This is me, David Majchrzak, a fourth year architecture student at North Dakota State University seeking a Masters of Architecture. I look forward to the future and what it has to offer me because life has a limitless amount of opportunities for you and I look forward to the challenges it has to bring me. Here is this page you will find work which I have done have the time I have been here at NDSU.
- Time Line Analysis: An English assignment in order to further analyze what a time line can offer on a visual communication scale. I did my analysis on a time line of the history of posters, made by Raymond Ferraro who has done many wonderful graphics and photography.
- Time Line Project: An English assignment to create a time line of anything we wanted but to be creative in the way we displayed our information and the way the text matches the language of our timeline. My partner, Jake Reimers and I made a time line for the history of billboards displaying how far advertising has come over the last 100 years through the use of billboards.
- Photo Essay Analysis: An English assignment in which we had to look up a photo essay online and analyze what the photographer was trying to tell us in their text. Whether they are trying to tell a story or simply describing each photo. we also had to analyze the way they were taking each photo, or if they took the photo from another source. Mine was from a photo essay on Time’s website where someone took a collaboration of photos from several street artists across the world and they described what all of it meant, from each individual street artist.
- Photo Essay Project: An English assignment where we had to use several photography tactics in taking photos around the general area of Fargo. It was not only the photos that sold the photo essay but it was also the text, how you describe the photos, how you tell the story can really help this project succeed. From the previous project I was extremely influenced by how street art has become so popular over the last decade. I wanted to roam around myself in the streets of Fargo and see what local street art I could find and I came across an interesting symbol that kept popping up all over the Fargo area.
- Video Remix Analysis: Another English assignment in which we had to find an online video which contained several instances that it had been remixed from other video sources. I found a really interesting video that had been made by Andrew Fischer who is in the film industry and he made this video just for fun. It is a video remix of the Dumb & Dumber trailer to the sound of the Inception soundtrack to portray a trailer of the movie as if it was an action thriller movie, and not the comedy that it is.
- Video Remix Project: An English assignment where we got to take lots of creativity in the use of our video editing skills. Just like from the previous project in our analysis, we took many ideas from video remixing and we got to make our own. Using Premiere Pro and other various video editing software, I made a video remix of the common habits that humans and animals have. I took the soundtrack from a random National Geographic video and applied to the imagery of us humans acting out just as crazy as animals do. It is slightly humorous but still pretty serious in the fact humans can get pretty crazy.
- Architecture Portfolio: Here is a portfolio of all the architecture work I have done over spending three years at NDSU. It displays different projects from hand drawings, to making models, getting an assignment from a teacher where we have to make a hypothetically project to build on a certain site where we have to come up with floor plans, structure details and renderings of what it would look like.
- High Rise Project: The architectures program capstone project during the students fourth year, it takes a whole semester to finish the project. Here is the project that Anthony Wocken and I worked on for that time. Our building is called the Black Diamond and it is located on Main St and Folsom St in downtown San Francisco. In the booklet we discuss our research, process and final solution to our building program that we have been developing.
Over the course of my portfolio, I have displayed many different types of assignments that can show how much flexibility my skill case has. One critical skill that we people must have in the real world is taking in information and ideas and being able to explain what they mean or illustrate how something works in your own words. If you cannot do that, how can you make any point or try to convince people your idea is the best. Throughout my portfolio I implicate how I can take my own ideas and other ideas, put them in my own words and diagrams and make that easy to comprehend. I do a good job of explaining concepts and analyzing certain information. One thing I am proud of is getting my attention to detail. It is especially shown in my architecture portfolio when you notice all the little details in my projects and how I try to not miss a single detail.
Before you make any presentation, essay or making a video, the first thing you should do is understand who your audience is. I have seen that it is one of your top priorities when setting up your research. For all of my English assignments, my main audience I was designing for was my teacher, but I also take into account my fellow classmates because I want to them to see what I am capable of. Knowing that I am designing for my teacher, I have to know what he is looking for. What is he grading on? I adjust my certain skill set to meet those requirements, still not holding back any of creativity because that would diminish what I am working on. I illustrate that skill through the assignments, I started off a little slow because I did not know so much of what the teacher was looking for but I catch on more of what the teacher wants and I improve my assignments through that. Having that skill to adapt to different requirements and assignments that you are not used to, is a great thing to have, which I develop over the semester and will continue to develop over the rest of my life.
When designing my architectural portfolio, my audience is for the hypothetically firm I am applying to. Of course I am putting all my best work in there, but specifically I put in there what firms want to see in a young architecture student. Many firms think that everything is turning to a society that solely relies on technology and that all architecture students know is how to use their computer. Which for the most part is true, but in my portfolio on the first page I show two of my drawings that blow away architects. They question whether it is me even drawing them, they really like to see that we the students still have an eye for putting a pencil on paper. Of course lots of firms have a lot of the older generation that rely on basic programs to get their floor plans, details and renderings out of the way. What I try to display is that I am above the old ways; I can get it done faster and make it look better. I really want these firms to see I am ready for a new trend in the architecture world.
The first thing I had to revise was the first analysis I did. It was the first project of the year and I was not too prepared for what the teacher had hoped to see in the assignment. I made too many connections with the analysis to other things that relate, rather than getting into greater detail about the actual time line I am looking at. I went back and touched up a few of those, but still left a couple because I still find it interesting to see how the analysis relates to other material objects and how I work as a designer. The biggest one I had to fix was all the fragment sentences I left in there. That was a lot easier to fix after going back and reading aloud what I had done wrong. Once you hear your mistakes, it is much easier to go back and revise your sentences. I also adjusted some of the picture layout and text layout making it a little bit easier to understand when I was making connections to my examples in the paper. I changed the analysis to it being realistic according to McCloud’s triangle, where before I thought it was more iconic but my iconic was not the same as McClouds. The only other thing I revised was my timeline project, it was just a simple revision but I put a flying billboard in the top corner. I think it completes the imagery of the project but it is also functional to the point it is another use of the billboard. As far as the other assignments I had received a good enough grade to move along with which I was okay with.
What I am most proud of myself for is my ability to produce eye catching graphics. I have received many compliments and even an award for making strong graphics. It is displayed best throughout my architecture portfolio. By looking at my board layouts that display the entirety of my presentation, I can display everything I want to audience to see while also making it eye catching and graphically pleasing. Another interesting strength I think I have, maybe it is from what I just see but I hope I illustrate that to the audience as well. I think I do a good job at showing I have fun and I take enjoyment in what I do. I had a great deal of fun making that timeline set up with the billboards. I had an interesting time walking around abandoned buildings taking pictures of one logo in particular, and making a five page analysis of a Dumb & Dumber Youtube video. I think assignments and projects like that you have to show that you are taking enjoyment in what you do. If you show you are having fun with it, then the audience will feel like they are having fun with it as well. You cannot slave over an assignment, and try to sell that to your client. It shows no passion in what you do. I believe that is one strength that I have and I hope it is carried throughout my work.
One of the hardest things to talk about it to talk about your own flaws and weaknesses, if you can talk about those or at least know what they are, you can attack your weaknesses so you can improve on them and make yourself stronger. I know one of mine is my lack of ability to communicate effectively in detail on a paper. I make simple grammar mistakes, and other minor English errors. I have always been the numbers guy, this class especially has pointed out that flaw for me and now I am working on improving that as much as I can. I also reread my paper out loud and if a colleague is around I try and ask them if they can help edit my paper. Another flaw of mine is the way I type out my essays or papers. I type as if I am talking to a friend of mine, I make it sound too conversational. I need to focus on making me sound as professional as I can be. I cannot rely on non-verbal gestures, my poise, and the way I sound confident in the way I talk. I only have my words on paper and I need to make that count.