Please critique my Year 2 Semester 1 Portfolio! (UK here)


Hi y'all,

I am currently doing my 3-years Bachelor's Degree (Architecture) in UK, and I am looking to apply to Unis like Bartlett or TU Delft for my Master's Degree. Yes I know, I am only in Year 2 (Currently completing Year 2 by June 2020), but I just want to be PREPARED by the time I am in Year 3 Semester 1 (I am half-Asian but still, pretty Asian mentality haha). 

I just want to be prepared for my Master application by Year 3 Semester 1 as I will not have time to apply with Year 3 Semester 2 projects due to their Application dateline.

My Portfolio here shows work from Year 1 to Year 2 Semester 1 ONLY. As I am still in the midst of completing my Year 2 Semester 2. Oh god I am repeating so much, but here it is:

Please kindly critique me. I need improvement and I need strong, non-sugar-coating critics. I really need to be ready for the application by the end of Year 3 Semester 1. Thank you lots!

Feb 12, 20 11:32 am

Your name is missing. 

Feb 12, 20 12:26 pm

Haha. Alright. Noted. :P

Non Sequitur

Better than most and those scissor lifts in the last few pages are cheesy as fuck... I love that.

Not sure why you have a scanned copy of your grades.  Normally formal transcripts are sent separately.  Besides this, where are the dirty napkin sketches and design progress?  Shit does not come out all clean and polished on the first try and one reason of the folio is to show case how you think and solve design problems. 

Feb 12, 20 12:42 pm

Noted! Thank u for ur reply! Yea, Im finding it weird as well to leave transcripts in there. I kind of screencapture and left it in there to remind myself to put the transcripts in. Probably won't be necessary though >_<


Would appreciate if anyone can leave me some tips after going through my portfolio please... Thank you! It's really important as I need to improve my amateurish works before my application in like, 8 to 9 months only! :(

Feb 12, 20 1:49 pm
Chad Miller

Add some muted color to your plans and sections.  

Feb 12, 20 2:19 pm

Alrighty! Thank u :D


I actually disagree with this. As I said in my comment, I like your line weights, and I think you might lose this nuance if you add colour, but it is worth playing around with to see if you like it better.


Actually the reason why I didn't put tones/colours on plans is because im a sucker for lineweights! I have to agree with u on this >_

Chad Miller

You can add some muted (aka transparent colors) without diminishing line weights.


Yes I will deffo try it! wont know without trying!! :)


I like the line weights you choose in your plans. I think the phone in page 52 takes away from the model and using a "phone camera" as a frame is way overdone. I don't think you need the blank page at page 53. Don't include your transcript unless specifically asked to do so. I don't like the hands on page 31, even if they were well-drawn, they detract from the image rather than add. Think about adding page numbers. I'm not sure how I feel about the cover-page, it feels unfinished, but that could be a difference in aesthetic preferences, so if you really like, stick with it. I would personally simplify it, get rid of the lines, and make that area a solid light grey, or maybe have the line pattern as the border. I like the bird in the first plan, it plays with scale and proportion and adds a signature without taking away from the technicality of the plan. I also really like the last project. Your font choice is nice. 

Feb 12, 20 5:21 pm

Thank you so so much! Ur input means a lot to me, really! Thanks for taking ur time to go thru my portfolio too! :D Last project u mean the On-Going one I left on the last few pages? Haha~


No worries! I like critiquing. Another thing I noticed was that I think you use frames too much and that's contributing to the "amateur" feel. Try removing some of the frames, for example pg 9, 10, and pg 31 remove the frame around the tools, and see how it looks. (these are just some examples, I would try removing other frames too).        

On pg 31 you don't need the definition of ceramic art. 

You should indicate site location, and if it's a studio project, your critic's name. 

I don't like the green background or the trees on the model on page 28, they make it look like a poorly done rendering when it's actual a pretty good model.


Wow! Thank u so so much!! I didn't realise all these AT ALL! Thank u!! TT____TT Im so happy!


Any more comments will be greatly appreciated. Looking to apply to a Master's programme using my Year 1 to Year 3 Semester 1 works. Right now I am showing Year 1 to Year 2 Semester 1 works. :)

Feb 13, 20 2:27 am

Very good graphic! like ur covers

Feb 13, 20 9:13 am

Thank u! :) I would appreciate if I can get more critical comments from people that viewed this thread please :) Thanks a lot!

Feb 13, 20 11:11 am

Not really anything to add hasn't already been said, like your portfolio overall just might need little bit of colour. But it's pretty good overall, yep, and doing it ahead of time is awesome.

One thing would be, do you have portfolio length requirements? Usually only submit shorter portfolios...

Feb 13, 20 1:02 pm

Oh yea! Speaking of Portfolio Length, the website says, "A4 Size 10-20 Pages". But they didn't say any limit. So I was thinking of going for around 25 or 30? LOL >_


Eh that second part might be the length requirement, "10-20 Pages". But yes, 20-25 seems about right number for you


Thank u! If that is the case I probably will just put the Render and Axonometrics from the Year 1 Semester 2 project I shown here. Since that's the only "Fancy" images of that year's project >_

Those aggressive graphics scales and section markers need to go. They’re the first thing you see when flipping to a page. Find some thinner and less distracting ones. Also I’ve never been a fan of borders around individual drawings on a page, simplify your graphic representation by removing them. I kind of like the filleted corners on your images though, but if you choose to use that, use it throughout all of your images. Other than that, I think just being a bit more consistent with your text sizes and justifications could help.
Feb 13, 20 2:05 pm

Awesome! Thank u so much! These small little details are the ones creators like myself cannot "see"... Haha. I really appreciate ur kind help :)


First off, you are very clearly graphically gifted, great line weights and compositions of your drawings. However I will say that the added graphics can get a little distracting as I was so intrigued by the scissor lift than the actual building itself, just a note for the future. 

Check the diagram text in the Year 1 Semester 2 project, the formatting and sentence structure need a little work. I often find reading the sentences out loud to myself helps a ton with that for me. 

Also agree with the others and would love to see some progress sketches and lose the transcript. 

Great work though!

Feb 13, 20 10:05 pm

Thank u so much for the invaluable feedback. I will definitely look into it and do an update! :)


Looking for more critical feedback! :) Thank u!

Feb 14, 20 3:24 pm

Better than Archlandia's.

That's not a compliment by the way. 

Feb 14, 20 3:58 pm

awwwe, my stalker is back just in time for valentines day :)


what's going on


Which school are attending in the UK?


I need more constructive feedbacks please :) Thank u

Feb 15, 20 4:12 am

You graphics are on point. However, the squircle borders are limiting your drawings (kind of tacky). Let some drawings bleed to the edge, others can be simply sit on the page without the need to box it in with the squircle. Also give yourself a system for your font choices - seems like there're some inconsistencies. 

Best of luck.

Feb 15, 20 4:58 pm

Yes I agree with ur comments too! I will definitely remove it ASAP! Also, thank u for the tips on drawings that bleeds to the edge etc, I really need my portfolio to be more "daring"! thanks a lot :D


From what I know, Bartlett and Delft (especially Delft) are very keen on physical models, be it study or presentation. I think they also look for large models that replaces computer rendering. Your drawings are excellent and I’d think complementing them with physical models will really work. Consider 1:50 models for your next studio?

Feb 15, 20 8:51 pm

Yes, sadly from my portfolio i think everyone can tell my model-making skills is not the greatest. But, I will strive to do better in my model making! Thank u so much for looking that deep into my work to realise that! :) I really appreciate it :D


I'm sure your design is great but visually is not striking. Compared to other portfolios I've seen it looks very bland. I would try to add graphic elements that aid the narrative of your design. 

Feb 15, 20 11:41 pm

I think so too! This is one of the main reason I decided to seek help from everyone here :( As I can't help but feel there's this strong presence of Bland-ness in my portfolio :(


Critical comments appreciated :D

Feb 17, 20 9:51 am

Thank u all for the help! :)

Feb 21, 20 4:59 am

your graphic skills are excellent, and the layout is clear. other than a few minor tweaks already suggested, don't spend time reworking this - it just won't make any difference. you've hit the ceiling on what you can get out of these projects. 

instead, focus your energy in the coming months on doing a really extraordinary studio project. your current works are rational and well presented - no problems with them. But if you want to stand out, do something more ambitious and challenge yourself as a designer or a thinker.

once you do that, you'll probably need to cut out some of what's already in here, because these projects are simple and hopefully the next projects will show a deeper range of design skills.

for where you're at now, this portfolio is as good as it can be. to get to the next level, you should try doing a project that's genuinely surprising.

Feb 21, 20 9:43 am

Thank u so much! I think Im exactly on the same page as u. I think my work are too much on the "safety line". I will work to achieve something beyond my comfort zone that is for sure! I will also the future project to replace up to 70% of these 2 projects in total. My goal is to shrink EVERYTHING into 30-pages. Will deffo remove the Year-1 works, whilst only keeping the exploded axon and that 1 main render that takes up 2-pages (which I really love it, my favourite render although it's from Year-1 haha).


Typo: I will also USE* the future project

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