Architecture: Describe the scale of your proposal
English: How big is it? It should not be confused with ‘criticism’: the comments made by reviewers at crits or reviews. As with much architectural education, there is a strong element of learning by doing and less evidence of instructive forms of teaching. The strength of critical judgement as a method is its ability to adapt to the ever-changing nature of any given architectural problem. The difficulty with critical judgement as a method for decision making is that it is not a transparent process and is only as good as the individual architect, their imagination and their ability to learn from their mistakes. Don’t just assume ‘brick’ if your drawing suggests a light, delicate structure. It is reflective, reactive, contextual and pragmatic. Critical judgement is a term much used in architecture schools. It also gives architects the will to question existing ideas; to challenge the project brief or status quo. Critical judgement is a way of thinking; it helps architects to make decisions about how to solve architectural problems. This is the ability to make critical judgements. You may find that it simply becomes necessary to make a choice between several promising ideas and the deadline normally compels you to make a decision. It is an essential function of the architect to ask fundamental questions, however awkward, because a flawed solution to a complex architectural problem will cement new, unanticipated problems into its execution. So it is a very dilatory sort of a process where you orbit the thing and actually, you often try to avoid it for as long as possible, and then you can’t avoid it any longer, and then you pounce, and after that you want it done as fast as possible.’
John Tuomey, O’Donnell + Tuomey
Floor, wall, roof
It is too early to fix the form by naming a surface as vertical, horizontal or inclined. It is important to ask how critical judgement is learned, because it is a technique so central to architectural design. However, it is important not to become rigid in your thinking, always opting for the first solution. Critical judgement is primarily verbal and you should become skilled in ‘architectural language’ to understand and participate. Meaning: How do the proportions of the building
relate to the occupants and the context (rural or urban)? In short, it is far better to ask difficult questions at the beginning of the design process than to build your mistakes.