Feedback + Reflection
Discover how to evolve your work through feedback and reflection.
What Is Feedback?
Feedback is information about the progress, process and outcome of your work. Feedback is an assessment of:
• What is working? Why? How?
• What is not working? Why? Why not?
• What is missing? What needs to be addressed next?
In architecture and design, feedback is about where your work is good and where it needs improvement.
It is NOT about telling you how to do things, or telling you the solution or the outcome you could or should create, or showing you skills or technical process. It is an indication of how well your work is progressing and where you are and are not heading in the right direction.
Feedback may be provided in different ways:
• Quantitative (numbers, broad)
• Qualitative (words, specific)
Feedback may come from your teacher, your class mates, other designers or your peers and classmates. Feedback methods include:
• Written - rubric and comments
• Annotation/ Mark up - Notes on your drawings and presented work
• Whole class review - General
• Individual, one-on-one review with your tutor or teacher - Feedback directed at your work
• Small group review with your tutor or teacher
• Peer review - Work in a small group to provide and receive feedback from your peers
• Self review - Review your own work and provide feedback for yourself
01 | Record Feedback
All of the above situations are opportunities for feedback. It is important to be aware of all these opportunities and seek to identify feedback that you can use in your own work, in all situations.
You can record feedback by:
• Taking comprehensive notes
• Asking someone else to take notes while you are presenting
You will need to take good notes to include:
• Individual - Specific items that apply to your ideas/ design
• Small Group + Class - General items that you will need to consider in your own ideas/ design
01-Examples of what does work and what you need to exaggerate and/ or include more of:
• The drawings are comprehensive and communicating very clearly. The use of line weight and line type and the level of detail is great!
• The collage shows some interesting textures. I would like to see more of this!
02-Examples of what does not work:
• The length is too small for a person to lie down. They would have to bend their knees when they sleep.
• The scale of the structure is not clear and is inconsistent in the drawings. You need to make sure that all your drawing scales are the same.
• The structure needs to be designed specifically for the users activities and experience. It is still unclear what they would do in that space, and why.
03-Examples of what is missing or has gaps, and what needs to be considered, added or addressed:
• There are no materials. Consider the texture or materials of the space.
• It is unclear what experience you want the user to have. Consider how you can create this through the physical qualities.
• The whole thing is solid. There are no openings. Consider openings and where and how the light comes in.
• There is no entry or exit. Consider how a person would get in and out.
• There is no ground plane in the section. Consider how the structure relates to the ground.
Clarify your feedback. If you are unsure of what something meant, ask your teacher or tutor, or the person who provided the feedback.
02 | Create Action Steps
Identify specific actions that you need to do to respond to the feedback. Examples of specific actions include:
• Make sure drawings are a consistent scale and printed clearly.
• Include the users human body in specific actions/ positions to show the scale of spaces.
• Revise the research steps with my Task 1 group. Go back to the 3 hour activity sheet to include specific movements.
03 | Reflection and Review
Use legible sentences to describe exactly what you did and did not achieve in response to your feedback.
This is where you need to consider Reflective Questions (See Reflection tab above).
What Is Reflection?
Reflection is any type of question that makes you look back over what or how you have learned. Reflection is about thinking about how you think and learn. Reflection is important for a number of reasons:
• Consolidate the knowledge or skills you have learned
• Get to know yourself better as a thinker, learner, designer and member of society.
• Provides important feedback to yourself, your teacher and your peers.
• Creates questions and ideas to help you learn better in the future.
Reflection Versus Description
Reflection and self-reflections are NOT a description of your work, your ideas or your process.
• Description - A spoken or written account of something that exists. Tells what something is, or is like.
• Reflection - To think deeply or carefully about. An idea about something that is written down or expressed.
Reflection is about examining and analysing your process, perspectives and completed work and considers questions like:
• What did you think you did well during this project? How? Why?
• What new skills did you test during this project?
• What skills do you need to test out next time?
• What would you do differently if you did this project again?
• What got in the way of your process? Why? how do you prevent this happening again?
• How well did you and your team/ teacher communicate?
• What moments were you most proud of? Why?
• How well did you participate, talk and ask questions in class? Was anything holding you back?
• How well did you work with a team? How can you improve this?
• What did you learn about your process?
• How will you use what you learned in the future?
• What were some things your team or classmates did that you could learn from?
Outcome and Design
• What worked? Why?
• What didn’t work? Why? Why not?
• What is missing? What do you need to consider next?
• What would you do differently in your outcome if you did this again?
• What are you most proud of? Why?
• What are you least proud of? Why?
• Did you do your very best for this project? Why? Why not?
• What did you do well?
• What did you do not so well? Why? Why not?
• What skills so you need to develop and focus on? How?
• What are your greatest strengths? How can you use them more?
• What are your greatest weaknesses? How can you improve them?
• What were your goals for this project? Did you meet your goals? Why? Why not?
• What are your goals for the next project? What do you want to learn/ achieve? Why?
• What specifically do you need to do to meet these goals?
• Refer to the Feedback tab above.
I've taught nearly 1,000 students and 80 design studios at 8 different universities. This is what I've learned...