A Review

Albert was in fourth year of degree course for architecture.
His final project was to design a building or space, and then, to present it to heads of department for grading.

Albert did absolute stunning job; and was proud of his design.
His colleagues and other people outside his field, agreed that he had a true talent for design. He even decided to present it to the developer after graduating.

On the final day, Albert had to present it to the panel of senior lecturers.
He gave his presentation outlining all the design aspects, his rationale and the overall concept. There were five lecturers and each went through, in detail, what they did and didn’t like about the design.

They spoke about their preference of style and how they didn’t see it evident in Albert’s design. They spoke of their years of experience and whether the design was functional and suitable. They spoke about theories on design and whether this project had complied with them.
They critiqued the entire design, from their point of view, from their experience.

Albert left feeling uncertain. He suddenly felt unsure as to whether his design was really good as he had originally thought.

Albert’s experience is not uncommon.

To critique someone’s piece of art is to review it.

We have formal reviews in the workplace that are called appraisals or assessment. So we are assessed in what we do and how we do.

An actor or a writer who puts something out in the public place, is reviewed for its concept.
A review of new restaurant or an existing one can make or break it.

Reviewer’s opinion is most important in the process, which is based on what they like. Thought they refer to technicality, fundamentally it is all about them, or what they think.

Over time, they have gained a voice and people start believing that reviewer’s opinions are important. A great painting, opening night of a show, a fashion launch, a new book, workplace appraisal, or a presentation at work – all are reviewed and commented upon.

A review can make or break the performance – many examples from show business.

A review is critical because the reviewer gives her/his opinion which is when she/he compares oneself with what is being reviewed.

May be, a team of reviewers with varied knowledge of different aspects of subject matter can balance it! Do not sacrifice a potential for bias of the review.

Suresh Shah, Managing Director, Pathfinders Enterprise

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