Andres F. Pineda

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    Andres F. Pineda

    I graduated from Florida Internation University FIU – Our program was very visually / technologically driven from my perspective.

    Rhino 3d was part of the curriculum while 3Ds became optional.

    The use of Rhino became essential in our studio as a mode for the final product and representation. Sketching  had now become that skill that allowed us to start and build up our ideas.

    We did not only use Rhino for its 3D capabilities, but also for Model building through the CNC machine and 3D printer. Later on I found my self switching from Rhino to Sketchup as its location capabilities, terrain tools and warehouse worked phenomenal and modeling became a breeze, but its hard edges did not allow me to become to creative.

    One day I stumbled upon a project in which its organic shapes made it impossible to work with either Rhino or Sketchup and turned to 3D’s. 

    When I look back, I can say that while I did look at tutorials (Although; they made me fall asleep) what helped me the most through the learning curve  of these programs was doing an actual project of mine that I needed to get done and having a deadline. That feeling of not knowing the program and trying to figure things out on my own through youtube and forums because my free educational source. 

    Additionally, if you are thinking about seminars make sure the topic correlates to what your trying to accomplish from the program. All these 3d programs have such vast capabilities and you wouldn’t want to learn 3d’s max ringing if you are trying to figure out how to do topography…

    With that said, I would look for tutorials that have to do with: Internal / External  Lighting, Architecture modeling , Interior modeling, External modeling.  

    Some good online sources are:


    Andres F. Pineda

    I want to thank everyone for shedding some light onto the subject and sharing your views. We have a clear concept on how we want to proceed in the future with hiring new potential employees.

    I shared the opinions with my colleges, and we concluded that in this particular case testing the employee on basic CAD tasks through a  trial basis just as Tonie Cox suggested and Andrew Garulay, RLA suggestion of “teaching them the office standards and make sure that he/she understood that they are expected to not know everything and encouraged them to ask questions” would do the trick.

    It made me realized that this trial period is no longer a one way trial, but also becomes about them testing us.  If they can do their task, of course is the top of our priority, but just important testing how he/she fits within our office culture plays even a bigger role; If he/she feels comfortable with the way we do things and happy where he/she is working at.

    I have always been a strong believer in working with a company/organization that I believe in; as well as its culture and management.

    I guess there is no wrong or right way of doing this process and every office has their way of doing things,  the only difference comes down to how efficient you want to make this process. 


    Andres F. Pineda

    Hey Andrew,

    I might be a bit late but never the less, I hope you made the best decision to follow a career that you love. 

    As for the inspiration part, check out this great video “I want to be a Landscape Architect…”


    Andres F. Pineda

    Hey Shavawn,

    Two of the most used and probably only tools that I always see my self going back and forth to for every project are:

    My Measures & Dimensions and MagicPlan when I am on the go. They allow me to get a quick sense for scale and opportunities at site.

    Houzz app, is a great app to refresh your ideas and break away from your typical design mindset.


    Andres F. Pineda

    Luke, looks better, but Landscape Architecture gets lost and blends in with the black background.

    Take into consideration that all screens and their tonalities are different. The colors that might look good in your screen can look totally different to the recipient. Additionally, remember that when printing, colors might appear differently unless there is a color correction process. 

    In order to avoid all those issues, I would suggest that you increase the tonality of the color to “Landscape Architecture” and just as previously advice make “Landscape Architecture” more prominent and visible. Rember I am seeing what? from who? Ideally LUKE MANCUSO is showing me his LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE portfolio.

    Define what is important to the viewer. 


    Andres F. Pineda

    Portfolio covers have always been an interest of mine and I tend to have a personal and particular way of looking at them. I think that they can say so much about the content enclosed; of coarse opposite from the famous saying “don’t judge a book by its cover”. From my perspective I look at it as a blank canvas that can be used as a built up, to summarize or preview what I am yet to see; somewhat of a movie trailer.

    Fonts, colors, images and organization can actually play such vital role in displaying and describing what the Author is about, how he or she is as a person. Things that we don’t particularly think of as we create the content, but subconsciously we are thinking of them without even noticing.

    I would start of by saying prior to some constructive criticism, I like the simplicity that you’re trying to achieve through the use of font and monochrome colors of the image.

    Prior to reading Andrew Spierings comment, my first though as soon as I saw the image was: Landscape architecture or Photography portfolio?

    • I see a Photography portfolio.


    Well, from an informational stand point, it is not specific to its content as it reads “PORTFOLIO of works” and I am given a photograph. From my experience most, photography portfolios begin with a photograph; so from prior knowledge I would take an educative guess that it will most likely be photography?   

    I think the title should be more specific as the word “works” can be so many things: Photography, Web design, Landscape architecture or … ?

    Maybe you can change the title to something more specific such as: Landscape Architecture Portfolio, Portfolio of Landscape Architecture or something that conveys specifically what this portfolio is about.

    Here are some points to take into consideration if you are thinking of modifying your cover:

    If I were to ask you, Luke when you look at this image what can you possibly imagine there is behind this cover?

    What does it tell you about the portfolio you are about to open?

    If it’s in a pile with 20-50 other portfolios, does it capture your attention and if so why; what is it that pops out at you that it is making you grab this portfolio over others?

    I think this field in particular, we are very visually driven in the way we express ourselves and sell our projects. With that in mind sell me your portfolio, make me want to pick it up over all the others.

    Your name, why so hidden? I think YOU are the important piece here. It’s YOUR portfolio and you need to make sure that they know that.  Give yourself a title, let them know who you are. Are you a student, do you have a Bachelors a Masters?

    In more depth apart from the cover:

    Remember, you are representing yourself through your portfolio. You are not there to speak for yourself, so the more information that you give them the better. Obviously, keep it suddle and elegant. Make it redundant, allow them to remember your name, who you are and how your experience and qualifications can be of use.

    If you are interested and would like to know more, I did a short review for a fellow land8 members portfolio. I pointed out a lot of things that maybe as you create or modify your existing portfolio, you can watch out for and take a look at.

    An additional point to consider in regards to Portfolio layout:

    Recently, I have noticed that there are a number of firms who specify 8.5”x11” portfolio sizes. Not too sure why, but you can see the hassle someone can go through rearranging their 6”x6”portfolio size to meet requirements. I would suggest you go with more conventional size (8.5”x11”) layout, easier to print and more conventional; application wise, as well as for viewing in tablets and/or turning into an ebook.

    Interestingly enough, I finished my portfolio a week ago, the cover was one of the most difficult things for me to do as I am so critical on this aspect:… (If you download the PDF you are able to see the magazine spread)

    Well Luke, I hope my opinions give you some food for though and I hope it helps you achieve your goals.


    Andres F. Pineda

    Hi Edward,

    As others have prior stated, Architectural Offices do seem to have quite elegant websites.

    One of my all time favorite has been OLIN [] for its simplicity, layout, color scheme and way they represent their project scale.

    On the negative side, 80% of their website runs on flash (Please, stay away from flash); but they have figured a way around to bring live content to their users via blog, which they have made their primary page.

    Most importantly, apart from a beautiful website make sure it is mobile ready and responsive.





    Andres F. Pineda

    Hey Jim,

    A wonderful resource while I was learning at school was:  here you will find a little bit of everything (Effects, Styles)

    More specifically on your topic:

    The plan shown here was made in 3d, the post-production work was done in Photoshop so you can take some tips and ideas to begin working on your own style:


    As far as CAD Blocks:


    Here are some additional plan rendering Web Resources that you could find useful:

    Texture maps:


    Aerial Photograhy:

    Kite Aerial Photography:

    Hope this helps a bit.




    Andres F. Pineda

    Akinyinka, really great art work you have going on here, along with the projects.

    Have you thought of where you are going to apply yet and do you know what kind of work they do? This can be a good way to narrow down on the amount of items that you add to your portfolio.

    I would personally suggest adding at most 5-6 of your best projects, leaving the rest of the work as a topic of discussion when you go into the interview.

    Keep in mind that recruiters, PMs or principals have limited time viewing these portfolios and it’s not just your portfolio; but at times it can be hundreds of applicants, so I would suggest taking the approach of a TV ad, concise, beautiful and impactful that leaves room for more.
    Couple of things that came to mind as I was viewing the portfolio (I’m going to nitpick a bit, but in no way am trying to be negative) By the way I am looking at the portfolio.


    Before I opened your portfolio I got a sense that what I was going to see was primarily art due to the large ART text and then in small letters landscape architecture portfolio. You are quite talented in your sketching skills, but remember where you are applying- A Landscape Architecture Firm or an Art Studio. As a suggestion I would remove the word art and simply leave Landscape Architecture Portfolio.

    Picture and Info:

    I would recommend and I know other people had previously commented on it and I agree 100% in removing the picture. “Don’t give them a reason to dismiss you without even looking at your work.” I would remove the title A.Adekile’s ART, it was already presented at the beginning and it is not adding any additional information by showing up again, instead it is making the space too convoluted and heavy.

    North Arrow size:

    I would suggest making it smaller as it starts competing with the text.

    North Arrow placement:
    Try to find a location where you are able to place it for most of you drawings, ether the bottom left or bottom right and keep its consistency throughout the portfolio, not halfway or in the middle. I counted at least 10 different variations where the north arrow appeared.

    Image Titles:

    Just like you title your images “Master Plan” you should also title other images “Site Analysis” and “Functional Diagram” [I am referring this particular example to you Water Park project, but the suggestion should be applied to all others.]

    Image summary:
    I don’t think it is necessary to say “Image above” “Perspective Above” etc. Simple titles such as “Water Feature” suffices, it gives the reader less to read and the information needed. [Ref: Water Park project]

    Marbella Beach Res. along with others:

    I am not sure what program you are using to compose the portfolio so this could ether be tedious or simple (InDesign). On page #7 all the images are difference sizes. Try to keep a consistency throughout, alignment is very important and white space is not always bad, as can add a positive feel to your overall presentation and showcase your work better. (A good example of organization that you did can be seen in pg. 9, all the images are the same size and they are aligned, or on pg. 27 where not all the images are the same size but the information given lends the images to be different sizes)

    Pg:12 Text, Najlas Residence:
    Depending on how you are going to print and the thickness of your portfolio it can become problematic. Try to keep your text as far away from the spine of the book as some information can get lost by the fold. The text is the most important part as it explains your image, so send it to the left, bottom or top. Part of the image can get lost in the fold, but this does not create much impact on the overall view.

    Text description: Pg 16

    The image is larger than the one on pg. 18, and that fine as far as the image, but the text box width should remain the same (Consistency through)

    Pg: 13

    Image size consistency, I would go with either all squares or all rectangles or squares, rect., square, rec.

    Pg: 23

    – Why is program in between Site His. And Proj. Over. – This position does not happen anywhere else in your portfolio and can be seen as a mistake. Send it to the top or bottom. (Remember white space is not bad)

    Pg: 31

    – I am not sure if it is my preview but “notes” looks like it’s having some sort of overlapping effect and nothing can be read.

    Last 4 pages

    I would change the order of these pages. Once again comes to question, what and where you are applying?

    If it is a Landscape Architecture firm the Traditional Media and Digital Paintings does not really do much as the content has nothing to do with Landscape Architecture, in the other hand if you are applying to let’s say Pixar; this content speaks directly to them. For Photo-manipulations I would remove the Photoshoot rendering and go with another digital rendering like the “Photoshop rendering”. This Photoshop rendering speaks directly towards the field and service of Landscape Architecture.

    3D Dimensional is good, as architectural visualization is a growing field and most firms are acquiring these services ether in-house or outsourcing. If you have anything that illustrates Landscape features the better.


    Personally I don’t find the Title font quite appealing and its does not do much for me; instead it gives me grudge look and feel of your portfolio. I think the font contradicts the type of work you are showcasing as everything is so brivant and colorful.

    Let’s go back to PG: 5 under Water Park, the description and font for “Recreational Design” is way unproportionate to the look and feel of the overall page. This size of font makes “Recreational Design” feel as if it is the important piece of the page, while in fact your sketches and summaries are important parts. I would make it smaller, legible but more subtle. I also would lower it to the bottom of the page leaving some additional white space.

    Over all, I think your work and sketches are quite illustrative and beautiful. You have great work, a couple tweaks here and there and you’re done. Add more white space on certain areas (Think as if your portfolio is an art gallery, white walls and that amazing painting in the middle, that nothing else distracting your eyes from it.)
    One thing though that I would definitely push you to pursue is, concentrate on what your applying for and try to be specific towards that firms services. If the firm does residential, then most likely they are not going to be interested in your urban planning projects as much as you’re residential and vise-versa.
    Your portfolio is like cover letter, it is specific to the place of application.

    Hope it helps.


    Andres F. Pineda

    Hey Matthew, here is a source (FREE) from time to time they upload new content, there are a couple of site here and there that are very similar to this that I had gathered through out my graduate studie, but at the time I do not have the links with me but if you are interested. Soon enough, I will begin to introduce such content through my personal page ( Hope this link adds a couple more to your personal library and keep on building!

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