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College of Environment and Design

LETTUS Students Create Virtual Crit Lab

LETTUS logoStudents from LETTUS, a student collective established through the College of Environment and Design, have created a virtual crit lab allowing them to gather feedback on a variety of projects despite university-wide online instruction. Anyone can view the projects, but only students are able to provide feedback.  Visit the crit lab by clicking here.



LETTUS, like CED itself, is composed of a variety of disciplines including landscape architecture, historic preservation, and urban planning. The virtual crit lab is divided into four “chambers:” Design Crit (focusing on studio and graphics), GIS and Mapping (geographic information systems), Research, and Everything Else (activites not necessarily related to schoolwork, such as baking, gaming, cats, or anything else).

Example of work posted on the virtual crit room

An example of design work posted soliciting feedback

 Since so much of CED student work takes place in hands-on classrooms, a crit lab such as this is hugely helpful. Tangible artifacts like models and maps are best interacted with in person, and the crit lab allows for users to get a semblance of interactivity via open discussion and honest feedback. Additionally, the creation of an online community made exclusively of CED students promotes a sense of community despite exclusively online instruction.

Students give feedback in the crit room

Students provide feedback

 Elsewhere online, students have been defending their theses and practicums. Over the past few weeks, over twenty students successfully defended their master’s theses and practicums on a variety of topics, ranging from history of early-20th-century planned communities to the complex role of public libraries in today’s society. Four more are planned for May.


CED is proud of the work that students, faculty, staff, and alumni have put into making this challenging time decidedly less so, and is encouraged by the designers who continue to shape their world for the better.

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