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HELENA WEBSTER

Oxford Brookes University
The Analytics of Power
Re-presenting the Design Jury

There can be little argument that the design jury features as a key symbolic event in the education
of the architect.1 However, while the centrality of the design jury as a site for learning disciplinary
skills, beliefs, and values is now widely acknowledged, there continues to be considerable
disagreement about what is learnt and how. While critical pedagogues argue that the design
jury is a critic-centered ritual that coerces students into conforming to hegemonic notions of
professional identity, the more commonly held conception is that the jury is a student-centered
event that supports students in the construction of their own architectural identities.2 This article,
inspired by Michel Foucault’s studies of relationship between power and the formation of the
modern self, reports on the findings of a year-long ethnographic study carried out in one British
school of architecture.3 The research sought to unravel the complexities of the design jury as a site
of dichotomous power relations, and the findings bring into question the efficacy of the design
jury as a ritual that supports useful learning. The article concludes by proposing that the design
jury be replaced by a new set of pedagogic events that are carefully constructed to support
student learning.

Researching the Design Jury numerous commentators from Reyner Banham to dred students, offered both undergraduate and
Although Michel Foucault’s writings did not focus Jeremy Till have pointed out, architectural educa- postgraduate programs within which design formed
on education in any detail, he repeatedly men- tion is a bit like a ‘‘black box’’ in so far as students the integrating curriculum ‘‘core.’’ The school also
tioned educational institutions as sites par excel- enter as laypersons and exit as architects, but what operated a lively design atelier system that resulted
lence for the creation of the modern subject. As happens within the black box is little understood. in students being exposed to a highly diverse range
some of the new nineteenth-century institutions of Unraveling all the mysteries of the black box was of architectural paradigms. The design jury
power, Foucault inferred that schools, colleges, and beyond the scope of this study.4 However, the was used throughout the school for formative
universities employed the generic ‘‘microtechnolo- design jury, a key pedagogic event in architectural feedback at the end of every design project
gies of power’’ (‘‘surveillance,’’ ‘‘normalization,’’ education, seemed to offer an anthropological and often involved external critics, whereas
and ‘‘examination’’) to transform subjects from one window into the black box that might reveal at least summative assessment was carried out through
state to another. By extension, it seems entirely some of its secrets. portfolio examination at the end of each academic
plausible to conceive of architectural education as Any research project that hopes to provide year. Thus, the design jury figured as a key
a set of contingencies: regulations, spatial organi- a detailed and nuanced picture of real events has to pedagogic event in the school, and
zations, pedagogic encounters, etc., that work on focus on a small sample. In this case, the researcher students experienced the event repeatedly
students over a period of time to socialize and looked at design juries in one British school of throughout their five years of full-time
acculturate them into ‘‘architects.’’ However, as architecture. The school, housing about five hun- architectural education.5

21 WEBSTER Journal of Architectural Education,
pp. 21–27 ª 2007 ACSA
The cross-sectional case study was carried out 1. Students working ‘‘twenty-four-seven’’ to prepare special models and 2. The configuration of space sets the individual student in front of
drawings for their forthcoming design jury. (Photo by the author.) a specially assembled ‘‘jury.’’ (Photo by the author.)
over a period of one year and used ethnographic-
type research tools to access authentic student and
critic experiences. The researcher observed (as
a nonparticipant) three juries from the first, third,
and sixth years (involving a total of sixty students)
and carried out pre- and postjury semistructured
interviews with three students from each jury (a
total of twenty-seven students).The researcher also
interviewed a number of critics involved in the juries
that were observed. Other contextual data were
obtained from documents such as the student
program handbooks, design briefs, and written
feedback sheets. The aim was to collect data that
allowed comparison between the reified, observed,
and lived accounts of each jury that would, through
detailed analysis, allow a new, more nuanced, allowed students to reflect on the quality of their Periodicity
reading of the design jury.6 designs with expert others (resulting in deep The perception of the jury as a legitimate and
transformative learning), the design jury’s ritualistic ‘‘natural’’ part of the passage from novice to
The Design Jury Ritual practices had the effect of objectifying a power expert, fuelled by ‘‘folklore’’ stories such as Mies
Interviews with students and critics produced differential between critic and student and that this van der Rohe ripping students’ drawings off the
a picture of the design jury as a stable and highly asymmetry of power profoundly distorted the ped- walls and students’ own experiences of juries
valued ritual in the school whose purpose and agogic outcomes. Just how this power differential occurring at the end of every design project,
practices were commonly understood.7 Verbal was constructed and its effect on the student had the effect of building up and legitimizing
descriptions aligned closely with the reified learning experience will be explored in detail below. the symbolic power and authority of
accounts in student program handbooks and the ‘‘the critic.’’
school’s Jury Guide, in suggesting that the jury was The Staging of Power/Authority
a formalized event, consisting of distinctive dis- Observations of both student preparations for juries Constituency
cursive and nondiscursive practices, for collective and the jury events themselves revealed that many The specially constituted group of external critics,
celebration of the end of a design project and to of the practices that constituted the jury system usually drawn from internal and external academics
provide students with individual feedback from served as powerful socializing tools in and of and practicing architects, were perceived by
expert critics on their design projects, although themselves. For instance, the long hours of prep- both tutors and staff as representing the values of
institutional memory vaguely recalled that the arations before the jury had the effect of socializing the external architectural world and, as such,
present jury system had evolved from a system of the students into the long-hours culture and their role was to legitimize the work of both the
assessment by proxy introduced in the nineteenth- ‘‘total’’ vocational commitment9 (Figure 1). In individual student and the ateliers’ work
century École des Beaux Arts.8 Yet, while the design addition, and more clandestinely, the jury practices in general.10
jury was certainly ‘‘understood’’ as an individual were found to construct a symbolic differentiation
and collective learning event by the school com- between those who embodied disciplinary Spatiality
munity, the research findings suggested a consid- ‘‘truth’’—the critics—and those who aspired to The spatial configuration of the jury event rein-
erable degree of misrecognition. The data emerging embody the ‘‘truth,’’ the students. This asymmet- forced the symbolic power of the critics (Figure 2).
from observations and interviews suggested rical construction of power was seen to be effected Although most of the juries observed were held in
that, rather than a simple pedagogic event that in the following ways: design studios, as opposed to special jury rooms, in

The Analytics of Power: Re-presenting the Design Jury 22
3. The critics line up on the front row, the jury effectively objectifying 4. A final year student receives feedback from the critics after his 5. The student audience looks passively on as the critics dominate the
the authority of the critics. (Photo by the author.) presentation. (Photo by the author.) jury dialogue. (Photo by the author.)

Thus, the symbolic power of the critics was signaled
by their ability to ‘‘talk the talk’’ and their right to
define the words that can be used to describe and
define architecture.
Thus far, the research findings suggested that
the nondiscursive tendencies of the design juries
all cases a distinctive formal spatiality was created student audience were often encouraged by the studied (periodicity, constituency, spatiality, cho-
through the arrangement of chairs. Chairs would be critics to join in the postpresentation discussions, reography, language) served to objectify both the
placed in a fanning arch in front of the work of each they rarely did so (Figure 5). In the final part of the symbolic power of the critics and the powerlessness
student to be reviewed with the front row of chairs jury event, which occurred after all the students had of the students: a kind of ‘‘staging’’ of power. By
being understood as designated for the critics and had their work reviewed, critics provided a ‘‘sum- extension, it would seem plausible to suggest, as
the rows behind for the student’s peers (Figure 3). ming up’’ providing the design tutors and students previous critical readings of the design jury have
This directionality and hierarchical assignment of of the atelier with a view of the strengths and done, that such a ‘‘staging’’ allows critics to exer-
chairs, which one third-year student said ‘‘puts you weaknesses of their collective work.Thus, the critics cise the power bestowed on them to judge student
on public display—it’s a scary thing because you were given the power to ‘‘judge’’ the currency of performance against, and steer students’ develop-
are so open,’’ clearly spatialized the symbolic power the atelier’s work within the contemporary dis- ment toward, the critics’ personal paradigms of
of the critics. course of architecture. disciplinary identity.11 However, such a
homogeneous model fails to acknowledge that
Choreography Language subjects, both critics and students, bring their own
The choreographic pattern of all the juries observed Architectural discourse works through special histories to the pedagogic encounter, and this
involved a sequence of individual student presen- drawn and oral codes. These codes are more than results in a set of unique actions and reactions. If
tation followed by critic response. This sequence of technical terms or methods of representation; they the temptation to sift the research data for
defense followed by interrogation ascribed the are akin to a private language. So, to communicate examples of coercion and sublimation is resisted,
power of ‘‘judgment’’ to the critics (Figure 4). effectively in a jury situation, participants had to be a more nuanced picture of the dynamics of
Although the student being reviewed and the conversant with the atelier’s distinctive discourse. power emerges.

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The Performance of Power/Authority motivate, or help the reflective learning process of how did the students respond to the jury ritual and
Although the notion of the critic as ‘‘hegemonic the students concerned.15 Only three out of the the actions of the critics? There was little doubt
overlord’’ that is present in some of the writings nine critics observed explicitly supported very weak from observing and talking to students in different
associated with Critical Pedagogy is clearly over- students through diagnostic questioning, the sug- year groups that, despite the powerful prevailing
simplistic, it does not mean that this model of gestion of tangible remedies, and encouragement. rhetoric in the school that extolled the virtues of
action did not exist. Indeed, the researcher often These caring critics tended to be academics who the design jury as an event for reflection and
found a startling schism between the official, or had spent time studying how students learn and transformative learning, the asymmetry of power
declared, intentions of the critics and their who were committed to supporting all students in constructed by the design jury ritual resulted in the
actions.12 While the critics, without exception, their learning. This was contrasted to other aca- student perception of the design jury as primarily
insisted that their role was to support student demics and invited practitioner critics who were ‘‘judgmental.’’17 Furthermore, it was this under-
learning through a reflective dialogue, thus helping happy to declare in the postjury interviews that standing that informed the tactics they adopted
students to develop their own notion of architec- their primary interest was in taking part in when preparing and presenting their work. Thus,
ture within the accepted bounds of the discipline conversations about design and the nature of through repeated design jury experiences, students
rather than to judge or direct students, the evi- architecture. For these critics, their unofficial seemed to develop tactics that they believed would
dence provided by the observations suggested the view was that ‘‘weak students were students guarantee them the best outcome possible, which
reverse was generally true.13 Yet, critics were not who should not be studying architecture sometimes meant, as one student exclaimed,
entirely consistent either in the way they exercised at all.’’ merely ‘‘not getting killed.’’ In effect, students were
their symbolic power or in the scope of their con- Thus, while the oft-mentioned characteriza- found to develop a type of ‘‘ritual mastery,’’ which
cern. For instance, almost without exception, critics tion of the critic as a power-wielding egocentric, involved first, developing an understanding of the
were observed suppressing their symbolic power eager for personal display and personal gratifica- ritual norms and practices, through a mixture of
when reviewing the work of the best students, tion, and intent on the coercion of student toward instruction and observation, and then acting
those who already possessed an architectural their personal notion of professional identity, was accordingly. These practices included the prejury
identity or ‘‘feeling for the game’’ that included not consistently true, it was worrying that most norms of long days and nights preparing special
particular constructions of knowledge, skills, critics did conform to this model at least some of drawings and models, presenting designs to the
deportment, linguistic and graphic acuity, lan- the time (particularly in relation to reviewing critics in the accepted manner, and even unwinding
guage, demeanor, deference, and taste.14 These the work of the weaker students). It was also with the critics in the pub after the jury. Obviously,
students were treated by the critics as colleagues or worrying that the model of hegemonic overlord the students studied displayed varying degrees of
coresearchers, and they spent considerable time was more prevalent than that of the caring compliance, for instance, some students certainly
and energy working with the students’ ideas with pedagogue.16 worked harder than others in the period before
a view to developing a closer alignment between juries; however, there was little doubt that through
the design ‘‘idea’’ and its ‘‘representation.’’ In stark The Experience and repetition, students progressively embodied many
contrast, many critics were seen to exercise their Negotiation of Power of the accepted norms of an architectural identity
symbolic power with full force when reviewing the Thus far, it has been suggested that the design including hard work, disciplinary commitment,
work of the least able students. In these cases, juries observed, produced, and objectified a power competition, and communal solidarity.
critics interrupted student presentations, used differential between the student and the critic If the research findings suggested that stu-
harsh, dismissive language such as ‘‘wrong,’’ merely through their participation in a set of for- dents accepted the nondiscursive practices of the
‘‘bad,’’ ‘‘rubbish,’’ ‘‘incompetent,’’ and were highly malized procedures. It has also been suggested that jury process and, by extension, the norms they
directive both verbally and somatically. In one case, critics exercised the symbolic power, or authority, inculcated as legitimate, then it might be reason-
a critic was observed ‘‘correcting’’ the drawings of bestowed on them in a number of different ways, able to assume that they would also accept the
a third-year student with a red pen. Clearly, in these from coercion through to nurturing, depending on legitimacy of the critics’ comments whatever their
cases, the actions of the critics were primarily their ability or motivation to support student form or content. Further, it might be expected,
judgmental and were unlikely to empower, learning at the various levels of student ability. But as Critical Pedagogy would suggest, that the

The Analytics of Power: Re-presenting the Design Jury 24
objectification of the authority of the critic, Passive Compliance explained that ‘‘there was always something valu-
together with the exercise of that authority, often Low-level learners, those not able to operate on the able to be learnt by following your atelier tutor.’’
in directive ways, would prove highly effective as discursive level of the critics, and who generally This group also took a longer-term perspective
a means of inculcating students with the values and received the harshest criticism, explained that they on their learning. They believed that the experience
discourse of the dominant architectural identity (as operated a strategic form of ‘‘passive resistance’’ of several different atelier tutors, each with their
represented by the critics). Indeed, students were within the jury situation.19 Although they rarely own identities, would allow them to construct
observed time and time again delivering their oral understood what was being said about their work, their own identity as a kind of collage of the
presentations and then passively accepting, they would adopt a demeanor that suggested ‘‘best bits.’’
although sometimes with pained or quizzical acceptance and/or agreement with the critics with
expressions, the barrage of critics’ comments that a view to avoid ‘‘being shown up’’ or ‘‘just to get it Active Resistance
followed. Yet, the student interviews often revealed over with.’’ This group of students explained that Students were occasionally observed arguing with
that their ‘‘front stage’’ acceptance of critics’ they survived by following their tutors’ instructions critics but very rarely. Argument tended to be
comments rarely aligned with their ‘‘backstage’’ from week to week while admitting that they did adopted by students who either had very little
response. Students repeatedly said that the judg- not really ‘‘understand.’’ In some ways, these stu- understanding that the critics had the authority to
mental formality of the jury ritual encouraged them dents were making the strategic decision that the define the architecture and architectural identity or
to present their work as confidently as possible and best way to negotiate their way through the pro- just enjoyed questioning that authority. In one
to ‘‘be seen’’ to understand the critics’ discourse gram was through surface learning (imitation and instance, a third-year student attempted to justify
and comments.18 Such strategies clearly negated following instruction) rather than through deep her design on the basis of Feng Shui and was told
the possibilities of deep, transformative learning learning (internalizing their experiences toward by a critic that Feng Shui was ‘‘mystical mumbo
because they suppressed honest reflection, self- a restructuring of their architectural identity). jumbo’’ and was ‘‘not relevant to western archi-
doubt, and any admission of not knowing or not They calculated that adopting strategies of tecture.’’ Despite the student’s attempts to justify
understanding. On many occasions, students were passivity suggestive of compliance might just her position, the critics used their authority to
observed agreeing with critics and revealing after- get them through juries in the short term and the dismiss the student’s arguments. Clearly, in another
ward that they did not understand the comments program in the longer term. This attitude might time, another atelier, or another school of archi-
because of the complexity of the critics’ discourse. seem cynical, but in the absence of truly student- tecture, the student’s ideas might have been
Only the most acculturated students, those with centered learning, low-level learners often have praised. In this case, the student was clearly
a fully formed architectural identity, were seen to few options. unaware that Feng Shui did not fall within the
enter into a constructive reflective dialogue with critics’ construction of acceptable generators for
critics, either in defense of their work or to ask for architecture.
clarification or help. For these students, the jury Active Compliance The above examples are paradigmatic and are
appeared to be a constructive learning experience. Those students for whom juries were observed to not intended to deny the uniqueness of every
Yet, even the most able students admitted that they be constructive and dialogical experiences tended interaction, that is, that every critic and student
took a strategic approach to jury presentations with to be high-level learners (i.e., the extended abstract brings their individual personal history to each
the aim of ‘‘doing well’’ as opposed to honestly thinker). Postjury interviews revealed that these pedagogic encounter. Yet, this fact does not deny
reflecting on their learning. Indeed, the notion of students understood that their engagement with the reality that all pedagogic encounters are located
‘‘gaining the best possible outcome’’ seemed to the atelier and jury system was a kind of pedagogic in social settings and therefore the rules of
underpin every student ‘‘game plan,’’ whatever ‘‘game.’’ They explained that to doing well meant encounter, as well as the possible outcomes, are
their ability. However, it is critical that what seems embracing the disciplinary identity of the atelier bounded by this setting. In this case study, the
at first like compliance should not be mistaken for tutors, even if one did not wholly agree or believe in students and critics were free to act within the
consent. The following examples describe the ways it, although sometimes this strategy did not work if boundaries of the discursive field of architecture.
in which students were able to accept, negotiate, or an invited critic was antagonistic toward the atelier’s Thus, although the findings suggested that stu-
even resist consenting to the values and norms stance. This form of compliance might seem a little dents had considerable freedom to accept, nego-
modeled by the critics. calculated or cynical, but one final-year student tiate, or resist the critics’ directions after the juries,

25 WEBSTER
the way they chose to reconstruct their individual studio promotes functional knowledge and reflec- implemented in the host institution in 2006–2007,
identities was, in reality, conceptually and materially tive intelligence and also that students are more and subsequently the outcomes will be recorded,
constrained by the identity (the curriculum, rules, likely to learn in environments that are nonjudg- evaluated, and disseminated.
regulations, rituals, spatial configurations, constit- mental, playful, cooperative, convivial, and pur- Although the introduction of new rituals sug-
uencies, values, and beliefs) of the school of poseful.22 We also know that learning outcomes, gests the creation of a new, more supportive, col-
architecture. Further, the fact that students want to teaching, and assessment must align if students are laborative, and dialogical learning environment, we
become architects provides an overarching incen- to learn what we intend.23 So, once the assumption must remind ourselves that this promise will only
tive for students to choose to acquire, or in some that there will be a design jury at the end of every become a reality if experts, design tutors, and critics
cases learn to imitate, the notions of architectural design project is rejected, it becomes possible to of various kinds become more reflexive about the way
identity that are promoted by their teachers, critics, devise a variety of events that occur at different they exercise their (inevitable) symbolic power over
and school. stages of a project that are designed to support students. Only when experts begin to see themselves
explicit aspects of student learning. When design as colearners engaged in a collective project to con-
tutors and students from the host institution were tinually question and reconstruct architectural dis-
Conclusions asked to explore this idea, they had no problem course, rather than as prophets whose role is to
The reader might recognize something of their own devising a whole range of new events including: convert students into disciples, will architectural
experiences of juries in the descriptions above. education become truly student centered.
Certainly, both the form of the design jury ritual and d Exhibitions that celebrate the end of projects and
many of the student experiences quoted parallel, disseminate the results to a variety of audiences
those described in other contemporary reports, (enhances collaborative working, presentation, Notes
suggesting that the findings are not unusual or and communication skills). 1. Research suggests that design juries in the United States, Australia,
unique.20 There is now a bourgeoning literature that d Special Tutorial Days, where relevant experts, and Britain demonstrate similar tendencies. See Kathryn Anthony,
Design Juries on Trial: The Renaissance of the Design Studio (New York:
suggests that the asymmetrical construction of clients, technical experts, practitioners, clients,
Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1991); Gary Stevens, ‘‘Struggle in the Studio: A
power created by the jury ritual encourages stu- etc., are invited to give individual or small group Bourdivin Look at Architectural Pedagogy,’’ Journal of Architectural
dents to adopt surface tactics that are likely to tutorials (enhances functional knowledge, critical Education 49, no. 2 (November 1995): 105–22; and Hanna Vowles, ‘‘The
result in ‘‘a good judgment’’ (hiding their weak- reflection, and communications skills). Crit as Ritualized Legitimization Procedure in Architectural Education,’’ in
David Nicol and Simon Pilling, eds., Changing Architectural Education
nesses and playing to their strengths, pandering to d Peer Reviews in small groups using assessment-
(London: E. and F. N. Spon, 2000), pp. 259–64.
the critics’ taste, etc.) and positively deter them explicit criteria and levels of achievement at inter- 2. This dichotomous understanding of the design jury is reported in
from presenting their authentic architectural ideas vals throughout a design project (enhances critical Kathryn Anthony, Design Juries on Trial: The Renaissance of the
reflection). Design Studio; Diana Cuff, Architecture: The Story of Practice
and understanding for reflection with expert others.
(Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1998), pp. 122–26; Gary Stevens, The
Yet, paradoxically, the design jury continues to be d Self-evaluation exercises that ask the students to Favored Circle (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2002), pp. 187–204, and
used in a relatively consistent form throughout the assess their own work against explicit criteria and Helena Webster, ‘‘The Architectural Review: Ritual, Acculturation
world. The design jury appears to be architectural levels of achievement before submitting their and Reproduction in Architectural Education,’’ Arts and Humanities in
Higher Education 4, no. 3 (2005): 265–82.
education’s sacred cow. So, what is to be done? If, design portfolio for assessment (enhances critical
3. The main inspiration for this article was Michel Foucault’s Discipline
as the research suggests, the sacred cow is termi- self-reflection and self-management). and Punish: The Birth of the Prison, trans. A. Sheridan (Harmondsworth,
nally sick then perhaps there is an opportunity to d Post-Portfolio Assessment Tutorials where design England: Penguin, 1991).
reritualize and reinvigorate architectural education tutors provide verbal feedback on individual stu- 4. See Reyner Banham, A Critic Writes (Berkeley: University of California
Press, 1996), pp. 292–99; Jeremy Till, ‘‘Lost Judgement,’’ European
rather than to prescribe medication, as others have dent performance (enhances critical reflection). Association for Architectural Education Transactions of Architectural
suggested.21 Certainly, educators now have the Education 26 (2005): 164–81.
tools to rethink the design jury; they know more While this list is not exhaustive, it provides 5. In England the standard pattern for architectural education is
a three-year undergraduate degree followed by a year in architectural
about professional knowledge, how students learn, several ideas for reritualizing the design studio so
practice, a further two years in graduate education, a further
and what conditions support student learning. In that that it more explicitly supports relevant year in architectural practice, and then a professional registration
architectural education, we know that the design student learning.24 Several of these ideas will be examination.

The Analytics of Power: Re-presenting the Design Jury 26
6. Data analysis was carried out using Grounded Theory (B. G. Glaser and 11. For critical readings of the design jury see Diana Cuff, Architecture: 18. Erving Goffman coined the term ‘‘front stage’’ to describe the
A. L. Strauss, The Discovery of Grounded Theory: Strategies of Qualitative The Story of Practice; Gary Stevens, The Favored Circle; and Thomas A. identity people present to other and ‘‘back stage’’ to represent their inner
Research [Chicago: Aldine, 1967]). Rigorous indexing and sequential Dutton, ed., Voices in Architectural Education (New York: Bergin and identity. See Erving Goffman, The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life
analysis of the data led to the definition of core thematic categories and Garvey, 1991), pp. 166–94. (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1971), for a more detailed explanation.
subcategories of student experience. In parallel with the development of 12. Peter McLaren derived three generic types of teacher: ‘‘hegemonic 19. Passive compliance was by far the most prevalent tactic adopted by
thematic categories, the researcher began to hypothesize about the overlord,’’ ‘‘entertainer,’’ and ‘‘liminal servant’’ from his ethnographic students. Very few students either presented their learning difficulties to
relationship between categories. These hypotheses were constantly tested study of an American Catholic School. See Peter McLaren, critics or spoke up if they did not understand the critics’ comments.
and revised in an iterative manner against subsequent data (constant Schooling as Ritual Performance (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 20. See particularly the evidence reported in Kathryn Anthony, Design
comparison) until the point of theoretical saturation was reached. The 1986), pp. 112–18. Juries on Trial: The Renaissance of the Design Studio and more recently in
resulting theoretical constructs are explored in the body of the article. 13. The critics from all nine of the observed juries were interviewed American Institute of Architectural Students Studio Culture Task Force,
7. If rituals are understood, as Caroline Bell suggests, as ‘‘formalised, directly after the juries had finished. None of the critics had ever Redesign of Studio Culture: AIAS Studio Culture Task Force Report
routinised and often supervised practices that act on and through the questioned the degree of alignment between their conceptions of (Washington, DC: American Institute of Architecture Students, 2002), p. 17.
body to effect transformation,’’ then the design jury might be considered the jury’s function and the reality. 21. There are several texts that attempt to offer remedies for some of the
as a ritual par excellence. See Caroline Bell, Ritual Theory, Ritual Practice 14. The research found that about 20 percent of students in each jury ills of the design jury. See Charles Doidge, Rachel Sara, and Rosie Parnell,
(Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992), for a further explication of rituals. group, regardless of the year, were able to ‘‘play the game’’ and as Crit—An Architectural Student’s Handbook (London: Architectural Press,
8. The nineteenth century École des Beaux Arts devised the ‘‘jury’’ or a consequence were treated by critics as codesigners. 2000), pp. 90–114; Kathryn Anthony, Design Juries on Trial: The
‘‘review’’ system to carry out assessment of student designs. The ‘‘jury’’ 15. The number of students who received critical and highly directed Renaissance of the Design Studio, pp. 167; and Diana Cuff, Architecture:
consisted of a panel of ‘‘experts’’ who would make a collective judgment instruction varied greatly and was largely dependent on the The Story of Practice, p. 252.
about the quality of students’ work based on a verbal presentation of the constitution of the jury members. In three out of the nine juries 22. Terry Atkinson and Guy Claxton, The Intuitive Practitioner: On the
drawn or modeled work made by the students’ studio master (as opposed observed, the tone set by the jury members was very critical, and all but Value of Not Always Knowing What One is Doing (Maidenhead, England:
to the students themselves). This system of assessment by proxy was the top 20 percent of students received very negative demotivating Open University Press, 2003), p. 48.
subsequently adopted in all schools of architecture, and the system has comments. 23. John Biggs used the term ‘‘Constructive Alignment’’ to denote
proved remarkably resilient, although in the postwar period it became 16. Of the twenty-seven students interviewed after their juries, only a good teaching system that aligns teaching method and assessment to
more common for students to present and defend their own work. seven reported that they found their jury a motivating experience, the learning outcomes stated in the objectives, so that all aspects of the
9. Half of the students interviewed had worked all night before their jury, and twelve students said that they were positively de-motivated system act in accord to support appropriate learning. See John Biggs,
and all the students admitted to working more than twelve-hour days by their jury experience. Teaching for Quality Learning at University (Maidenhead, England: Open
during the week before their juries. 17. The nine students interviewed ranked the function of the jury University Press, 2003).
10. The nine design juries were constituted as follows: The first year juries as follows: nine agreed that ‘‘judgment on individual performance’’ 24. For other constructive ideas for new learning events, see Rosie
consisted of two internal design tutors and students, and the third and was the most important purpose (even though the assessment was Parnell, ‘‘The Right Crit for the Right Project: What Implications Might
sixth year design juries consisted of two internal design tutors, one not summative), five agreed that ‘‘feedback to help learning’’ was Learning Outcomes Have for the Review Process?’’ Trigger Paper at
external critic and students. The external critics were either academics or the second most important second function, and four agreed that Studio Culture: Who Needs It? Centre for Excellence in the Built Envi-
practitioners. There were no nonarchitects present at any of the juries ‘‘symbolically marking the end of the project’’ was the second most ronment Conference, Oxford (2003), http://cebe.cf.ac.uk/news/events/
observed, reflecting the ‘‘closed’’ nature of architectural discourse. important function. concrete/triggers/parnell.pdf (accessed January 19, 2005).

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