Professors in Review(s)

Professors are here to guide students through the design process. Along the way the student will learn about the professors style, opinions, technical knowledge, and gain an understanding of architecture through the perspective of the professor.

Should you decide that you are going to follow a professors guidance and suggestions in order to learn from their viewpoint be sure to pursue it wholeheartedly. However remember your decisions are your own as not every professor will admit their influence.

In review, the professor, theoretically, should defend the decisions made by their influence. At the very least if you have designed certain things into your project at the suggestion of the professor that should be declared at the review if it falls under ‘attack’. For example, if you had planed to produce three small sections but the professor mandated a single section perspective to show the entire project, even if it doesn’t show everyone’s work equally well, then that should be made known when the jury decides your perspective is meaningless. Not all professors will do this.

If you, the student, have specifically made decisions on the project or you, the professor, have pushed a student a particular direction then as the professor realize this and own up to your influence! You aren’t taking the blame for project errors but giving context to the decisions made and the dicussions that the project generated. This can then bring up an even richer conversation about decision making in design, style, context, and experiences (in design or walking through existant designs).

It is beyond infuriating to watch students or hear about students, who are well organized, dedicated, inquisitive and have strong projects, get negative or less constructive reviews because certain influences aren’t acknowledge and the conversations which led there are omitted.

It is even worse when a professor, who has pushed a certain direction all semester, has encouraged you all semester, decides to switch sides during the review. Rather than support or aid in giving context to decisions the professor works with the jury to invalidate your project, not even constructively critize.

The reviews aim for constructive criticism. The comments should aid students in continuing to work through the prompt and develop the design. They shouldn’t make students feel that their project is meaningless, irrelivant, just plain wrong, or just not an assest to their portfolio. A student’s portfolio, at least in the field of design, is their one representation of their skills and key to getting work later on.

This is not a rant about my own professor but my experiences with professors in the past and stories of professors from other students. How do you think professors should interact in the final, or any, review?  If you have any stories, positive or not, or feel differently please comment below. I would love to hear what you have to say!

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