Sarah Stevens

Dr Sarah Stevens is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Architecture at Oxford Brookes University, Third Year Design Module Leader and an undergraduate Design Unit Leader. A registered architect with eight years experience in private practice she began teaching in the design studio in 2005 as a postgraduate design tutor, and was invited to start her own undergraduate design unit in 2007. Sarah was appointed Third Year Design Module Leader in 2010, and since 2007 she has been a design examiner for the RIBA Office Based Exams.

On BeJLT by Sarah Stevens:


The Critique – an explorative enquiry

The paper relates an explorative investigation into the ‘critique’ (where students present their design project to a panel of critics in front of their peers) to identify its potential as a pedagogic approach founded in a constructivist ideology. Qualitative data was gathered on the critique experiences of a sample of final year undergraduate architecture students through questionnaires and interviews. It was found that engrained paradigmatic assumptions generated power imbalances inappropriate for a constructivist approach. The critique was found to generate anxiety and both extrinsic and achievement motivation, leading to surface learning through the prioritisation of graphic communication over design. A new form of review addressing these findings is proposed as the basis for further research.

Posted in Research Paper

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