Core Design Program

Portfolio Specifications

The College of Design requires a portfolio at the completion of our Core foundation for admission into many of its majors. The portfolio should what was learned in DSN S 102: Design Studio I and in DSN S 131: Design Representation. The portfolio also shows the quality of your work as well as the thought and care with which it is presented.

All work included in the portfolio must be your own, produced individually or as part of a team project. In team projects, it may be helpful to identify work of the team versus individual work. Any form of plagiarism will disqualify you from the admission review.

The College of Design will take reasonable precautions to provide security for all portfolios. However, we do not assume any responsibility for damaged or lost portfolios. We highly recommend that you document all of your work before submitting it for review.

The portfolio will consist of:

  • a minimum of 21 pages and a maximum of 24 pages
  • work completed in DSN S 102 and DSN S 131 composed and mounted on first 21 pages with brief explanatory captions
  • set of pages submitted in a “U”-shaped cover.

The University Bookstore sells pre-made portfolio building kits of materials that include 26 sheets for the interior pages and 2 sheets for the cover for $19.99. The interior sheets are .022 chipboard 19″x25″ in size. The cover sheets are triple-thick chipboard 20″x27″ in size. The two cover sheets should be joined on one of the long edges with sturdy tape, like duct tape, forming a 1″ hinge so that the cross-section of the portfolio has a “U” shape. This hinge will allow the portfolio to lie flat once filled with its contents. If you would like to start working on your portfolio before the kits are available, the bookstore does sell each of these materials individually and can cut them down to the appropriate size for a fee.

The emphasis of the review will be on the work you include in the portfolio and the way in which that work is presented on each page. Portfolio reviewers pay close attention to composition and craft and find brief explanatory captions helpful in understanding your work. Any captions you use along with drawings, photographs, diagrams, etc., must be composed carefully and thoughtfully so that each board is easily understood and visually interesting.

Submit only flat work. Submit as much original work as possible (actual drawings, collages, montages, etc., as opposed to reproductions). Represent three-dimensional work with photographs. Digital cameras and a black backdrop with stand are available for student checkout in the Design Output Center on the fourth floor of the College of Design.

Remove your name from the work you include. Using a pencil, write your student ID on the back of each sheet and on your portfolio cover. Please do not use your Social Security number; we cannot identify you with that number. Use your ISU ID number.

Required Contents from DSN S 131: Design Representation
8-12 pages required. The portfolio must include a minimum of 8 and a maximum of 12 pages of drawings from DSN S 131, which should be organized in a chronological sequence as completed in class. A minimum of 5 pages must be sketches, and these 5 pages will count as part of DSN S 131 work. Attached cover sheets are acceptable to protect work.

Required Contents from DSN S 102: Design Studio I
> For students who took 102 before Fall 2016
9-12 pages are required. All phases of all five projects from DSN S 102 must be represented. There must be a minimum of 2 pages per project and a maximum of 12 pages total for DSN S 102 projects, with “process work” included. The process work should describe the design process involved in each project through images, sketches and notes.

Required Contents from DSN S 102: Design Studio I
> For students who took 102 in Fall 2016 or Spring 2017
11 pages are required. All of the projects from DSN S 102 must be represented. See below for specific instructions for each board. Your DSN S 102 portfolio should not include any work done outside DSN S 102. Please appropriately label all images to help portfolio reviewers.

Page 1: 30-20-10
Five photographs from your initial photographic study, five 1″x1.5″ sketches that were inspired by these photographs and five 3″x3″ sketches. One of the 3″x3″ sketches should be the one you enlarged to make your 12″x12″ drawing, which should also be included on this page. Approximately 16 items total should be included on this page.

Page 2: 30-20-10
Five 3″x3″ black and white collages, each labeled with 2 design principles used during the exercise. Show different stages and aspects of your process work for your mass model and cross-sections. Appropriately label the black and white collages that inspired the cardboard construction.

Page 3: 30-20-10
One large photograph of the final cardboard construction. Include detail photographs as well.

Page 4: 30-20-10
One actual cross-section drawing, or an excellent large photograph of it and photographs/scans of other process work used to help create the cross-section.

Page 5: Color Composition
At most 5 Joseph Albers exercises done with color aid paper (Please use actual collages). 5 of the 9 visceral drawing or excellent photographs/scans of them. Include actual drawings whenever possible. You may include process work as well, but it is not required.

Page 6: Color composition
One large high-quality photograph of the final 36”x72” large-scale color composition.

Page 7: Mobile
Information about the musical piece you chose to begin with and your musical analysis. Process work for the entire project, including documentation of process work, should also be included.

Page 8: Mobile
Still images of the video to highlight movement, patterns of light and shadows. Any other pertinent process work regarding movement.

Page 9: Mobile
Representation of the completed mobile, installed in multiple sites, seen from multiple perspectives and in different scales, with human interaction.

Page 10: Image Form Text
Photographs of your altered text, photographs of the objects you assembled, and any process work.

Page 11: Image Form Text
One large photograph of your assemblage and any detail photographs, human interaction with the assemblage, and/or process work.

Free Content (Optional)
A maximum of 3 pages can be “free content” — i.e., individual student choice, including work done outside ISU. This free content is optional, and only exceptional work should be included. These 3 pages are included in the 24-page total.

Please contact your academic adviser or one of the Core instructors who teach DSN S 102 or DSN S 131.