In my opinion Jeff, I feel like we should have read this paper at the very start. You go into details that made me have countless ‘Aha!’ moments when recalling all of our class discussions. Really, I love how you make things so simple! I didn’t have to go back and force myself to create subheadings because you nicely formatted the paper to contain a main header and a subheader. Wish most of the authors we’ve read this semester could take some notes, it would make my life 10 times easier! The structure of the paper, I’d say is Grade A. It’s something that I can definitely follow. Simply, it’s ‘what is it, what it is not, what are the components, what are examples’. Short, sweet, simple.
“The critical sensibility, at its most basic, is simply about not taking things for granted, to question and look beneath the surface.”
In essence, I can confess that I’ve never really looked at critical designs beneath the surface, mainly because I didn’t know what to look for. When I read the ‘Reading Critical Designs’ paper, I looked back at this paper and realized the definition of ‘critical sensibility’ before I could read this line (I’m reading both papers at the same time). I will definitely applaud you for referencing this paper back to the ‘Reading Critical Designs’ paper over and over again in this paper. It tells me that you are very confident in your findings and see the information you have constructed as valuable and not many writers that I have seen does that (at least in some papers that I have read). Reading both papers side by side, I feel like I’m getting a holistic picture of critical design.
The big thumbs up that I want to give you is for the ‘Critiquing the Critical Design’. That section is definitely needed, especially since I look at a critical design and think to myself, “You’re kidding me right?” In fact, you put it in words the best yourself when you said,
“Without a richer vocabulary for making judgments in a rational
and consensus-driven way, critical design risks being
a cult of personality and a stick to hit people with, rather
than a self- and critically-reflexive professional stance.”
Critical designs definitely need to define ways of critiquing itself. Critical designs, in my opinion are very broad just because there are a large array of cultural and social issues that it could cover . But like good ol’ Marx said, “…the point of critical theory is not to describe the world but to change it.” How can you change it if the field itself does not have a defined meaning as to what it is? The only critique I think I have is that I wish that you would have used the Teddy Bear Blood Bag Radio here just because it represents a good way of how it looks to change the world. The other examples, though critical designs, in my opinion doesn’t have as strong of a disposition for change that TBBBR, though extreme, does. However, this is just a small suggestion from an opinionated person.