Journal Article Critique of “The Performing Arts” by Elizabeth Evitts Dickinson and “Creating Sustainable Communities” by Richard Witt and Michelle Xuereb

Journal Critique


            This article critique revolves on two articles that basically discusses and elaborates an article discussing different works of architecture. The articles entitled “The Performing Arts” by Elizabeth Evitts Dickinson posted on the Architect Magazine and “Creating Sustainable Communities” by Richard Witt and Michelle Xuereb published in Construction Canada, commonly highlights sustainable buildings in light of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system. Each of these articles have presented essential details about sustainable buildings, which is accomplish through an integration of design elements and the concepts of sustainability. To compare and contrast these articles, different perspectives and angles will be explored that are generally about the articles’ content like the main idea, logic and order, and how convincing these are and visual presentation, which mainly referred to the use of different visuals and images.

Background and Goals

            Each of these articles’ authors bears a goal in writing the details. Firstly, it can be seen that Dickinson’s “The Performing Arts” aimed at presenting the different challenges of architectural designs, which are structured and made to be sustainable. Dickinson’s feature article that relays her investigations on the issue of design glitches has presented wide range of details in order to provide a comprehensive detail on the energy consumption in buildings, which are found in the United States of America.

On the other hand, Witt and Xuereb’s “Creating Sustainable Communities” explicitly expressed their goal of understanding and identifying sustainable design practices in bigger site context. The article explored the implementation of sustainable design elements for huge development projects, like neighborhoods, communities and cities. The authors mainly compared and contrasted two examples of these neighborhoods, “one outside and one within the urban centers of Toronto—East Bayfront and Downtown Markham” (Witt and Xuereb, 2013). With a scholarly research structure, the article expounded how sustainability becomes an opportunity for the growing sustainable communities in Canada.

Based on these details, the articles’ presentation of facts is influenced by geographical location. This primary difference can be relevant on how readers perceive and understand the main topic by the provided examples. These articles may have different backgrounds or demographic origins, but one can see how sustainability is applied and distinguished through the objectives presented. Moreover, Dickinson’s “The Performing Arts” and Witt and Xuereb’s “Creating Sustainable Communities” laid objectively, fair article goals.

Coherence and Structure

            It is observed that coherence of each article is influenced by style and tone. Firstly, Dickinson had a personal touch in presenting facts, given that she also conducted interviews. At the same time, Dickinson presented her observations on the structures or buildings seen in the US, which implies that she had accessed to these. Her testimonies and observations are also massively relayed in the article, which makes the article more personal and feature-type. For instance, Dickinson relayed that she “asked architects, building owners and engineers, government and certification agencies, and others around the country about their experiences, and most pointed to unanticipated behaviors and unforeseen design glitches.” She as well presented her findings, in a way that she finds answers to her own questions.

Secondly, Witt and Xuereb’s style was more formal and academic, with the way details are presented. Using the third person, Witt and Xuereb’s article was more organized into different headings and subheadings. This particular organization aided readers to fully understand the different points in the article are. It is also easier to locate some relevant details in this particular style. As Witt and Xuereb examined two communities, East Bayfront and Downtown Markham, a section discussing about design considerations was found. A discussion about Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) or LEED ND and other rating systems was also discussed, which can be helpful for readers who are not familiar with the terms. This particular section was then followed by a discussion and evaluation of the two communities and a conclusion.

Because of the styles and structural approaches, the coherence and unity of the content are affected. Because of this, Witt and Xuereb’s “Creating Sustainable Communities” is personally more appealing compared with the feature and more personal approach of Dickinson’s “The Performing Arts.” The readers are actually guided to this kind of style, because of the order of ideas. More so, logical order and coherence is more emphasized in Witt and Xuereb’s article, which is extremely helpful for understanding the overall message of the content.

However, Dickinson’s article is as equally relevant despite the distinction in style and approach of writing. The longer article exposes several details as wider range of ideas and topics, with a mix of personal opinions and observations are discussed. But in terms of logical understanding, the other article is personally preferred.



            Content in this sense contains textual and visual information, although influenced by the style and approach. As for Witt and Xuereb’s, the order of details aided understanding on the overall content, while it also clearly represented that the goals of the article are accomplished. More so, the conclusion in the last section presented closure compared with other. To add, Witt and Xuereb’s article was able to use the visual elements better, prior to the discussion of design elements and the goal of comparing the architectural and sustainability elements of the two communities. The visual elements are also in conjunction with the contents (see figure below), which drives away the monotony and dominance of words—elements that are mostly found in Dickinson’s “The Performing Arts.” Perhaps, it would be better if Dickinson’s article was also supported with images, especially in the observations and data gathering procedures performed by the author. A conclusion and other related headings can be incorporated with the ideas and the journey that Dickinson has traveled to address the issue of design glitches. But overall, the images used and presented the article are accurate and true.