International Journal of Art & Design Education

Power, Freedom and Resistance – Excavating the Design Jury

Volume 25.3   2006



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 as a site for learning disciplinary skills, beliefs and values is now widely acknowledged, there continues to be considerable disagreement about what is learnt and how. While critical pedagogues argue that the design jury is a critic-centred event that coerces students into conforming to hegemonic notions of habitus [1], those who promote reflective practice see it as a student-centred event in which a critical dialogue with experts supports students’ construction and re-construction of their own habitus. This paper, inspired by Michel Foucault’s writings on the analytics of power, reports on the findings of a year-long ethnographic study carried out in one British school of architecture that sought to excavate ‘what was really goes on’ in the design jury.