Design Studio Critique of Students’ Artwork in the Department of Communication Design, KNUST

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The inability of design students to effectively and critically articulate their ideas in the professional language has been a challenge in most Ghanaian Universities. Critique which is an essential component in every design institution is undermined by most undergraduate design students in the Department of Communication Design, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology is not an exception. The activeness and enthusiasm as well as the purpose of the design critique practice is impaired. The participatory action research, descriptive and exploratory approaches under the qualitative research design were used. The data collection instruments used were: observation, questionnaire, unstructured interviews and focus group discussions. The introduction of the criteria into the design studio was expected to encourage active design critique responses and reactions in order to establish a more active teaching and learning in the design studio. Other forms of critique were also explored and this included online and written critique. These other forms of critique also helped to improve the design studio dynamics and fostered new teaching and learning approaches. Hence the introduction of the criteria boosted student-instructor interactivity as students became motivated to be active critical thinkers and learners. The level of students’ involvement was increased. The teaching of design history and research was in addition recommended to be added to the foundational courses, specifically at the first year level for adequate acquisition of knowledge and understanding in the practice of critique in the department.
A Thesis submitted to the School of Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Philosophy (Art Education), 2015