‘Throw one out that’s problematic’: performing authority and affiliation in design education

Arlene Oak, Peter Lloyd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper explores interaction in graduate-level industrial design education. We outline two instances of how design reviews are conducted through social contexts and provide a theorized analysis of these instances. In particular, this paper considers how participants in a design review - both an instructor and students - enact aspects of role-oriented authority and affiliation within the context of the review. Through perspectives associated with ethnomethodology and conversation analysis, this paper discusses how a misunderstanding and a request (and the response to that request) are managed through speech, gesture, and gaze direction. We explore how the interactive, co-presence of an instructor and students impacts upon the overall performance of the review and show how some of the pedagogic practices of design education are enacted through the contexts of discourse and embodiment. This paper provides opportunities for design instructors, students, professionals, and researchers to reflect upon the collaborative micro-activities of design education and to consider the impact that these may have upon participants' experiences and perceptions of design education.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-72
Number of pages18
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2 Dec 2015

Bibliographical note

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in CoDesign: International Journal of CoCreation in Design and the Arts on 02/12/2015, available online: http://wwww.tandfonline.com/10.1080/15710882.2015.1110179


  • design assessment
  • design critique
  • design education
  • face
  • floor
  • gaze
  • gesture
  • interaction


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