I sincerely LOVE criticism. I’ve always welcomed anyone and everyone to critique my work. After all, it’s the only way we get better, no matter what we do. Now, I don’t always take the advice given, nor will I always agree with a particular critique, but I will always try and evaluate what someone offers to determine if it’s of value to my work or not.
This, to me, is something sorely missing in modern academia. We’re all so focused on not hurting a student’s feelings that we fail to properly teach and criticize and push them forward to greatness. Architecture, especially, is not a forgiving profession. Our work is judged, criticized, reviewed, and even butchered from all fronts. Clients, other architects, engineers, planning officials, building and zoning codes, contractors, sub contractors, magazine and newspaper journalists, etc. If you can’t handle “tough love” in college, how much less prepared are you going to be in practice when your boss rips you a new one for not properly detailing a stair or bathroom? Or better yet when you think you’ve come up with a stellar design for your new residential client and they hate it and tell you so. Loudly. Criticism should be sought after, you should pursue it as an architect or designer.
My wife put it perfectly the other night. She was a ballet dancer most of her life and she said, “my teacher used to tell me that criticism was a blessing. Because if your instructor isn’t criticizing you, it means they’re not looking at you.”
I don’t know about you, but I’d rather be criticized and get better at what I do rather than be invisible.