFA in Graphic Design Critique Guidelines

VCFA MFA in Graphic Design Critique Guidelines

January 2, 2017

Critique is one of those things that students and faculty alike often find scary. Or terrifying. Or nebulous. Or, at best, not agreed upon.

At VCFA’s Spring Residency, we came up with a working set of guidelines for crit that we feel will help inform everyone involved in the process―from students to faculty to guest critters to staff to observers alike.

It was one of the big things that we decided needed clarification after our recent NASAD review and accreditation―letting our people know what expectations are and will be, even if we are already doing a bang-up job. As a program, we faculty are incredibly insistent upon not incurring pedagogical damage, and clarification felt overdue.

Our Guidelines are heavily based on VCFA faculty member Yoon Soo Lee’s writings and lectures on the transparency of critique and the importance of growth in the academic setting.

We subtitled them the “Spring 2016 Beta Version”, as these Guidelines, like everything else at VCFA’s MFA in Graphic Design program, is in beta.

Thus, we offer for your contemplation…

VCFA MFA in Graphic Design Critique Guidelines

– to be honest
– to be constructive
– to be mindful
– to foster and embody curiosity
– to encourage integrity
– to be open to criticism

– to provide a close analysis of the strengths and challenges of the work in terms of conceptual thinking, form, and the synthesis of form and concept
– to evaluate rigor
– to exchange ideas and opinions

As we round the bend into a new year, these Guidelines are something for all of us to ponder―faculty, students, participants, and especially alumni to consider. These Guidelines are not resolutions―instead, they are and *were* a promise to everyone involved in the pedagogical method (a.k.a. how we teach) at VCFA, even if this is the first time you’ve read them… We promised and continue to promise to do right by you.