The Do’s and Don’t’s of Review

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Architecture School, Studio

I have had a couple reviews thus far, along with watching my peers present. With many universities here in Australia heading towards interim [or some already there or been], I thought I’d compile a little Do’s and Don’t’s list when it comes to the lead up, the presentation and aftermath of our infamous Review.

BEFORE THE REVIEW

DO shower and freshen up before presenting | Nothing worse then standing up in front of your review panel and friends with messy hair, crows feet, trackies + hoodie and visible stink lines coming off you. Have a shower and change clothes before you get up there.

DO practice your presentation | A lot of time I usually don’t finish early, but I still practice my presentation, how? While doing the menial work [Revit modeling for example], I am either talking out-loud or going through my talking points in my head, or sometimes I’d even try and think of the questions reviewers and students would ask and start to think about answers.

DO try and get some sleep | I understand architecture reviews are notorious for “forcing” students to stay awake for long periods of time, but try and get some sleep beforehand. You’ll be refreshed [see above], relaxed and you won’t look terrible.

DON’T stress about what others are doing | I tend to be quite competitive, and sometimes I want to outdo my peers, but understand it isn’t a competition. If your friend has done this beautiful hand-sketch perspective, or Photoshopped photos of their model while you have a stock-standard Revit or SketchUp model, don’t worry. Beautiful or impressive outputs don’t necessarily mean a good design. Isn’t there a quote that talks about poop that is applicable here?

DURING REVIEW

DO speak loud enough | Nothing worse than sitting up the back and being unable to hear what the presenter is saying.

DO make eye contact | Don’t be afraid to look at your reviewers and peers, try not to stare down at your cards the whole time.

DO use your posters effectively | If you know your design well enough [which I would think after spending 11-13 weeks on it], you could set up your posters in such a way that you don’t even even cue cards or a sheet of notepaper. Place cues on your posters that blend in with the projects, and create a sequence with your posters. If you want to talk about the concept/parti first [working left to right], put that on the far-left poster. Then if you want to proceed with the plan or section, put that to the right [or below] your parti. If materials is the next thing, put it to the right of your plans, and so fourth. Work your way across the board, and by doing this, when presenting you aren’t jumping all over the place.

DO use your model | Don’t just have your model sitting there, point to it, spin it around, use it as a tool to better present your design.

DON’T start your presentation with “You enter through the front door here….” | Architecture school is about the idea. WHAT did you do, WHY did you do it and HOW did you achieve it? Your entry into your scheme is important, but first tell them your idea.

DON’T talk about your toilet layouts | Unless you have designed a toilet block, the reviewer’s GENERALLY won’t care about your toilet layout. I once heard “If they talk about your toilet layouts in the crit, you have failed at the project.” Like above, tell us about your idea/concept, why did you make those gestures and how did you do it.

AFTER THE REVIEW

DON’T get defensive of your project | I have seen students get VERY defensive of their projects, and when the reviewer would question something they did, or offer some criticism, the students would verbally fight back. Remember, they are there to critique your project, and they may not agree with what you did but you still need to keep your mouth closed and listen.

DO take notes | Whether it’s interim or final review, or even a weekly crit, take note of what people are saying.

DO celebrate | At the end of the day, go to the pub for a drink or two, go grab some Chinese with friends, or treat yourself to a pizza and a movie in bed. However you choose to celebrate, do so.

Have anymore tips?

2 thoughts on “The Do’s and Don’t’s of Review”

  1. Pingback: 2015 – Top 5 Posts | THAT ARCHITECTURE STUDENT

  2. Pingback: Architects Presenting to Juries – THAT ARCHITECTURE STUDENT

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