Informal peer critique and the negotiation of habitus in a design studio | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 12, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 1474-273X
  • E-ISSN: 2040-0896



Critique is a central feature of design education, serving as both a structural mechanism to provide regular feedback, and as a high stakes assessment tool. However, this study addresses informal peer critique as an extension of this existing form, engaging students in communication outside of the formal pedagogy. The purpose of this study is to gain a greater understanding of the role of informal critique in externalizing design thinking and judgment, as analysed through Bourdieu’s habitus. Structures surrounding critique, including the role of informal vs formal spaces, objectivity vs subjectivity of critique, and differences between professor and peer feedback are addressed. Beliefs about critique are analysed as critical elements of an evolving habitus, supported by or developed in response to the culture inscribed by the formal pedagogy. Informal critique reveals tacit design thinking and conceptions of design, and outlines the co-construction of habitus between students and the formal pedagogy.


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