Critical Design has emerged as an important concept in HCI research and practice. Yet researchers have noted that its uptake has been limited by certain lacks of intellectual infrastructure-theories, methodologies, canons and exemplars, and a community of practice. We argue that one way to create this infrastructure is to cultivate a community adept at reading-that is, critically interpreting and making reasoned judgments about-critical designs. We propose an approach to developing close readings of critical designs, which are both evidence-based and carefully reasoned. The approach highlights analytical units of analysis, the relevance of design languages and social norms, and the analytical contemplation of critical aspects of a design. It is intended to be relatively easy to learn, to try out, and to teach, in the hopes of inviting more members of the HCI community to engage in this practice. We exemplify the approach with readings of two critical designs and reflect on different ways that a design might serve a critical purpose or offer a critical argument about design, society, and the future.