Contrasting the use of tools for presentation and critique: Some cases from architectural education



This study investigates video recordings of design reviews in architectural education, focusing on how presentations and discussions of designs are contingent on the specific tools employed. In the analyzed recordings, three different setups are utilized: traditional posters, digital slide-show technologies, and combinations of the two. This range of different setups provides a set of contrasts that make visible the role of technologies in shaping the ways in which the reviews are conducted. The analysis is structured in three themes. First, we examine the sequential organization of digital presentations in relation to the spatial structure of poster-based presentations. Second, the different ways in which shared attention is established in digital, paper-based, and hybrid presentation practices are analyzed. Third, we address part-whole relations—how details in presented materials are put in relation to the overarching project or the presentation as a whole. Taken together, the analyses suggest that the detailed organization of the design review is transformed in subtle yet consequential ways through the introduction of digital slide-show technologies. These transformations are consequential not only locally, for the design review itself, but also for the instructive work that is accomplished through this practice. We conclude by discussing some implications for design, arguing that an increased awareness of how the practice is influenced by the different setups might be key for the proper adaptation of presentation technologies to particular purposes.


Architectural education Design reviews Ethnomethodology Video analysis Presentation practice and technology 



The research reported here was supported by a grant from the Swedish Research Council. The study was conducted within the Linnaeus Centre for Research on Learning, Interaction, and Mediated Communication in Contemporary Society (LinCS). We would like to thank Professor Roger Säljö for careful readings and comments on earlier drafts. Lastly, constructive input by the editor and three anonymous reviewers has been very helpful in our work of finessing the text toward publication.


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Copyright information

© International Society of the Learning Sciences, Inc.; Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EducationUniversity of GothenburgGöteborgSweden

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