Critical: The Design Community’s Rocky Relationship With Criticism
Joseph Alessio
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I tend to believe maybe Eli’s opinions/criticisms come from a place of deep caring for our industry and the work we make for “others.” He generally offers a POV that typical “users” may very well have. He understands the history, theory, and practice of design, despite whether you actually like his work or not, that is beside the point. You are stamping your preferences in design on him and unqualifying his opinion, this is uncalled for.

He has proven that he has a point of view, while different than “most” designers, he defends it virulently, maybe to the point of making his core ideas get lost in the pernicious responses on twitter. Though, other’s responses to his work have attacked him personally, instead of the ideas he presents. I believe this is making him into an angry critic, which is far less healthy for our industry. The vocal opponents to his work are creating the very nemesis they have now come to despise.

I believe you offer valid points about “critique” on a personal level, between peers within safe walls. However, criticism is an intentionally different, public piece of discourse. I think Eli is far more successful when writing complete pieces of critique than when taking to Twitter, but he’s learning like all of us. He has continued to prove, though somewhat excessively, that we’re not really ready for external criticism.