Post-Jury Conundrum of the Pre-Jury Jitters
Design education mandates many intangible human skills, besides the formal knowledge interchange, such as collaboration, complex thinking, criticising, conceptualizing, but most importantly 'interaction'. Design Jury is an evaluation tool used in Design education where the students interact with each other, their professors and their evaluators to distinctly convey professional knowledge in a formal or informal manner.
DOT School of Design conducted their bi-annual Jury this January between the 5th and 8th, adhering to all Covid-19 protocols. The first and second-year students came up with unique and creative personal exhibits of their works during the even semester of the academic year 2021-22. Design Jury warrants a certain interaction, teamwork and collaboration which is very relevant to Design education.
The Jury allowed the students to build a multi-dimensional approach to their works. Not only did they have to exhibit their works schematically to the jury and the audience, but they also had to explain their thought processes and the 'WHY' of choosing a particular subject for their project. Design students learn to understand the purpose of even the minuscule details of their work as it is subjected to scrutiny and criticism from the beginning of their education. Along with being an evaluation tool and a knowledge-sharing platform, jury also acts as a perception interchange. The students learn various ways of perceiving a particular topic, object or construct. This helps in breaking down their 'personal gaze' or in actuality, widening it to be accommodative of the bigger narratives surrounding their work.
During the 3-day evaluation process, the students awaited their turn to present their works after having arranged them in the studio classrooms. The second-year students helped the first years to tackle their first external jury where faculty and industry experts were invited to assess the students. Most of their works were well organized and executed. But in particular, the works of Harini, a B.Des/Fashion Design student, garnered quite a bit of attention from both the jury panel and the students. The well-structured display of her artworks, miniature models, vibrant self-portraits became a hotspot for the audience browsing through the studios. She had demonstrated a relatively high technical prowess with her still life drawings, 3-D tactile rendering model of a dodecahedron which contained many self-portraits.
Likewise, many students from different design specialisations displayed their works which comprised drawing, pottery, miniature, models, etc. The process which is a mandatory part of their design curriculum closely resembled the real-life paradigm where the students learnt how to communicate their thoughts through their works. They have to break out of their inhibitions to clearly communicate their work and also be able to accept criticism constructively to produce better work in the consequent semesters.
The jurors also provided the students with valuable feedback which allowed them to understand the subtleties of their project concepts better. With renewed determination to expand their knowledge base and the skills to demonstrate them, the students of DOT resigned into their semester break post the jury evaluation.