Portfolio Crit

Hey, I'm planning to apply for master's this year in September and I would like to work on my portfolio until then. 

Context - This portfolio was accepted by Columbia in 2022. Rejected by MIT and GSD. 

I did not attend Columbia because there was no funding. I would like to apply again to schools that might offer funding (MIT, Cornell?, still figuring out). I also have some savings now.

All suggestions and criticism is welcome!

Mar 20, 24 11:46 am

I think you got some good materials to start with. The last two projects are really interesting and you should capitalise on them.

I can see why you were turned down by the GSD/MIT ; the graphic arent pretty or refined ( enough ).

Mar 21, 24 3:39 am  · 
1  · 

Hey thanks for your feedback. I agree with you. I need to work on the graphics.

Mar 21, 24 11:33 am  · 

Hey thanks for your feedback! I agree with you.
Do you have any suggestions on how to go about that? is it the lack of environment in the renders? or if i should add more conceptual sketches?

Mar 21, 24 11:34 am  · 

color coordination, aesthetics, conceptual and creative in terms of how you present information. get rid of unnecessary visual elements and colors. Search up pictures online and from famous firms as well as architecture magazines. If you have difficulty working with color black and white with only 1 color as a highlight is also an option.

Apr 2, 24 4:33 pm  · 
1  · 

Hey Radhika,

Really strong bones to all these projects, particularly the ones that were actually built (sets you apart from many other arch undergrads). I don't have all the answers, but I think one representational tip and one conceptual tip that may put your portfolio that one tier higher and get you accepted to your desired schools:

- Many professors appreciate high information density and complexity, showing you have great control of line drawings/line weights. Looking at your first project, you might apply this to your current drawings by dropping the opacity of your renders and layering over linework that shows the depth of design in a singular, condensed drawing. Let the linework speak for itself, and use shading/color/render to beef it up. If your spread is visually stunning as much as it is technically valuable, that's a good sign.

- Conceptually, show that you are thinking about ways architecture will move forward into the future. Ways that you are thinking critically about the practice and exhibiting your own "inventions." That is, show them something they've never seen before. Suspend disbelief and imagine what architecture could be. After all, you're carte blanche on these anyways.

Small notes for your portfolio:

- The transition from the "Neighborhood" project to the "Stitches" project is unclear. Use a consistent title card layout. 

- Entourage in the bottom left of page 4 looks like they're too big, compared to the size of the building. 

- I gather that many professors at most schools don't really care for software-generated renders. Collages and other ways of representing your work other than hitting the render button on your 3D model will make your work more compelling.

I hope all this helps, and good luck! (Just to establish that I am at least marginally qualified to critique your work, I was also accepted to Columbia this year, as well as Harvard, Yale, Penn, so I think I'm doing something right. It's also just as likely that I got entirely lucky, so take all my crits with a grain of salt.)

Mar 29, 24 2:19 pm  · 
2  · 

Hey thank you so much for this detailed feedback. I really appreciate it.

Apr 3, 24 12:35 am  · 

Also, congratulations on the acceptances. I see your point. I've been trying to elevate my portfolio in the 2 areas that you've mentioned. I've struggled with conceptual sketches and complex drawings a lot but I'll try again!

Apr 3, 24 12:38 am  · 

Would you mind connecting? I'd love to see your work

Apr 3, 24 12:39 am  · 

I agree with @kade. Just one more point to add. I only see one academic project in your portfolio, and the rest are all done in a professional capacity. I would add at least one more academic project there.

Apr 3, 24 2:05 am  · 

Hey! I have two - the completely hand drawn urban design project and my B. Arch thesis. I graduated in 2017 so academic work is really old and that's why I kept more of my recent work but I understand that academic projects are also necessary. Do you think it's okay to add projects that were done 7 - 8 years ago?

Apr 3, 24 4:21 am  · 

Ahh, I see. That should work. If you want to add your old projects, you can rework them for your portfolio (If you have time).

Apr 3, 24 7:40 am  · 
1  · 

Yes I do have time. Hopefully 2 academic projects should be enough. I can also add some individual competition work probably which might help. Thank you!

Apr 3, 24 10:10 am  · 

Too much color and too much information on each spread. Study graphic design and layouts. Keep going!

Apr 2, 24 4:35 pm  · 
1  · 

Heyy yes I see that too. I will be working on a cleaner aesthetic for sure! Thank you!

Apr 3, 24 12:39 am  · 

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