Portfolio critique (Non-Arch background)

Hey guys,


  I posted a while back with my portfolio, but I was wondering if I can get some more feedback from you guys. I don't have an architecture background by the way. Here's the link below:


 Please rip it apart. But also state any good things you can say about it as well. Thanks.

Nov 9, 12 5:34 pm


Overall , i think you need to address  " what is it you are  trying to achieve  "  what is  your idea,  and how does it  inform the outcome ...

Like in the first project,  where the rod is coming from / what is it ? some sort of intro/explanation would help people to understand.

The photography part , it's hard to understand what you are trying to say...

The  " Illegal operations " is interesting , it's a good starting point for you . It'd be really good if you can somehow transform this observation into something architectural, visual representations or artwork ...even writing /anything really.... how can you develop it further, you have to demonstrate your potential and critical thinking.

The cover page is terrible , try experimenting with a variety of text fonts (dont go too fancy though )


Nov 9, 12 11:20 pm

Your overall approach, of having a minimalist amount of content on each page and focusing on the processional sequence between pages, is different but effective. I agree that you need to search for a different font style for the covers and subheadings. Your body text is also too large to be elegant. Since your writing plays such a large role in your portfolio, you should focus on further refining it.

I disagree about the photography part. Although your project is not oriented towards compositional/artistic expression like most "photography" that people try to include in their portfolios, it does show that you have an interest in, and a willingness to tackle, complicated social and cultural issues that could make your application stand out. It also works well with the "illegal operations" project to begin to create an overall narrative of your author's specific, unique interests. 

For the first project with the wooden rods, it would be good to contextualize the assignment - it seems like an experiment in fabrication rather than a full-scale design project. That's okay, but it should be clarified and explained up front.

As you redesign the title and contents and background for your projects, think about how you could further advance the previously-mentioned narrative of your interests.

The final form-making project is too long-winded and lost my attention - see what would happen if you could cut its length in half.

Right now, you only have 3-4 projects in over 60 pages. Have you done any other work in other types of media that would be good enough to include? Your portfolio could use some additional variety.

Overall, I think that the work that you have is interesting and shows potential - but you should have more of it.

Nov 10, 12 1:08 am
Jono Lee

Thanks guys, I really appreciate your comments.

  Snail, a lot of what you said aligns directly with what architecture profs have said about it. Your insight was invaluable. Again, thank you for your input!

 It seems like I'm the only one that likes the front and back cover! lol... I'm just really a fan of good serif fonts (or what I think are good serif fonts).

  Hypothetically, if I were to submit this portfolio as it was, would you know by chance if the admissions panel would view my particular aesthetic deviations as an opportunity for development or a determent for admission? (hope that made sense..)

Nov 10, 12 1:52 am

From a graphic designer-turned-architecture student, I'd say that the font is fine, I just think the type treatment detracts from the elegance of the rest of your work. The front and back covers seem a little much and I think if you're going for a refined, minimal portfolio, it'd be good to experiment a little more effectively with the type. Look up some design firms on to get a good idea of how you can express all of your work with one cover. Sabon is a nice serif typeface to start with.

I love that you've bled your photography off of the page, and in general, I really liked your work. I rarely see that with anyone other than designers and it always works really well for photographs. Seriously great.

I agree with a lot of the points that Snail made, so there's no need to really repeat the information aside from the fact that you could maybe benefit from including another project that showed some more variety or perhaps trim down the final project. 

I'm still doing my B.Arch, but judging by the work a lot of friends submitted for their M.Arch entry, I really think your portfolio will stand out. It all depends where you're applying, though, really.

Great work, though. I think you'll do great! Just fix those damn covers!

Nov 10, 12 1:11 pm
Jono Lee

Thanks man!!! That's super encouraging! Looks like I got some work to do on those covers! This really means a lot guys, you're all awesome :D

Nov 10, 12 2:21 pm

Just a headsup, the link is down. I'm curious to see it now.

Nov 10, 12 6:47 pm
Jono Lee



This is more or less the same portfolio shown above:

I look forward to your comments!

Nov 11, 12 1:40 am

I really have only two comments.

1) Its too long. Try to get it to 30 pages or so, and you can mess with the layout to get it to work.

2) Needs an accent color, which will help your covers as well.

Its interesting and shows potential, which is great. Good luck!

Nov 11, 12 9:14 am

I think it looks excellent.  I do agree with Josh, It should be shorter; maybe you could compress some of the information together?  With the first project, in particular, the drawings could be attractively combined with the photographs.  Lastly, I think that the format may be almost too consistent.  There needs to be more variety in the layout in just a few places to create emphasis.

Nov 12, 12 10:29 am

page is still down.

Nov 12, 12 3:33 pm
Jono Lee

That's because I took it down

Nov 12, 12 4:47 pm

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