Portfolio Critique


As a third year undergraduate student at the University of Arizona this is my first year applying for summer architecture internships. I was wondering if i could get some feedback on my portfolio before i submit it to potential employers. Thanks for any comments!

Mar 1, 13 1:08 am

For a third year undergrad, it looks very competent, detailed, and nicely assembled. 

Three small things:  a) can you leave out the quote by Leonardo da Vinci, because not everybody thinks "less is more," and find another way to fill or eliminate that page?, b) can you minimally simplify the "process" of the Reggio Emilia page 04+ exhibit?, and c) can you replace the strong thematic orange with a different, yet still eye-catching more subtle color?

Mar 1, 13 9:06 pm

M, I agree with the comment on the quote, nix it. I like the orange. Page 6 of the first project, half tone the site map, it's a bit difficult to read the vacant sites. Overall, for a third year, quite sophisticated, keep it up.

Mar 1, 13 11:48 pm

It's very well put together. I agree about the quote as well, and also I feel the color is a little strong. But over all, it is very clean and detailed. Good job!

Mar 2, 13 12:05 am

looks good. do you have a resume as well?

Mar 2, 13 1:54 am

Yes. I have a linkedin and also a pdf that i have designed myself but there seems to be no way to put that one up here endless you personally messaged me your email.

Mar 2, 13 2:16 pm

You obviously have some nice graphic skills, but I think that your portfolio takes too long to introduce your projects.

Reggio Emilia school:

You have four pages (5-8) introducing your concept, but on those pages you only show four very simple diagrams which don't tell us anything about your actual idea. You introduce a concept in the form of allowing children to play through physical interaction with the building, so it would be good to show some close-ups of how that could be done, at the child's scale. Instead your diagrams only talk about reshuffling the program, like  missing your main idea in order to follow a trend.

Desert farm:

13-14 - your introductory text is awkward. Again, your conceptual descriptions are missing the main point. You talk about community, but you don't show any diagrams of how that community interaction could actually work. You talk about sunlight, but don't really show its impact on the plants. And why aren't you talking about water, which would seem to be the most crucial issue for this project?

Concept won't matter quite as much for job/internship applications, so I would try to condense your extended openings into 2 pages or so, so that a potential employer can quickly get to the building and the more technical work which they really want to see. For a graduate school application I would further develop the diagrams as suggested above.

I don't think that the Da Vinci quote is a problem, and I don't think that the orange is a problem, but making your diagrams orange makes them less legible.

Mar 2, 13 2:34 pm

This is a somewhat "contested" area among people reviewing a portfolio.  Some really like the extensive introduction of a project.  Others are very "cut to the chase" and want to see the finished project.  Personally, I like no more than about 2 pages of "process" preceding the finished project graphics.  Everyone has to pick their own point on that continuum, because that too is an extension of one's personality and priorities.

Mar 2, 13 2:47 pm

In addition to what has been mentioned above, I would suggest you be conscious of how your portfolio will read in print. It may read great in a spread on Issuu, but surely you will bring a hard copy with you to your interview. Be careful of images and important information that is placed in the central 'gutter' area where binding will likely affect its legibility. 

Oh and to weigh in on the great quote debate:

Quotes are filler - I'd much rather see this page devoted to showing your own work or graphic ability. I feel like quotes could be perceived as both positive and negative depending on your audience so I just avoid them all together.  If you do decide to keep it, make sure your work coincides with what you're preaching. If less is more then make sure your work exemplifies that mentality. 

Good luck!

Mar 2, 13 3:35 pm

@MWR sure my email address is

Mar 2, 13 4:22 pm

Thanks Mekael, I got your CV. Firstly I like to congratulate you for your creativity and originality CV you set up. I know this represents you. You made it into something like an article and I think the intention is to draw people's attention into reading further.

Just a few of my opinion...

- Maybe don't say hello! my name is .... but rather get straight to the point e.g. name: M......W......R.....
- I think the 2 colors you picked are fine with the black.
- If you have room perhaps you can add your achievement, awards etc. references and maybe your hobby and what you're interested in outside your work and studies.

Mar 2, 13 8:28 pm
vado retro

Keep the orange ane keep the quoteArchitects like quotes. They go around quoting Vitruvius and Mies all damn day. This is one of the better portfolios I have seen on the 'nect in terms of layout. It is readable and it breathes. Iagree about the gutter. Get your text and images away from your binding method of choice. I didn't inspect your content as closely as the layout. If you have time you may wnat to engage an editor to look over and revise some of your text. It is a bit clunky and, frankly, your introduction to your Desert Farm is just bad. Have a wordsmith look it over for you.   Kudos.

Mar 4, 13 8:40 am

I think it's an excellent folio.  However I absolutely abhor the fact that you put a big "12" right in the middle of the image one of your key projects.

Mar 4, 13 11:00 am
vado retro

Keep the orange ane keep the quoteArchitects like quotes.

Mar 6, 13 7:39 pm

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