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Opinion Paper: Review A Piece of Design Work

You are a freelance writer for HOW magazine . You have been asked to review a single piece of design (poster, book, building, furniture, industrial product) by a designer of your choice.

Your review should follow this general format:
a. briefly introduce the designer
b. briefly explain the historical context of the work
c. critique the work
d. summarize

  1. You may only review a piece of design created after 1900, and mentioned or depicted in Meggs, so you will have to look forward in the book for work you would like to learn more about.
  2. The review should be an aesthetic review in the genre of a movie review or a record review, except in this case you are reviewing a piece of design.
  3. Limit yourself to reviewing a single piece of work. Do not review multiple piece of work. This is not meant to be a survey of multiple pieces by the same designer. You may refer to other pieces of work, but only as they relate to the single piece of work you are discussing.
  4. Observe and comment on specific formal details of the work.
  5. Include some biographical information, but the article is NOT to be simply a biography of the designer, but rather a review of a single piece of her work.
  6. The review should be as long as necessary to convey your understanding and opinion of the work. Five paragraphs is probably not enough. Five pages may be too long. (So something like 2-4 pages.)
  7. Don't just tell me what you like or dislike, explain WHY.
  8. Use a critical approach appropriate to the work. For instance, if the designer is trying to be messy on purpose, don't criticize her for coloring outside of the lines. If the design is a building, don't criticize it for not being a chair. If the design is a curvilinear and intricately detailed poster from the Art Nouveau period, don't criticize it for not being a rectangular and minimal poster from the modern era.
  9. Include a color image (or images) of the work you are critiquing.

Grading criteria:
1. meets above requirements
2. concise, critical analysis. evidences an understanding of design aesthetics and design history.
3. well written, interesting to read.

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