Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 1 session / week, 3 hours / session

Course Overview

The aim of the Portfolio Seminar is to assist in developing a critical position in relationship to their design work. By engaging multiple forms of representation, written and visual, students will explore methods that facilitate describing and representing their design work. Through a critical assessment of their existing portfolios, students will first be challenged to articulate design theses and interests in their past projects. Different mediums of representation will then be studied in order to hone an understanding of the relationship between form and content, and more specifically, the understanding of particular modes of representation as different filters through which their work can be read. Some of the questions that will be addressed are:

  • How does one go about describing an image?
  • How does one theorize representation?
  • How does one articulate a design thesis in writing verses visual media?
  • How can the two interact to enhance each other?
  • How do different media, printed verses web publishing, affect the representation of work?
  • How is your work best communicated?

The seminar will be structured around nine meetings that will be co-taught by Mark Jarzombek and Meejin Yoon. The first 3 meetings will involve discussions around written assignments. This will be followed by a review of student portfolio work, followed by several seminars around the issues of representation. Guest lecturers will be invited to lead some of these discussions. The other assignments for the course will include both a printed and web publication of one past project or design inquiry. The meetings will be weekly, scheduled so as to not interfere with studio and final reviews. Additional tutorials will be made available to assist students who are not as familiar with desktop and web publishing tools. Students are expected to arrive with a portfolio in hand. However, the course will not be focused on the mere improvement of an existing portfolio. The students will engage the representational process as a means to provide a critical forum for written and visual communication in the field of architecture and specifically within their own work.