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wooden model


The Critical Practice Studio is a charrette-style studio that balances between generative creative work, workshop instruction, and intensive feedback sessions. The course stresses critical thinking, research application, and alternative practice models. Tasks and assignments are focused on understanding design responses in regards to depth of information retrieval, evidence of intimate understanding and rigorous application of research, and the exploration for alternatives.

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In addition to the design instruction, the studio is focused on developing each individual student’s ability to work in a complex professional team. Students research, generate, and represent design ideas in a collaborative team format and work process, reflective of contemporary studio practice in the design professions. In contrast to individual work, collaboration via team-based work is pursued in Critical Practice as a cooperative learning environment. This is reflective of the practice of architecture — a team-driven profession wherein the ability to learn how to work in a team environment is considered an essential tool for anyone in the profession.

CAD (computer-aided design) and CAM (computer-aided manufacturing) technologies are also transforming traditional professional boundaries and forcing architects to reconsider their roles in the construction industry. Traditionally architects design, and then the design is translated for others to build. In a post-Fordist, 4th Industrial Revolution paradigm these translations can be carried out by people, machines, or robots. File-to-factory stands to undermine the need for construction documents (the largest labor category in the design process). Given these tools, Critical Practice asks students to consider the role of architectural speculation when the gap between conception and physical translation becomes instantaneous — given a ile-to-factory potential. Critical Practice explores what the architecture profession stands to win and lose given this operational framework.

The studio culminates in an inhabitable, exterior structure in the CoAD courtyard, which is built by participating students in one week. These ambitious circumstances of scale, logistics, and labor pressurize the studio interests and kept the focus. The studio explores design and construction while not suffering the fate of design-build studios that conclude with pointing to a thing and saying simply, “There it is.” Instead, the requirement of the built work of the studio is to be discursive, projective, and exist as a proof of concept, suggestive of other opportunities that are broader than the specific, applicable circumstances of the CritPrax Pavilion.

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floating silver balloon

pavilion back view


Sara Codrin
Karl Daubmann
Kristen Dean
Emily Kutil


Daisha Abdulnoor
Omar Anbari
Jenna Atkins
Curtis Bac
Emily Badawy
Fallon Barrett
Jacob Bonacorsi
Kenyotta Brown
Sabrina Brown
Holly Carroll
Nicholas Crawford
Lewis Deisler
Joel Dennis
Stacy Domino
Thea Donahue
Nicole Dutcher
Gabrielle Enguillado
Bailey Ferencz-Ward
Mackenzie Fisher

Alvaro Garcia Huerta
Ryan Geisler
Nikola Gjurchinoski
Joseph Gutierrez
Brandon Haarer
Ryley Harris
Kathleen Hawkey
Jacob Hessel
Matthew Holowell
Stephen Isaacson
Ryan Johns
Kenny Sydney
Rachel Kosmacek
Spencer Lippert
Christa Lomazzo
John McHugh
Frederick Meinberg
Megan Mondrik
Kevin Piotrowski

Jonathan Raiford
Bailey Ramirez
Ryan Resendes
Cynthia Saadeh
Alexander Seguin
Yunchaun Shen
Ethan Sword
Rubina Thomas
Christopher Torres
Kayleigh Walker
Jacob Weber
Gregory Wehman
Aaron Wrubel
Manal Yassine
Leydi Yatsko
Roba Youssef
Megan Zablocki
Lillian Zielinski