Critique 2013: in intl conf reflecting on creative practice in art, architecture, and design (Nov 2013, Adelaide Australia)

Dates: 26-29 November 2013
Location: University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia
Deadline for submission of abstracts: UPDATED 7 April 2013

Critique, and by extension criticism, is a vital part of both the everyday creative-practice and teaching in the creative disciplines. The critique of creative works, such as buildings, drawings, images, or artworks, is pivotal for creative practitioners and the broader public to understand the work’s creative and cultural value. In other words, not just judgements of the aesthetic pleasure that the creative work might provide, but, more broadly, what cultural values and critical positions are expressed by the work. However, there are fewer and fewer opportunities and forums in which to mount such cultural critiques of creative practice and its production. The nature and role of critique is changing. So to the public’s perceived value of critique has waned since the 60s, and today is largely thought of as exclusionary intellectual navel-gazing that only permeates the walls of universities and academic journals. The more familiar everyday practice of debating the latest shock-jock celebrity gossip or news-cycle driven political sound-bite seems preferable to deeper and more meaningful interrogations of cultural and environmental questions. It would appear that perhaps both the critique and the critic are in need of cultural reinvention.

Critique 2013 aims to provide a forum that will to bring together engaged professionals and scholars from various disciplinary backgrounds, fields of knowledge, production, and methodological approaches to discuss and debate the role, value and future of both traditional and emerging forms of critique; such as, written critique in the form of blogs, wikis, and social media, to newsprint, to academic journals; opinion versus critique; verbal critique; relationship between critics and creative practitioners; designed artefacts as critique; and curated exhibitions as critique. Specifically, this conference aims to explore the following three broad categories of critique:

a)      *Critique* in *design education* and *creative practice* (verbal & visual, all forms)
b)     *Self-critique* in *design education* and *creative practice* (reflective practice)
c)      *Critique* through *creative works* of *things/ideas/policy/ in the world* (design as research)

We invite contributions from a broad range of disciplines that are concerned with the creative and professional practice of criticism including, but not limited to; design, the fine arts, architecture, interior design, industrial design, urban planning, craft, media, performance, music, exhibition curation, museology, philosophy, education, journalism, and governance and policy.

The following themes are a guide for contributors to *Critique 2013* to consider:

·       *Advocacy & Brokerage* – the role of the critique of government policy and regulatory authorities by design brokerage organisations.
·       *Journalism* – the role of the critique of design in newspapers, magazines and professional journals.
·       *Social Media & online Commentary* – the role of critique through social media (Twitter & Facebook) and other forms of online, or technologically-mediated commentary.
·       *Opinion vs Critique* – the changing relationship between public opinion and objectively informed critique in creative practice, design education and the public; language, accessibility, gatekeepers to taste, shock jocks.
·       *Illustration* – the role of critique through satire, analogy, or metaphor, as a means to comment on design and culture.
·       *Drama & Film *– the role of critique in narrative commentaries
·       *Music* – the role of music in critically engaging in narrative commentaries about historical and/or contemporary cultural practices.
·       *Reflective Practices* – roles and methods of self-evaluation by creative practitioners in creative practice, higher education, and doctoral models.
·       *Design critique in higher education* – pedagogies and education practices in engaging peers and students in oral and written critique.
·       *Exhibition Curation as Critique* – the methods and role of critique in visual arts exhibition curation.
·       *Post-critical theory* – the role of critique in/of creative works that are un-critical.
·       *Judgement* – the methods and role of critical judgement in theorists such as Emmanuel Kant, Jacques Derrida, Manfredo Tafuri.
·       *Critique through Creative Speculation* – the methods and role of speculative design projects as critical devices to discuss, problematise and theorise upon potential alternative techniques, paths, and/or futures.
·       *Other* – anything and everything that considers the nature, effect and affect of critique.

Key Dates

28 January 2013 Call for Participation
1 March 2013 Online Abstract submission opens
31 March 2013 Deadline for Abstract submission
30 April 2013 Notification of acceptance of Abstracts
31 July 2013 Deadline for Full Paper submission
1 October 2013 Notification of acceptance of Full Paper
1 November 2013 Deadline for Revised Paper submission
26/27/28/29 November 2013 *Critique 2013 International Research Conference*


We invite papers that offer new or challenging views on the subject of critique in the creative industries. The selection process will be subject to a double blind review process by an international peer review team.

Abstracts of no more than 300 words should be submitted by 31 March 2013. Authors of accepted abstracts will be invited to submit full papers (4000-5000 words including notes) by 31 July 2013.

Please submit your abstract using the Online Conference Management System available on the conference website (


For all other information please contact the conference conveners Dr. Chris Brisbin<> & Dr. Myra Thiessen<> at:

About Fil Salustri
I'm a design methodologist and Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada. Adjectives that describe me include: secular humanist, meritocrat, and long-winded. Some people call me a positivist too, as if that were a bad thing. Go figure. My real home page is

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