Portfolio – Part II

I’ve been getting a lot of requests from people asking my opinion of what I considered a good portfolio for both Undergraduate and Graduate applications for art and architecture programs. So, I decided to share some that I think is good here. Some art programs allow video as portfolio submission. I am not going to go into that and just be general.

Undergraduate

Link

This is a short and sweet portfolio. The portfolio shows some photos of the struggle that the applicant met during the process. It shows that she doesn’t give up when faced with challenges. Some of the personal projects show that she has motivation to start something, which also means that there is a big chance that she will finish her program. All of these are good qualities to have as an applicant. A lot of schools know that you probably have no experience in design, so rather than polished portfolios, they look for portfolios that show rough talent. If you are going into a 3D design programs (architecture, industrial/product, etc), put more 3D projects with some 2D projects, but emphasize more on 3D. If you are in community college looking to transfer, just make sure to take 3D sculpting or something similar so you have a chance to make 3D projects for your portfolio.

Graduate

Link

If you’re going to have more than 2-3 images in a page, make sure that composition works to your advantage.

Link

If you’re going to have a video, it is good to use the printed portfolio as a summary of your projects by compressing the images.

Link

This portfolio is treating design as an expression tool, similar to how most art projects are. The portfolio starts with a couple of projects and ends with a nice splash of ‘wow’ factor that last on people’s mind. This is a good strategy if you only have 1 strong project.

Link

Simple and clean layout that emphasize the work itself. This is the key to communicating any work. He starts with an image with a ‘wow’ factor, followed by smaller images that explain the design process.

Some Tips

1. Be friends with people who works at photo studio and know how to take good pictures.

2. Always print matte. Glossy produces finger marks.

3. A good scanner will make your life easier.

4. Be aware of shipping time if the school doesn’t accept online submission.

5. If you had already sent your application, there is no use worrying about it. You did your best. It is their lost if they don’t want you.

Disclaimer: All of the portfolios above are not mine

Images from here: Link




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Silvialy Tjhin is currently an M.Arch candidate at the University of Toronto. She received her BFA in Architecture Design from Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Her interests are mostly in sustainability, community-based design, and infrastructure development.
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