Emergent Critique in
Informal Design Talk
Reflections of Surface, Pedagogical,
and Epistemological Features in an HCI Studi...
background
Understanding communication between
students in non-classroom spaces
Using this understanding of the studio
thr...
research
questions
What informal interactions are taking place
between students in the design studio?
How are these intera...
review of
literature
literature
Existing research on conceptualizing critique activity
Process model (Oh, et al., 2012)
Development of understa...
literature
CLASSROOM CRITIQUE

Oh, et al. (2012) process model of critiquing
literature
Shaffer’s Theoretical Model of the Studio (Shaffer, 2003)

Surface Features
Pedagogical Structures
Epistemology
context
context
Human-Computer Interaction design (HCI/d) program in a
School of Informatics
Non-classroom studio with no dedicate...
data
Critical Ethnography (Spring 2013)
Participant Observation (150 hours)
	
	
	

- thick field notes

- audio recordings ...
analysis
analysis
Coding of emergent themes across audio segments
Situating these codes in the context of the studio based on
Shaff...
findings
Instigating
Interaction

#

overheard/seen

16

Design talk or work is overseen or overheard
while working separately

39
...
OVERHEARD/OVERSEEN
SMALLTALK/SOCIAL TALK
SHOWING OFF
PLANNED/SCHEDULED
REQUEST FOR ADVICE
discussion
Shaffer’s Theoretical Model of the Studio (Shaffer, 2003)

Surface Features
Pedagogical Structures
Epistemology
discussion
Surface Features
Physicality of space indicates what kinds of interactions
can be supported
The space was desig...
discussion
Pedagogical Structures
Group projects support collaboration and sharing
Shared pedagogical experience
Represent...
discussion
Epistemology
Surface and pedagogical elements of the studio indicate
underlying beliefs
Projection of identity ...
next steps
next steps
Broader analysis of data across two semesters of data collection
Focus on instigating interactions, and how and...
questions?
Emergent Critique in Informal Design Talk:  Reflections of Surface, Pedagogical, and Epistemological Features in an HCI St...
Emergent Critique in Informal Design Talk:  Reflections of Surface, Pedagogical, and Epistemological Features in an HCI St...
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Emergent Critique in Informal Design Talk: Reflections of Surface, Pedagogical, and Epistemological Features in an HCI Studio

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While critique is frequently studied in formal higher education contexts, often including investigation of classroom critique and high stakes design juries, relatively little is known about the qualities of informal critique and design talk that occurs organically between students in the design studio environment. A critical analysis of design education has revealed a lack of attention to the role of student experience and the power relations that often dominate critique as an evaluative activity. Previous studies conducted in this framing have revealed what Dutton (1991) terms the "hidden curriculum" of a design studio, including factors that affect the student experience of a design pedagogy. Utilizing Shaffer's (2003) framework to theorize the construction of this "hidden curriculum," an evaluation of features manifests on three levels: surface, pedagogical, and epistemological.
This study investigates the occurrence of informal design talk between students in a shared studio workspace in a graduate Human-Computer Interaction design program. Data sources for this ethnographic investigation include: approximately 150 hours of participant observation of the studio space during a four month period, supporting audio recordings and photographs, and intensive interviews.
Based on initial analysis of collected data, including field notes, photographs, and audio recordings, a preliminary taxonomy of informal instigating interactions can be arranged. A broad continuum of informal design talk was observed, with little critique or critical talk between students following a structure that corresponds with classroom or professor-led critique. Despite this lack of structural similarity, informal design talk frequently invokes elements of critical discourse, reflecting the growth of a personal design perspective, and the latent assumptions built into the surface, pedagogical, and epistemological structures of the studio environment.

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Emergent Critique in Informal Design Talk: Reflections of Surface, Pedagogical, and Epistemological Features in an HCI Studio

  1. 1. Emergent Critique in Informal Design Talk Reflections of Surface, Pedagogical, and Epistemological Features in an HCI Studio Colin M. Gray November 28, 2013
  2. 2. background Understanding communication between students in non-classroom spaces Using this understanding of the studio through enactment of critique to conceptualize the hidden curriculum
  3. 3. research questions What informal interactions are taking place between students in the design studio? How are these interactions instigating critique?
  4. 4. review of literature
  5. 5. literature Existing research on conceptualizing critique activity Process model (Oh, et al., 2012) Development of understanding (Exter, et al., 2009) Genres (Dannels & Martin, 2008) Types of knowledge (Uluoglu, 2000)
  6. 6. literature CLASSROOM CRITIQUE Oh, et al. (2012) process model of critiquing
  7. 7. literature Shaffer’s Theoretical Model of the Studio (Shaffer, 2003) Surface Features Pedagogical Structures Epistemology
  8. 8. context
  9. 9. context Human-Computer Interaction design (HCI/d) program in a School of Informatics Non-classroom studio with no dedicated space
  10. 10. data Critical Ethnography (Spring 2013) Participant Observation (150 hours) - thick field notes
 - audio recordings (45 hours/150 segments)
 - photographs (n=745) Critical Interview (n=14) Artifact Analysis
  11. 11. analysis
  12. 12. analysis Coding of emergent themes across audio segments Situating these codes in the context of the studio based on Shaffer’s theoretical model
  13. 13. findings
  14. 14. Instigating Interaction # overheard/seen 16 Design talk or work is overseen or overheard while working separately 39 Casual greetings; “what are you up to?”; “how was your weekend?”; friendly talk 12 Displaying finished or in-progress work to others without provocation planned/scheduled 53 Request to discuss at some point in the future; planned meeting request for advice 30 Explicit request for guidance, opinion, or interpretation smalltalk/social talk showing off Example Interactions
  15. 15. OVERHEARD/OVERSEEN
  16. 16. SMALLTALK/SOCIAL TALK
  17. 17. SHOWING OFF
  18. 18. PLANNED/SCHEDULED
  19. 19. REQUEST FOR ADVICE
  20. 20. discussion Shaffer’s Theoretical Model of the Studio (Shaffer, 2003) Surface Features Pedagogical Structures Epistemology
  21. 21. discussion Surface Features Physicality of space indicates what kinds of interactions can be supported The space was designed for certain types of collaboration Divide between physical and digital spaces
  22. 22. discussion Pedagogical Structures Group projects support collaboration and sharing Shared pedagogical experience Representations follow pedagogical structures
  23. 23. discussion Epistemology Surface and pedagogical elements of the studio indicate underlying beliefs Projection of identity as professional designers A studio bridge (Brandt, et al., 2011) is co-constructed between students and the formal pedagogy
  24. 24. next steps
  25. 25. next steps Broader analysis of data across two semesters of data collection Focus on instigating interactions, and how and when these interactions emerge in the studio space Analysis of how interactions span virtual and physical spaces
  26. 26. questions?

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