Salon has an article today about a controversy that happened recently at Print magazine, when it published a critique of Apple.

The original critique is here:

And the Salon article on the dust-up is here:

One thing at stake is how people perceive the role of “critique” in design. Often, people assume that critique is saying bad things about something else. As the Salon article notes, the purpose of serious critique (including design criticism) is to illuminate, not to scold. The relevant quote is here:

If the criterion for what warrants design criticism is based on a level of social, cultural or political impact, then a particular work is fair game regardless of the age or virtuosity of its maker. Since criticism is not meant to be a scold, but is rather a means of illuminating — delving below the surface — finding aspects of work that benefits by explanation and analysis, nothing and no one should be exempt.

Design criticism has long been embedded in some design disciplines–fashion, architecture, and product design–but for whatever reason, interaction design has not had the same culture of critique. That needs to change, and it is changing.