Look at my Portfolio What should I do to apply to an MLA program?

Landscape Architecture for Landscape Architects Forums GENERAL DISCUSSION Look at my Portfolio What should I do to apply to an MLA program?

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    David Kornmeyer

    Portfolio Link


    Check it out I want to apply to a few MLA programs as I found myself much more interested in geology , I love everything outdoors, I will do an Urban Design concentration I will change the cover and simplify the layout I believe. Should I use this stuff or try to whip together some kind of an landscape design problem?


    So why not go for geology?  You won’t spend much time outdoors working as an LA!

    David Kornmeyer

    Well I will graduate with a design degree from undergraduate. I enjoy design and the creative thought to solve problems. Landscape architecture seems like a good mixture of planning design and science and it is a broad field.


    As far as I know landscape architecture doesn’t have much geology in it.  I would echo a previous statement and ask why you don’t go for geology instead?


    If you like the idea of grading and drainage (the only thing I could think of that is somewhat geology-related), then yes there is a lot of that, combined with design.  But you will be doing a lot of sitting in an office on a computer drafting in AutoCAD….unless you get work at a small design-build firm which allows you to go on site visits regularly.


    Also, I don’t see any problem at all with using architecture stuff in your portfolio but I would take a few of those projects out and try to diversify it with different pieces/interests.

    Thomas J. Johnson

    One of my favorite bits of wisdom a professor imparted on me was, “show them how good you are, not how bad you used to be.” That one still makes me chuckle…

    We all have old projects we love and worked hard on but that don’t best represent our abilities. You seem to have a broad range of work in your portfolio but I might focus / highlight your most recent work.

    David Kornmeyer

    Thanks for some input back I will take out a few projects and add more detail on my senior project, I will add a site design and try to put together a exterior rendering. I am applying for both M.arch and MLA programs, I want to stay in the design area not just do geology I thought LA would be more into it but I guess not..


    Thomas: Although what you say does make sense to me, I’ve also been told that companies like to see how your skills have improved over the course of time, and so to include some older projects.  You think this is bad advice?




    I dont really think anyone cares about that besides your mom. I see the logic there, but I think especially now firms want to see what you can do for them right now. Besides, brevity in your portfolio is often key.


    I’ll go page by page because I need a break from working on a Sunday..



    Black and white is good, the graphic is compelling, what does it mean to you/say about you? Are you creative? A modernist? If you’re just trying to make a portfolio cover, keep it simple and type your name. Otherwise its OK.


    Pages 1-2

    What’s going on here..I didnt zoom in..is that your resume? the stuff on the facing page is confusing and no one is going to take the time to decipher it. Put a really compelling/attention grabbing graphic here maybe.. If thats your resume, you might want to simplify it or move it to the end, depending on what your strengths are-graphic/design vs. experience or both.


    the sketch on the left isnt quite transluscent on the charcoal background..use ‘multiply’ to get the whites to pickup background color. You might want to clean up the sketch a bit more. The text on the contents page may be a bit small. What do the colors mean? Are the projects color coded?


    Tough to see a clear process. Lots of little compelling sketches, but it’s unclear at quick glance where and how they fit in. The boxes around the text seem a little contrived like youre trying to make it seem more complicated than it really is. I want to know how you think without reading. Sketches look good.



    Cool computer graphics. Pick one or two and make them BIG. Again, I’m not seeing much of a sequence or hierarchy. Also, It’s difficult to tell where projects begin and end. Maybe try defining projects with bigger, bolder text and adding a titleblock at the bottom of each page reminding the reader what theyre looking at. You dont necessarily need page dividers.



    Cool computer renderings and drafting. Looks like you have some technical skill.


    14 on

    Pretty anticlimactic ending. Try not to just stick the work you might be less excited about in the back. Looks like you have a lot of technical skill.


    Maybe that was harsh, I dont know, just trying to help. Why are you interested in landscape? I think the major difference in craft is that landscape is an inherently ‘looser’ medium. Sketching ability is important and the ability to move quickly from plan to perspective. Personally, I think architecture is generally much easier to illustrate than landscape.


    Overall I agree with the other posters and think it would be good to show what you know/are interested in with landscape/site.


    Good Luck!

    Thomas J. Johnson

    Just to clarify, I did not swear in my reply… land8lounge’s spelling police just have dirty minds. I said, “We all have old projects we love and worked hard (on) but that don’t best represent our abilities.” Jeez guys… get your minds out of the gutter… and stop being such Nazis, we’re all adults here. Who cares if a little foul language makes it’s way into the forum…?

    And speaking of brevity….

    Dayton Crites

    Typo warning: Page six: ‘desing for the aging’… might want to fix that.  

    Looks good otherwise.  I’m a MLA student working on creating portfolios to apply to internships, so it’s good to see other good examples. 

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