Why CritBuns?CritBuns is the brainchild of graphic and industrial designer Joe Gebbia, and originated during his days as a design student. The buns were born through observation, inspiration, and persistence to see an idea through to completion. Frustrated by the lack of design on the market for a simple seat cushion, Joe brought his own perspective to create a new one altogether. He started with the problem: long, uncomfortable art critiques spent sitting on hard surfaces, and answered with a solution: a unqiuely designed, portable foam seat cushion.
What is a crit?The term crit, slang for critique, is the presentation of a student's artwork before their professors and peers. It is the staple of every art and design school experience.
The purpose of a crit is to provide students with critical feedback of their creative process and how they handled the assignment, whether it be a painting, product, architecture, or other discipline. Liberal arts colleges have writing exams, art schools have critiques. In addition to hearing both the positives and negatives of their work, it also forces a student to learn how to talk about their piece, and defend the creative license they used along the way.
In a conversation, you might hear a student say, "How was your crit?", or "Man, that crit took forever!".
A regular day in class would start with each student tacking their homework to the wall. While everyone huddles around, the student presents their creation, and the professor then facilitates a dicussion about it. At times critiques can be brutally harsh, leaving a student teary-eyed and demoralized. Some professors actually have repuations hinging around this. Regardless, if your work is good, you'll hear about it. If it's not good, you're going to hear about it. These brash critques are often the best, believe it or not, and can provide the most growth for students to learn.
In addition to the emotional strain, crits can be physically draining as well. The length of a crit can range from 30 minutes to the entire day of a class, 8 hours+. The furniture is more than likely wood benches, metal stools, plastic chairs, and hardwood (or concrete) floors. At about hour 4, your bum will really start to feel it. Seeing his friends uncomfortable led Joe to ask, "What if we had a portable cushion for class?" He looked in stores for a seat cushion, finding nothing but uninspiring square and rectangular foam slabs. His response? Design a new one. The rest is history.