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I've been working on my portfolio for application for an M.Arch. This is a selection of professional, undergraduate, and personal projects I've been significantly involved in over the last 4-5 years. It would be great to get to any thoughts / criticisms on any layouts / flow / graphics or just any suggestions in general are much appreciated. A rough draft of my work can be found here:
Thanks for taking the time to look at my portfolio. Please excuse the low image quality as I had to reduce the file size to be able to upload the document. Below are instructions on how it was intended to be viewed. I think this is at roughly 95% completion. I appreciate any and all comments. If you have any issues with the document, please let me know and I will work to resolve them. Thanks again!
Depending on your ambitions, I think that you may need to redo and expand a substantial amount of content. I see a lot of finished work (plans, renderings, etc.) but very little visual evidence of process work or conceptual descriptions of the ideas behind the forms that you have created, and that side of the work is what admissions committees really care about.
So you need to show some sketches and study models, and diagrams explaining the real conceptual thesis of your projects - not its program or massing or materials like the ones that you have for your projects now, but what it really means. What is your larger polemic? To use a cheesy example, you couldn't describe Fallingwater very well by talking about its massing or program or materials - you would have to talk about how the architect had a larger idea about nature. I want to see what your larger ideas are for your projects. That's not to say that there's no place for talking about issues like program or materials, just that they exist as subordinate pieces in relation to a broader idea. Looking at your written descriptions of your projects, I think that some of those ideas already exist - you just need to show them visually so that an admissions committee paging through will notice that they exist. For example, you talk about how the Mintz residence responds to certain views ... did you ever make any sketches when you were working through that relationship in your design process? If you have more supporting materials like that that you can include for each of your projects, it will make your portfolio much stronger. You should aim to cut your existing text for each project in half, at least, but if you add more sketches and diagrams they will do a better job of explaining your ideas than the text would ever have.
Also, some personal experience: I had a professor tear my portfolio apart 2 months before it was due, and I had to revise almost everything. The resulting process made my application a lot stronger. You should show your portfolio to as many people as you can, particularly more theoretically and conceptually inclined studio instructors and/or people from the schools which you want to apply to.
Also, look over your spelling and grammar again!
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