MArch Applicant 2014 Portfolio


Hi All,
I would love to get some peer review on my current portfolio. I feel it needs a fresh perspective as there are many weaknesses at this point. 

A few points: My school did not offer teaching on Rhino or Revit while I was taking classes. So killer renderings are hard to come by for me, though I'm quite skilled in Photoshop, so I welcome suggestions.

Be thoughtful, critical, and meaningful.....don't hate on it just because yours is better, that is exactly why I'm asking for all your help!


Nov 23, 13 10:21 am

nice portfolio .what is your undergrad degree ?

Nov 23, 13 11:23 am

A lot of the projects I have no idea what the final building is supposed to look like. Diagrams and plans are all there but it seems too deconstructed and never amalgamating into a single entity. 

Not too sure what the dedicated title pages to each project serve. They don't add much except for a break but the reader knows it's a new project due to each one's own introduction. 

Nov 23, 13 11:28 am


My degree is a BA with a focus on Environmental Design. It's a fairly new degree option at the University of Hawaii. Things are a bit disorganized here, hence applying to Master's elsewhere.

Nov 23, 13 1:45 pm


I'll be working on better "final shots" to describe the final form of each project, that is a good suggestion, thank you. The dedicated project pages will likely be out of the final, due to space limitations. If you have anything further, feel free to share!

Nov 23, 13 1:50 pm

This is pretty nice. It's a little hard to tell exactly how the angled hatch you use as a graphic filler will look when printed so I would be careful that it doesn't become to powerful. Your text all seems pretty well orginized and consistant, though I might add a little space between the title and the info in the header you use on every page.

Also, those are not even cover pages... they cover spreads! Which is a bit nuts haha. I agree you need to trim that down.

Concerning the idea of "final" images, I think the only two you need to do anything with are the Power Authority and Government Center.  I think you'd be well advised to show a little diversity and make a nice photoshoped render or two for the PA, you clearly have a decent computer model already, but i feel like the perspectives you have fall a little flat. As for the other one....??? do you already have a physical model of it?


Nov 23, 13 2:51 pm


First off, Thank you for the review!

I had several concept models / sketch models for that project, but unfortunately they have been destroyed. Would you suggest I make a new computer model to serve as the basis for renderings and such? I'm very fast on SketchUP and could put something together in time...especially If anything isn't reading clearly!

I totally agree that the perspectives of the ASPA project are FLAT. I want to use one to make a rendering, I'm getting on that asap.

Nov 23, 13 10:01 pm

Hmm that's a tough one. I am not sure that it needs a final rendering. I think it just needs a better depiction of the whole. Personally, I would probably do a nice axon for it. Keep it simple, the project doesn't seem to have the detail for a full blown rendering. Plus it's is a nice way to sample different kinds of representation.

As for ASPA, make it sing. (idk what that means, but it sounds good)

Nov 24, 13 1:14 am


I'm going to sound a tad critical but I think this will help you. Take this all with a grain of salt, though. I am also applying for my MArch I this year, but I hope to pass along all the advise I have received in hopes that it can help other applicants like you too.

- The portfolio takes a little too long to start, in my opinion. We're not really seeing your first real project until page 8, and even then its mostly analysis - so we're not really seeing the first "design" work until page 10 or 11.

I suggest you try a shorter intro: You don't really need a separate page to announce your "contents" when they are on the same spread with "contents" labeled right above. Seeing that made me feel like your stalling for time (figuratively speaking).

The same could be said about page 5. Again, it feels like your stalling - you already have your portfolio cover that states that this is your portfolio, so I don't know how necessary it is to include an extra page to announce that this is your portfolio, again. I really like that photo, however, so don't lose that.

- As stated before, those project-intro double spreads that are completely blank (besides the name) need to be reworked a little. I understand that need for a pause, it helps the tempo, so you have the right idea. However, that pause is too long and those spreads just have that empty feeling that doesnt sit well. I recommend keeping one of the pages blank (with the project name, just as you have it), but the right page on each of those spread should be a money-shot, or any drawing of the project that somewhat represents the idea of what its all about. This way, the reader can instantly make a connection between the project name and the project itself.

Another idea is to put some sort of teaser in those blank spreads. Some sketch, perhaps, or a cut-out of your final rendering/diagram (which is revealed in its full form later), something that gives the reader a hint of whats to come in the next few pages. Again, this serves to connect the name with a picture.

- Take another quick look at your text throughout and make sure that everything is readable. I like the gray vs black that you utilize and I too think its a little easier on the eyes, but you should be careful when putting that on backgrounds where it becomes hard to read. Page 19, for example, where you state the project name/semester.

- Also, the cover. I like it, its neutral and balanced and gave me a nice first impression. Does it at all relate to your work? I don't know if you necessarily need to change it, but typically its better to have some connection between the cover and your content.

The work itself, I think, is fantastic. Your content has a really nice beat to it and kept me interested. Its really the in-between stuff that you need to trim down a little bit. Remember, the admission committee flips through hundreds of these per day; you need to get to the point fast. They might lose their patience.

Nov 24, 13 2:32 am

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