You’ll have heard of the need for criticism to be constructive. Something like, “That's no good because [insert reason] but here’s how to make it better.” The “feedback sandwich” is similar — “This part’s great, here needs some work, although I also like that.”

But just how necessary is criticism? What if the sole aim of design criticism was to encourage, creating a progression in learning by only highlighting the good, purposely overlooking the bad?

Which of these two learning environments would be more effective for design teaching?

  1. one with a direct focus on the negative aspects of a designer's work
  2. or one that's 100% positive

The first option can potentially demoralise the designer, but at the same time, some see criticism a necessary tool used to help us improve. The second option teaches through positivity, and is likely to breed a student more open to exploring ideas, and less anxious about getting things wrong.

But all that said, we’ll face the inevitable time when a client simply doesn't like our work, and it isn’t up to a client praise what we do, so will constructive criticism help us deal with clients more efficiently?

Just something I was thinking about.