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Critique & Critical Awareness

This Guide offers resources that speak to the theory and practice of critique with particular attention towards the goal of increasing critical awareness.

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The Critique

The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) encourages engaged learning and deems the critique the most valuable assessment tool for artists. Critiques provide excellent preparation for life at all stages by fostering the ability to explain ideas, process feedback, and work collaboratively. The resources found on this page discuss the theory and practice of critique through an Art & Design Higher Education lens. 

Critical Awareness

These resources highlight themes of diversity, equity, inclusion, and globalization and can be readily applied to the context of critique. These resources encourage critical awareness or the engagement in a lifelong ongoing process of reflecting on one's own ideological and cultural location. A goal of this guide is for faculty, staff, and students to examine their own social identities and cultural backgrounds in order to increase awareness of personal assumptions, values, and biases. This list of resources is only meant to be a starting place rather than all-encompassing or exhaustive. 

"'SAIC Recognized for 'Excellence in Diversity'": SAIC received the 2016 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT into Diversity Magazine, a national honor recognizing U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion. 

The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) Initiatives & The Room of Silence

The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) has recently held programming sponsored by the SAIC Virtual Teaching and Learning Center to respond to student needs regarding SAIC's curriculum and critique process. SAIC Spring 2018 programming included events such as the "Student-Faculty Dialogue" on "Critique and Curriculum Inclusivity and Agency" and the "Academic Freedom & Classroom Climate Discussion" on "Trigger Warnings, Microagressions, and Safe Spaces." 

The Room of Silence is a brief documentary film about race, identity, and marginalization at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). The documentary was created by RISD alum Eloise Sherrid in collaboration with RISD's student group Black Artists and Designers (B.A.A.D) as a means to document the difficulties faced by students of color within the infrastructure of the critique.  

The Room of Silence from Eloise Sherrid on Vimeo.