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A Foucauldian look at the Design Jury

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There can be little argument that the design jury features as a key symbolic event in the education of the architect. However, whilst the centrality of the design jury is widely acknowledged there continues to be considerable disagreement about exactly what students learn and how. This paper, inspired by Michel Foucault's genealogical studies of relationship between knowledge, power and the formation of the modern subject, reports on the findings of a year-long ethnographic study carried out in a British school of architecture that sought to explicate the workings of the design jury as specific form of pedagogic practice. The study uncovered a considerable misalignment between the espoused aims of the design jury and the effects of the jury in practice. Given the widespread use of the design jury these findings suggest that it is time for schools to review, modify or even abandon the design jury.

Keywords: Design Jury; Freedom; Michael Foucault; Pedagogy; Power; Resistance; student and critic

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Oxford Brookes University.

Publication date: November 17, 2006

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  • How can art, design and communication aid teaching? Do these teaching methods work better in certain fields of study? Focusing on arts and media-based subjects, and encompassing all areas of higher education, this journal reveals the potential value of new educational styles and creative teaching methods.
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