Portfolio Review - Please!


Hi everyone,

I was wondering if you could check out my portfolio and let me know what you think - I've been working a great amount on it, and I'd really appreciate your honest feedback on what I should change. I've been working towards an internship this summer (hopefully) and next summer also, so I'd love specific feedback as to if my portfolio puts me in a good position for an internship!





May 9, 13 8:38 pm

You guys are still on quarters, right?  So that should mean "more" studios.

It's nicely put together and it feels "balanced."  Some have gone from minimalistic to being cluttered, in the same portfolio.  Not so with yours.  It also shows the environmental lean of your program and your photography is nicely done.  I also appreciate that you didn't write a book that no one will have the time to read.

I didn't care for the simplistic project at the beginning (the sustainability diagrams).  Also, it seems to be very urban planning oriented.  I don't know if that was how your studios shook out, or that's the emphasis you chose.  Is there a large, intricate building with a detailed program and a bunch of plans, elevations, and sections in your arsenal? If so, I would include that.  I guess it's all what you're used to.  My projects were all these projects which progressed in size and program, and that's what I sequentially showed - all their plans, elevations, and sections.  Maybe it screamed "production."  And maybe you don't want to have yours show that almost exclusively but, for an internship, try to pick a project which shows deeper development of those graphics for a significant building or two.

May 9, 13 11:43 pm


Thanks for sharing. Your portfolio is well composed and refreshingly minimal, an approach I lean towards myself, an approach not embraced enough by our colleagues! I am very glad you didn't put any awful first year projects, or over emphasize your program's chronology. The renderings are really nice and your drawings all seem consistent (illustrator), so flipping through it quickly gives a very good impression.

I have to say that the diagram next to "about me" bugs me to no end. It says nothing unique about you. Half of the world is interested in "cities, buildings, and materials." I suggest putting the Basilica Elevation image (with caption removed) or a close up of the basilica model to fill the page. Show something great upfront, right beside the "about me" to convey that you are about exciting visual things!

Sometimes your caption font (the grey, caps-lock stuff) seems too big and unorganized. Near the end in the research section specifically, but earlier too. Organizing the captions by location on the page or with a strict system will match the consistency that is present in the drawings and images. 

The image on page 23 could be full bleed.

I really think your Urban Addition / Basilica project is your best and so you should play it up. You should give each drawing more space. The five axon drawings with the red massings on page 21 could be an entire spread (lose the red stroke too), whereas right now they're small. Give the floor plan on page 22 a little more photoshopping to match the quality of the sections, and that could be more prominent. The basilica elevation (page 24) could be a spread over two pages; it's deserving. 

Do the photographs at the end fit into any project? If so, put them there. If not, maybe lose this "section" and just end on one photograph.

May 10, 13 2:54 am

I disagree about the "minimal" aspect being 100 percent good, although it has some nice moments - I think that some of the drawings are placed so far apart that it interferes with potential conceptual connections between different drawings. For example in the first urban project with the renderings of the museum and the monastery, it would be powerful to have those both connected on the same diagram.

I agree that the urban project is kind of odd to have at the front - you should keep it in your portfolio in some form, but it's not the first thing employers will be looking for. Also some of the colors on the large planning drawings are kind of loud and could be toned down to seem more sophisticated. The environmental diagrams are overly simplistic - adding more details and specific pieces of information, such as maybe the context of a specific site or area, would make them stronger.

Overall your portfolio has some potential. I particularly liked the diagram of how to fuse plastic bags - relatively unconventional work like that would be helpful to include in a graduate school application portfolio if you decide to go down that path in the future.

May 10, 13 3:42 am
boy in a well

has potential? sheesh people.

its nice dan

but the part where you turn water into wine, your Haut-Brion wasn't haute enough.

May 10, 13 3:59 am
Dima Srouji

I haven't read the previous comments, I apologize if I'm repeating anything.

I would get rid of some of the sustainable strategy diagrams, or combine them on one or two pages. You want one of your strongest images at the beginning and another strong image at the end. Start your portfolio with your strongest project, and end it on another strong project. I don't think it's a good idea to start a portfolio with a sustainable strategy diagram. I like the model on page 18-19 but I would work more on editing the image, the outline is too dark. 

Your Museum Area might need a better title than that. Is it a 'City Room'? What is the project exactly?

Model on page 25 also has a really dark outline, I would soften that a little bit. 

Also, get rid of the photographs at the end, they aren't very relevant.  Every architecture student can take good photos. 


Good luck!

May 10, 13 2:57 pm

Everyone, thank you so much for your feedback! I've been working on making the changes now, and your feedback really means a lot to me. Thanks again!

May 10, 13 2:58 pm

That's a lot of pages... good if you're going to move pages in and out because no one will look through 47 pages.  I'm assuming that you are in a Bachelors program (if not, you can ignore most of what I'm going to say next), and if you so choose to follow that up with a Masters Program, most submissions will ask for your 12 BEST portfolio pages.  Just keep that in mind, flexibility to add, subtract, and cater to which ever firm you're applying for.

May 10, 13 3:57 pm

47 pages is fine. Some programs ask for 12 pages, but if you have to submit to that format, then create detailed, intense spreads. As it stands, you're in the ballpark. You can trim a bit, sure. But in the interviews I've had, you don't just want your portfolio to stop so abruptly. Let us know when you've updated it, Dan. Thanks. 

May 17, 13 1:09 am

I think you are on your way.  However, this suffers a bit form what might be called slide show mentality. Minimal is fine, but so few things per page is hard when the pages are this large. You can really leverage the printed format to show relationships and express hierarchy within projects, and I am not sure you are there yet.  I agree that 47 pages really isn’t too much in general, but this really doesn’t need to be 47, even without cutting content.

Also.. some of the text is misaligned. (someone probably said that already)

May 17, 13 2:08 am

Overall, I think it's quite nice. There are some things I would maybe work on, hopefully someone will agree with me.First of all, the project in Vicenza looks to be the strongest of the projects maybe you could lead off with this one rather than the Vietnam project. I really like the model on pp.. 18-19, but something about its positioning bugs me. Instead of letting it run into page 18 could you scale the image down into one page. Really nice photography. Like I said it looks good, especially those sections of the Vicenza project.

May 17, 13 1:28 pm

Hey everyone - thanks so much for looking my portfolio over and critiquing it - I really appreciate it! Tiorted, here is my new version - I took most of everyone's comments into consideration, and I'm much more happy with the result!



Thanks again!

May 24, 13 2:45 am

much better...

This is a suggestion, maybe more of a preference... but page 6-7 where it shows the progression of your design, you may want to think of showing that progression in multiple graphical means.  Maybe it starts out with a sketch, progresses to a 3D Model and ultimately a render or model.

just my two cents

May 24, 13 9:39 am

I would rethink some of your titles, specifically 'urban planning,' 'detailing,' and 'material study.' It's fairly obvious that the content of your projects is what you've stated through the titles.. think of something a little more descriptive of how you approached the project, or how you can tell a story a little better, rather than just calling it what it is.

It's a little picky, but every part counts.

May 24, 13 10:53 am

On pages 6-7, what are the reasons you split and space that volume as seen?

May 24, 13 11:01 am

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