Entry-Level Designer / Intern Portfolio Critique

Hi all,

Like a lot of us around here, I am a recent graduate struggling to find the right job or any architecturally related opportunity for that matter.   It's tough out there!  Even in a big market like Houston, especially when you don't have any connections ( I graduated at UT San Antonio).  It probably doesn't help that I have very little experience with Revit and AutoCad, but I am proficient with SketchUp and Indesign.  On the other hand I can draw, draft and render by hand really well.  I was encouraged to draw and I did because I enjoy it, but it seems like no one cares about that these days.  It's obvious that spamming the e-mails of every single firm that lists any job opportunities is not going to work.  Last time I heard any designer or architect get a job like that, I fell off my dinosaur.   Time to hit the firms.   Armed with a printed portfolio, I hope to make an impression and show my personality and talents.  Do you think my portfolio has a shot?  Please take a look at my work and tell me what you think... Some constructive criticism would be very helpful and a confidence booster.

Thanks guys, and good luck with your own employment endeavors!


Design Portfolio:

Dec 6, 12 7:48 pm

Looks like you have put some good effort on the portfolio.  It's good that you have a simple and straight forward layout.  But to be honest, your hand-drafting drawings aren't really the strongest ones out there.  Some even look like preliminary sketches/diagrams.  Your lines aren't crisp enough.  And, your drawings look flat as they seem to be lacking a variety of line weights  However, I wouldn't bother brushing up those drawings.  I would instead select a couple strong ones and digitalize them in AutoCAD or Revit.  No one drafts by hand these days.  Your SketchUp images aren't bad but not attractive enough.  You might want to apply some effects using v-ray or Photoshop. Good luck!

Dec 7, 12 12:48 am

I would recommend looking at some of the graduate portfolio's on issuu. Make it more clean and well designed. And it's a little too long. These days employers don't have much time to look at 50+ pages of work. Include only your best work. It wouldn't hurt improving your renderings. If you are using Sketch-Up, you might want to check out this guy's tutorials:  But do include hand renderings as well because firms will sometimes want that. Show them construction docs. And do learn Revit and CAD.  

Dec 7, 12 2:15 am

Oho- ima I drugi Bulgari na tozi forum :)

Dec 7, 12 9:23 am

Thanks for the reply guys ... Do you really think the drawings are that bad? I have had good critiques on all of them, getting A's and B+'s on all the projects that I have shown.  I've seen better hand drawn plans than my own and elevations but I've also seen much, much worse.  I am definitely thinking about making it shorter but I still feel that I should have a complete portfolio with all my work just in case. 


Znaika - That's a cool website man ... I will definitely improve my sketchup renderings with those quick but awesome techniques 

Augustinpe1 - HAhaaha .... E kak ve bratle... Nie sme na vsqkude.. Skoro 6te prevzemem sveta :P 

Dec 7, 12 12:40 pm

I saw your drawings. You got your A's and B's because architecture is not just about how well you can draw or render. Concepts in school are measured by how much they make sense- how convincing your arguments are for designing something a certain way. Your drawings show effort and talent, but not rigor (I.e. how far you were willing to push yourself to make them convincing architecturally. My favorite drawings were some of your sections that started to show some technical information. However, that technical information wasn't as thought through (not that it needs to be perfect in school) but it simply isn't even convincing. Check out a firm named Benisch Arkiteken. They have some amazing drawings that have qualitative and quantitative information. Also, there is a book called 'Condemned Buildings' which is influential in architectural theory. He drawings in that book are spectacular!

Na dobur 4as!

Dec 7, 12 1:30 pm

I went through your portfolio really quickly without carefully studying your concept and read none of your text.  Employers will all look at you work this way so it's important to tailor your portfolio to the market's needs - professional working drawings, some physical models perhaps, and high-quality renderings that will appeal to clients.  Compare your work to other people's.  If you were an employer, which portfolios would stand out the most?  It's a good start.

Dec 7, 12 8:15 pm

I would also work with your layout as it seems a bit "coarse" to me- meaning there could be more of a hierarchy of what is important. For example, some smaller diagrams or sketches are nice to contrast with your whole page spreads. Also, I would use a consistent, clean font throughout- using a "Gothic-looking" font for a classical project seems a bit simplistic. Good luck!

Dec 7, 12 8:45 pm

Learn Revit, or at the very least AutoCAD.  Otherwise you are going to have a very difficult time.

Dec 8, 12 2:01 am

These are all good suggestions guys... It sucks how school (4year) has almost nothing to do with the real life... I mean it does but the focus is on design and the design language, no body thought us how to do construction documents... Detail sections is what we called them hahah but It was never a focus .. I guess firms don't want to pay anyone to learn... I thought It would be easy, one of my professors even offered me an interview while I was still in school. I didn't go because I was so "busy" with my final project ( I'm such a dumb-a) but it gave me the wrong confidence that I could get a job with any firm I wanted.. Needless to say a couple of months later and I can t even get an interview. I was so gullible but after the reality check that I'm experiencing i guess i have to start designing again and further develop my concepts ( which are very dear to me ).. The only thing is ..... Time is ticking you know.. I don't give up easily though and I'll be back again with a better portfolio so I can redeem myself to a bunch of anonymous ( architects ? )... Haha .... Just kidding, thanks for taking the time to look through my work guys , I appreciate your comments And concerns!

Dec 8, 12 1:57 pm

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