portfolio critique for post-professional masters.


I'm in process of getting my portfolio together to apply and would love to hear some feedback, thanks in advance. Also, should I include professional work of exhibit design? I'm not sure if it would help or hurt.

Nov 10, 12 4:35 pm

hey man. I would include your resume in there. I see the resume in so many portfolios that it is kind of weird not to see it. If your professional work is good enough, definitely put it in. Most people in my post-pro studio had professional work before grad school and we all had a portion of the professional stuff (of course only good things) in our portfolio. 

I felt like most of your work was all the same. To me, you didn't try to emphasize any particular project and give it more presence. My personal preference is when someone gives a few pages to each project, but then really emphasizes one project and makes that project the overall thesis of the portfolio itself. As if all the other projects, and what you learned and/or investigated led you to the final one (in theory, your final undergrad project). But thats just me.

Nov 18, 12 1:11 pm

Thanks, James - I was hesitant about including a resume as oppose to sending it separate, it wasn't a requirement for all the schools but including it I don't see would hurt. I've done major revisions overall here's updated version:

As for professional work after school I may add a two page spread towards end, though not sure how to segue to exhibit design. What's lacking i feel are hand drawings and diagrams, I didn't do a good job of keeping track of them. I'll see what I can dig up and maybe emphasis the process a bit more for 1 or 2 of the projects.

Nov 19, 12 6:58 pm

Nice folio,
But i feel the fist half is very intense, especially the texts in the first project  not much room to breath IMO. The second half is just perfect.

Some small details you can improve such as the colored fonts which arent easy to look when viewing from the screen,  yellow texts on white background would put some people off

Or the line weight in your sections/elevations can make a difference, it will add more depth to your graphics and show your " attention to details"

Good luck


Nov 19, 12 10:59 pm

Thanks! You're right - I'll switch over the fonts from colors to a darker shade of gray maybe try light bold, I agree it worked well for the first few projects because of the color but wasn't really legible for a few; maybe condense the description more and give drawings more room.

I'm not sure if my thinking is right here but I kept all the drawings the same to show progress starting with the latest project and working backwards, good idea or should I consider redoing some drawings/renderings?

Nov 20, 12 11:00 am

Don't have text over an image like that. Both the text and image become illegible. If you really need text there I suggest putting a semi-transparent box between the text and image.

Nov 20, 12 2:06 pm
ka em

Hey man, I think no doubt you have some talent with computer drawings and modelling, this is a strength that you clearly show in your portfolio. The thesis and comprehensive projects seem to be the main pieces. With that, I would encourage you to consider how you order your projects i.e. you don't want to start high and end low, you want to even it out and finish the portfolio on a high note.

My other suggestion is that while it is tempting to show everything, it's better if you're a little more thoughtful in what you want to show. Make sure every pages and every single drawings count. For example, pp 6&7 seem to show a lot of filler while not saying much. pp 8&9, that two cross sections look very similar, maybe you can add something to make the changes in the middle bit stand out. I think pages like 12&13 are more telling of what you want to say because they are quite clear, particularly because they have people in it to give it a sense of space. The truth is employers or those admission people flick through a stack of portfolios rather quickly so you will want a few that catch their eyes. Lastly, I don't know why you pick those three images for your cover because frankly your thesis project has much more interesting form rather than those grey city massing (which anyone can do).

Sorry I don't mean to be harsh, and good luck!

Nov 21, 12 9:10 am

Not harsh at all! thanks for the feedback.

I'm going to have a friend take better pictures 2 models towards the end of the portfolio to finish strong, Aarnio's house project and maybe additional structural model I have.

Pages 7 and 8 yes I agree need to be reworked to explain the project better. 8 and 9 or 9 and 10 are the same section, different scales but maybe eliminating the smaller scale one would work better.

thanks again!

Nov 21, 12 12:07 pm

i also agree to change the cover. The 3 images are extremely generic, and also I am really not a fan of the color coding system. Its a bit overdone in academia. If you are going to do it on the inside, fine. But please dont bring it to the outside on both inside and outside cover. Dont be that guy. As your portfolio sits there on Robert Stern's (or wherever you send it to) desk, it will be known as the one with the little colors. Make your identity either about you, or about one of your projects. Not a style of organization. 

Nov 21, 12 5:13 pm

Thanks, James. here's the latest iteration: I changed the front image, kept color to outside though this may change as well at some point - I have little over 4 weeks to finalize it. I swapped few drawings and eliminated some, added diagrams, hoping to have photos taken of couple of models this week to add.

Nov 28, 12 12:24 pm

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