A few notes I want to add…
interested in simple, minimal design with the purpose of solving a problem
That’s like… the most generic thing you could try to communicate. That is exactly what every single designer claims to be. Maybe you can think of something more original? Your style is, in my opinion far away from being minimal. Owning a macbook doesn’t make you an advocate of minimal design. Try to look at your work in a more realistic way, I think it would help to characterize you and adapt that to a coherent portfolio. You don’t need to be that “problemsolving, minimal, über Designer”. I think we already have enough of those wannabe Dieter Rams anyway. Find your own reasoning for things and stay true to them. That shows a way stronger character and is much less generic.
You make assumptions and treat them like they are facts. I think that is extremely critical.
“Spaces are becoming more open and informal.”
I can live with that one. It is somehow general and doesn’t claim anything specific
But then it starts…
“Standing desks encourage activity.” Are they? Actually I have no clue. You say so… but why do you think so?
But I think the worst one is: “Current chairs do not offer variety of seating positions.”
That is just a ridiculous claim. There are like a million chairs that offer different seating positions. Every major office chair manufacturer makes chairs like that. Don’t lie to make a point because the viewer feels like: “this is bullshit”. That’s a bad way to start a project off.
Furthermore concerning that project: You mention the industry partner Allsteel. I don’t know them. I don’t know their brand, I don’t know what they do. You should introduce me to the brand you are designing at least briefly. And then you also should tell me why you chose to do what you did and how it fits into the brand and the current product portfolio. Show that you do not design in a vacuum but that you actually analyze a very specific brand, market and target group.
Personally I think you should skip that project all together. You have this brand and the briefing… and actually your product doesn’t fit AT ALL into it. And it doesn’t look like muji on top of that. You try to force your product into the briefing by saying “Handwashing has been around for many years…” but that is just not enough.
And personally I really hate to make things more scientific than they are. Just slapping numbers on a project doesn’t make it more relevant. Don’t throw graphs into my face as if you made serious research on the topic of, well, dish cloths. And again… you claim “There is a place in the market for a stand that elevates your dish cloth”. And how do you come to that conclusion?? Because people own dish cloths? Seriously? That start the project off with a “bullshit” aftertaste - again.
On top of that I think the design doesn’t really promote any of the skills you try to promote. I looks like a DIY-hack my mom would do. I don’t see a style, I don’t see the brand, I don’t see well thought out functionallity. I see a piece of wood and three pieces of steel wire. I don’t see anything that let’s me think: “man, I need to hire that guy who did that. You can really see that the last few years of design school paid off here.”
Salt and pepper project:
I kinda like the idea… but still, there are a few things off. Again, the briefing/problem you state at the beginning. You don’t really meet it.
“I can always add more salt, but it’s hard to take it off once it’s there.” “… can release a more than desired amount of salt or pepper…”
That’s a problem you don’t solve with your product. You spread things evenly. That is a completely different topic.
Furthermore I think that the product itself is really quite bland. Why is the shape the way it is? Why is the spring on the outside? why is that thing twice as big as any pepper DISPENSER out there? It is as big as a pepper mill! So many "why"s. I think the shape is ok for a first proof of concept. But you should go over the idea again and find a fitting outer appearance. Focus more on your inspiration… the sprinkler is a strong visual object that most people know. Derive a shape from use, context and inspiration and reason it properly. It doesn’t have to be perfect but it should show you actually THINK about things instead of going for the first, most obvious thing you could think off.
By the way, I think with that thing it will be much MUCH easier to overdose the salt on my food than with traditional dispensers. Especially if I don’t know the product. Something you also have to deal with when designing the thing.
I just don’t understand why an eco-conscious, creative, minimal design lover who lives in the city would want a plastic bird house?
You have to answer every question to a product before someone can ask them. You don’t show any process (the picture of all the vacuum forms don’t really show process. They just let me assume you didn’t go through any form development but went for the very first idea you had… over and over again.)
Why -in detail- is the thing the way it is? What is the problem you are trying to solve? Why should I spend money on it? So many unanswered questions. If you do not answer them it will always be a pice of plastic with a whole and not a desirable bird house.
I like that project best. Especially that you analyze a situation (pouring stuff into your hand) and offer a solution (sipping it from the package). I also like the graphic design here more… I would change the font to something that is more pleasant to read though.
There are still quirks.
You say you want to promote a healthier lifestyle… this is immidieatly questionable because granola contains a ton of sugar. Don’t rave about something that is too questionable. Take things as they are. You don’t need to save the world. Branding a Snack is okay.
Don’t waste an entire page on the material of the packaging. It is really not all that interesting. But please show more of the ideation you did for the project. How do the details look? How do you produce it? I doubt you can blowmold the entire thing as it is. Show more of the graphic design if this is part of the project. Show the packaging for all the different sorts. Show less beauty renderings but better renderings! The last two images show exactly the same… and they are not even that well made. Communicate the way you are thinking. That is important. Don’t try to copy high gloss product catalogues. That is not your job
Now all this sounds quite harsh but I think you should really put some more hard work into your portfolio. You want someone to pay you a lot of money every month for what you are doing. You should really try to show that person why. Especially show that you can stick to a topic and try different things. Right now it seems to me like you almost always go for the first solution you can think of.