Thursday, May 6, 2021

Social Anxiety in Design


The public nature of design critiques used in education may adversely quiet gentile voices. Those with social anxiety are overwhelmed by this affront to their propriety and sense of peace. Does public scrutiny and pointed criticism help one become a better designer? Well, yes. Is it required to make you a better designer? No, not necessarily.

Artists and poets may work best in their quiet ecology of introspection and creative expression. Communities and historical interconnections are often required to make a significant change in the status quo. However, singular voices have lifted paradigms from deep foundations – consider the works of Petrarch and the advent of the Renaissance.

Public critiques can have a homogenizing affect as we try to communally agree on what is good and bad design. The intrusion of AI makes this effect broader as we move from friends and classmate’s opinions to some algorithm rooted in established data or normalized rules.

Almost all of my work has been improved by the critique of others. However, there are categories of my work in which I don’t want critiques. I want only to be a songbird in the forest.

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