What comes out of your mouth is sometimes as important as what you tack up on the wall, so when presenting design work in class, you wanna make sure your patter raises your game.
Try these 5 phrases to start you off when you're in a crit. They'll make you sound smart, and if you can pull them off, they just may just help you think bigger about your ideas. But be careful not to go too far; there's a pretty clear line between balls and bullshit.
Phrase #1Just enough: "This design is all about scale..." (You can't ever go wrong with that one.)
Too much: "This design is all about scale, from the micro to the macro, from the human condition to the expansion of the cosmos. Design is about infinite possibility, and at this stage in my education, I consider myself limitless in creativity and ambition..."
Phrase #2Just enough: "What I'm showing here blurs the line a bit between form and content..."
Too much: "What I'm showing here blurs the line a bit between form and content, teasing out the possibilities between what is and what might be. I think we can all agree that a true articulation of a design requires both the storytelling and, well, the actual book itself...so let me read you my book..."
Phrase #3Just enough: "I tried to break the problem down into its most elemental parts..."
Too much: "I tried to break the problem down into its most elemental parts, and that the further I went, the more it became clear to me that at the end of the continuum—'cause that's what it turned out to be, actually—at the end of the continuum, what we're really talking about right there is 'the user.' So I started with the user..."
Phrase #4Just enough: "The thing that I had the hardest time with was trying to make this assignment personal..."
Too much: "The thing that I had the hardest time with was trying to make this assignment personal. Without sounding narcissistic or self-absorbed...wait, are those the same thing?...well, without sounding like that, I really wanted to design something that made ME happy; something that I'D want to buy. And I have to say straight-out: I'd want to buy THIS..."
Phrase #5Just enough: "Well, let me go on record that I have conflicted feelings about this work, but that at base, I really feel that these are studies. And as studies, they are more discursive than demonstrative..."
Too much: Actually, that last one IS to much, but it's a great test. If they don't cry B.S. after #5 comes out of your mouth, you're pretty much ready to graduate. Congrats!
*BONUS* PattyWhen all else fails, you can always go with "I've taken my cues here from both nanotechnology and biomimicry..." or the ever-popular, "...and of course, it's totally wireless."