MArch Portfolio review


Dear Archinect,

I know we don't get enough of these!

I am applying for MArch I this fall, and finally finished the first draft of my portfolio.

Keep in mind this particular one is aimed at GSD, and they have a 30 page limit. I am also applying to their AP program so I had to include my studio projects. I tried to cram as much as I could in without making it feel ..crammed. Also, my essay is meant to reflect my portfolio, so my whole "Architecture is experience" will be the focus of my essay as well.

Let me know what you guys think. Thank you!

Oct 4, 13 9:36 pm

Good works ! the best one I've seen here in months, congrats.The introduction project is brilliant, it's exciting and it makes you wanna explore the rest of the works.

Minor things you might wanna change,

1. Cover page, especially the texts ( i dont mind the graphic but what is it ? cant see it in your work) you have really good works inside remember, spend a day and come up with a couple of alternatives i reckon.

2. Center-justify text leaves uneven spacing between words, I myself dont find it aesthetically pleasing, some people dont even notice them. And you have just the right amount of texts throughout the folio.

3. I would add or spread the works in the introduction pages though, I know you wanna make it clean but to leave almost the whole page blank in a 30-page folio is a loss opportunity.

I hope you get in where you wanna go.

Good luck

Oct 5, 13 12:19 am

I don't think you'd want to go over 30 pgs for a grad school portfolio anywhere.

I agree with the comments above. I would like to expand upon his second comment though....

People in this field always seem to want the graphic quality of double justified text; however, they often have no understanding of how to use it. Architecture students, architects, and even sometimes graphic designers tend to opt for the excessive spaces between words rather than hyphenation. However, if you start looking at examples of things that use double justified text you will realize that almost every professional book designer uses hyphenation in any kind of body text that is double justified. Go pick up a newspaper, a Bible, or maybe something made by your favorite big name architect (s,m,l,xl is hyphenated and it's not even double justified) ....

Another point to be made is that many double justified things are not done with narrow columns of text, because narrow columns limit your ability to clean up the text and reduce the number of hyphens. If someone is doing narrow columns of double justified text then they are probably trying to save space and will almost definitely use hyphens.

In short... don't be afraid to hyphenation, but maybe just use a raged edge if you don't know what you are doing with it. 

I think the only appropriate place for what you are doing with it is non-body text... maybe on a poster or something where you don't have to read that much of it.

Anyway, appart from that your portfolio is pretty nice. I am not sure if i care for the design of the projects, but your representation is good. I might reduce the non-content related graphics, like the little grey fills you have all over the place.

Good luck!

Oct 5, 13 12:56 am

Siamese - Thank you for the props! All good points too. My issue related to the cover right now is that I have a few really nice non-project drawings that I'd like to include, but not enough room in the 30 page limit to make it work (or break the flow). Perhaps if I do find a smart way to include some drawings in those intro pages, I can figure something out.

The cover page, on the other hand, I will probably have to make something new as a good representation of my style and my work, because right now I don't know what I can use as a good cover. I don't know how I feel about using a specific drawing from one of the 5 projects as it will put emphasis on that project, and I don't know if I want that.

As far as the text, that was something I definitely didn't catch. I'm going to try and hyphenate first before I give up double-justifying, just because the double justify helps create my invisible guidelines.

natematt - Agreed with the text (as stated above). As far as the graphics, I tried to make the grey fills as light as possible, but maybe it might be better if the captions floated. I'll try it out.


Thanks again!

Oct 5, 13 2:13 pm

Yes quite cool ;D I'd adjust a couple of small things:

Page 0: Why is the cover "project" not in the portfolio?

Page 9: I'd delete the 2 small images, too distracting from this really really cool large one

Page 15: I'd delete the small renders on the right. Too distracting and they're not thát good that they háve to be there.

Page 15 / Page 16: I'd take those two white plans of page 16 and bring them to page 15 (delete one section, since one is saying enough I think). Now on page 16 you have all the space to show those two cool blue and orange skies.

Page 21: I think the 3d image says everything. The plan and section could be deleted. Especially since page 22 shows another section. Maybe combine the two so you can see a silhouette in the floating box like on page 21.

Page 33: I can do without the "thank you" ;]

I think it's a good choice that the lightness project only has 1 spread. It shows some technical drawing skills, but as architecture it's not the most interesting thing.

Oct 5, 13 3:38 pm

Paul - I'm definitely replacing the cover at this point. I just need to figure out a neat way to incorporate my current cover drawing (which was a stand-alone abstract) without making a new "section" for other drawings.

I'm going to be taking those little renders out on page 15, I had a hard time convincing myself that I needed them there, I just made an argument to myself that I'm not explaining the interior experience as much as I should be. Rendering wasn't my strong-suit either, admittedly.

I also agree with the other pages, I seem to be repeating myself in drawings (and their purpose) a little. And yeah, maybe the "thank you" is a little much. Also, my "airway bike shop" isn't my strongest project, but your right - I did feel like it showed some complimentary technical ability, which is why its there.

Thank you again for the suggestions.

Oct 5, 13 7:02 pm


I'd use  p.14 ( a man looking up) as a cover page,  it has a nice geometry that you can play with, instead of a 'nice' non-project drawing. People would relate to the two images in ten second and that what you need when applying for arch schools.

Oct 6, 13 2:41 am

it's really great. Good luck!!

Oct 6, 13 4:05 am

spell-check. see pg. 22 for more info.

Oct 6, 13 12:49 pm

aslamualikum  kindally you me your thesis portfolio pics and some detail

Jun 23, 17 1:07 pm
Non Sequitur

What da fuck are you asking for?


Long way to go before GSD acceptance :D

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