University of Illinois at Chicago (Paulina)

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    A bit on Portfolio

    By Paulina
    Jan 26, '05 3:12 PM EST
    Philip Johnson died today, at the age of 98. That is pretty decent, I think”¦all the architects that are known, they live such long lives. Perhaps it is something to do with the kindof work they do? I don't know but its pretty amusing. Id like to think Id live as long.

    Last year my portfolio was part of portfolio day, which is an event in the main gallery showing off and awarding the nicest prettiest images and book binding of our work. I never try to get into these kindof things, mainly because Id rather not be compared or more so because Id like to remain humble. Something I learned growing up in Poland when I was little to never boast or be proud of your own talent. Its relevant to my memories of home because of how poor and secretive we were in our lifestyle there. Anyway”¦. Last year, after the selections were announced we were given 2 days to tidy our portfolio's up. Of course my portfolio was something I had to put together the previous weekend. I absolutely detest how much of a procrastinator I have had been with these sorts of things. Its changed since then and unfortunately perhaps too recently because my portfolio submission this year was just as last minute as the year previous! Haha. But finally they are going to give us 2 weeks to tidy them up, which means that if my work is again in the portfolio show, I need to get a serious rebinding and reprinting job because as you can imagine a 4:45 pm binding job for a 5:00 pm deadline isnt too graceful nor elegant.

    I have this issue with portfolio day and the limitations placed on us on content. On one hand my school, whose biggest pride is its location and network in the profession within this city expects us to have a more integrated approach towards architecture - hence requirements for all types of electives (oddly enough we are restricted from sculpture or drawing or painting which still blows) anyway, we are afterall students and as students everywhere we go, outside of school we are acknowledged as such. So why is it that the content of our work that we submit as a reflection of our academic identity does not reflects and is prohibited from reflecting all the places we go and things we do outside of here that contributes to our academic experience? Things I learn at work, the projects I do on the side, provide as much, if not more insight into the kind of skills, ideas I bring back to school”¦ I look at my portfolio, lacking my photography, my paintings, my drawings, my written texts, my work drawings and experience and think”¦ there is absolutely no way JUST the work I have done is school can really show how CAPABLE I am of an artist/student/designer BECAUSE the work I do at school is just as limited by professor's whims and restrictions”¦ I think it reflects less of the school when we cant show just how much what we learn in school affects our interestes and vice versa”¦.



      hey, I always enjoy hearing your thoughts....

      The UIC focuses a lot on compared to IIT whose focus is on process (however the solution is always assumed)....this has a strong impact on student progress. I know I've been caught up at times thinking "al right this is good...but how should it be formatted in my portfolio?"

      And then in the end I have 12 pages that represent the sum total of a college experience and 40 grand in student loan.

      But as moe always says “write less…but write deeper”

      Jan 26, 05 10:16 pm  · 

      I absolutely agree. A portfolio should reflect you as a whole. Be daring and break the rules next time. If you aren't chosen to represent the school in the fair or whatever it is, who cares? At least you would have been true to yourself and shown all your abilities. It is your portfolio, not theirs. You have nothing to lose since you're not accustomed to displaying your pride anyway, right?

      Jan 27, 05 4:43 pm  · 

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