Need Help : Statement of Purpose


This is my statement of Purpose to the Pratt institute, any comments are welcomed.

Thanks a lot for reading. 

Cheers, Angela

Statement of Purpose

I believe in the power of Architecture and Living Environment in changing human’s mood & being. To me Architecture is multi-scaled chain tensed by human, community & society. Space transmits information and stimulates sensation.

However starting from the computer age, the impact of space is demolishing, Computer started to establish another sense of distance and virtual space. We can perceive an amount of information outreaching the amount contained in the physical space. The technology revolution addressed a new kind of space: “The Tech-Dwelling”. “The Tech-Dwelling”, which could be a computer, a smart-phone or potentially in other forms, contains every undifferentiated function into a single piece of chip.

I am not denying positive impact of technology brought to architecture.

However rather just to focus on creating new space or forms in architecture, I see technology as a tool for every individual to create their own space. “Personalize” is an important word for this century as it addresses “Freedom” & “Power”. Thus I am interested in participatory design and furthermore I see the process of participating could bring architecture to a broader talk of social impact. I designed and built a school in Cambodia in 2011 IDEA Project by inviting the local children to participate into the design process of the school. The whole process raised the community’s awareness in architecture and education.

However in the process of Participatory Design, while architects are giving up part of their jobs to the users, the role of architects become more important in controlling and coordinating the whole architectural experience and process. In order to set up successful model with potential for user’s participation in the creation process, an understanding of “demand” and “sensation” is essential.

The word “demand” implies the ability of acquiring. The city I was born, Hong Kong, is famous for the insufficiency of space. During the different age of housing shortage, architects had proposed different modules to cope with the shortage. For example Karel Teige had proposed a minimum living space like Proletarian Abode and Collective Reconstruction of Dwelling. In a workshop I held in Hong Kong, I inserted Teige’s collective function model into Hong Kong typical housing plan, but reserving the freedom for individual to expand their dwelling size and allowing the potential of built-in private functions. The result showed that even with high price, there are someone who is willing to pay for the privacy.

Furthermore with the limited resource we have, I see this free will process of acquiring space as a relationship between “Private & Public”. I worked on the transformation between public and private space, in a car park tower design competition entry, the whole tower is allocated with car parking lots while after renting a number of car parking lots an individual perform the potential of transforming the lots space into different studio or exhibition space.

Therefore I am interested in “sensation”, instead of inserting a big piece of empty “public space”, the understanding on sensation is essential in architectural design in order to attract human to cultivate the space. “Sensation” also implies different ways of participatory, a human can contribute to a space by adding visual elements, producing sounds, or performing a movement.

Pratt provides a research driven education with a broad exposure on different cultures, art & science thus Pratt is a perfect institute for exploring new architectural movement in this age. I love Pratt as it actively introduces new designs to the society, like the Incubator. Thus I believe Pratt to be an institute for me to deepen the theoretical development, exploring new design ideas ,to execute and to experiment on new space.

Nov 9, 11 11:44 am

Who's ass are you trying to kiss?


Nov 9, 11 1:58 pm


You may regret posting a draft of something as important as your personal statement of purpose online.  Like it or not, it's now part of the public domain--capable of being read and pilfered by your competitors, and of being read, pre-critiqued or circulated by anyone at Pratt who might see it here.

Probably the better strategy is to ask a few friends/ colleagues/ professors to look it over and comment.

Nov 9, 11 2:04 pm

3 paragraph's starting with "However"

Nov 9, 11 4:03 pm


while your point is valid, I'd like to point out that being viewable by the public, and being in the public domain are two different things.

I remember when I did this for school I made sure to use the simplest, least pretentious words possible.

Nov 9, 11 4:16 pm

If you truly want a critique:

I stopped reading after the second paragraph because of all of the grammatical errors.  You need to pay attention to sentence structure, flow from sentence to sentence, and flow from paragraph to paragraph.  Get rid of the "quotes" like you are speaking with sarcasm.  Actually, this is written like it is a train of thought and not a paper.  It needs to read like a paper.  You need to prove that you can have a clear and concise idea and present that idea. Are you interested in technology, participatory design, public vs private space, sensations in architecture, or the research done at Pratt?  You need to choose one, max two, and write on those and how you want to investigate these ideas at the university, and how these desires fit in with the culture of the school.

Nov 9, 11 4:18 pm

It is full of grammatical errors, misuse of meaning, not using comma's appropriately. 

I would take this sentence and develop it - does'nt need to be long, you dont need the other stuff:

Space transmits information and stimulates sensation.

Nov 9, 11 5:45 pm

1.  Do not capitalize words that don't begin a sentence or are not proper nouns.

2.  Your English is fairly good, but you show far too many errors in syntax, usage, punctuation, missing articles (a, an, the), and other grammatical mistakes.

3. You really need to ask (or pay) someone to do sentence-level editing for you to correct these many small but noticeable errors.  And that's in addition to whatever revisions to concepts and content you might make to improve your essay.

Nov 9, 11 6:09 pm

the point of a personal statement is for YOU to express YOUR thoughts in YOUR best mode of expression.  getting help from a ton of strangers seems to defeat this purpose.  your statement contains many errors, but i think it gets your ideas across pretty well and is an accurate reflection of your level of writing ability in english.  given that you state clearly that you are not a native speaker, i think most reviewers will be pretty accepting of a few errors here and there, so don't feel the need to have someone rewrite this in perfect english.  that would be a misrepresentation of your ability to communicate.  if i were you, i would get some general help for writing in english, then rewrite the essay yourself.  this way, you're using it to improve your skills and to learn, rather than just having someone fix it for you.

that said, pretty much everyone gets loads of help with their has always bothered me.  you get people who can't write worth a damn (i don't mean you, angela) submitting flawless essays that have been proofread ten times over by any english major they happen to know.

ps--saying 'i love pratt' is probably a bit much...

Nov 9, 11 6:15 pm

copy and paste. 


personal statement, check!

Nov 9, 11 7:23 pm

@batman  hahahahahah

@elinor    I'm going to have to disagree with you. I don't see what is wrong with having someone proofread your paper.  Yes, it may be wrong to have someone give input as far as the actual content of what she is talking about, but having someone read it to find grammatical errors is completely fine.  If you are against having people proofread essays, then are you against having people give critiques on portfolios before they are submitted? Nearly every school suggests that you do this before submitting, and I for one try to get my work in front of as many eyes as possible before the deadlines.

Nov 9, 11 8:26 pm

you're right...a quick once-over or a second pair of eyes to catch overlooked things is fine.  when this means a total rewrite though, i'm not so convinced...

Nov 9, 11 11:24 pm

@ elinor

Rewrites and correction of text for proper grammar and syntax are a crucial part of the editing process for anything worth reading, whether it's from a grad school applicant, an academic, or a critically acclaimed author. Editing what you write is just as important as what you write about, some might even argue it's more important.


@OP / Angela

Learning to distill your ideas into clearly expressed, nicely flowing paragraphs is something everyone of your peers will have to do in classes that will involve theory and history. Doing it now, before you're even in class is smart.

Are you describing the projects that are included in your potfolio? (Parking lot tower, workshop you held in Hong Kong, the design-built school project  in Cambodia) If so, the statement of purpose/intent is not the right place to do that. You could talk about how these projects relate to the concept of "Space transmiting information and stimulates sensation." (to borrow from dia), but you only need to say: "The projects in the enclosed portfolio ___________."

Nov 9, 11 11:59 pm

The primary question an admissions committee will ask when reading your statement of purpose is: what does this tell me about the person who wrote it? They already have your test scores, GPA, portfolio, and letters of recommendation. You don't need remind them of those things. What you do need to ensure is that you present yourself in the best possible light.

You have not yet succeeded at this, and you can tell because of the comments you've received so far: people notice your errors and disjointed sentences, then they notice that the tone of voice seems rather egotistical and maybe even snide. You take a role of lecturer, as if you're talking to people who don't agree with you or don't understand what you're talking about. You give definitions where none are necessary. And you don't stream your thoughts towards a purpose.

My suggestion would be to distill your various viewpoints into a single topic, where you can explain how this topic became interesting to you and where you would like to take it in your graduate studies. It should be something that you are REALLY interested in, something you can see yourself working on well beyond graduate school.

Lose the scare marks ("words" in "quotes").

Definitely get someone with impeccable English skills to correct your paper. No, it may not reflect YOUR personal abilities in English, but it shows that you care enough about your presentation to make sure that people aren't stuck focussing on deficiencies. 

Cut the length to about half of what you wrote.

Best of luck.

Nov 10, 11 4:33 am

Ahw....too be young and naive again!

Jan 19, 12 9:53 pm

that there are disturbances of advertisement between mobdro for iphone has several functions and also performance.

Mar 31, 17 4:04 am

I'm working on my personal statement at the moment and the tips above really helped me, guys. Thanks! (I don't think it is a good idea to post my personal statement here.) I shortened it and got rid of some quotes. I also found some helpful tips in this statement of purpose for internship.

Thanks everyone for an advice!

May 19, 17 6:44 am

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