what should a portfolio include?

i’d like to study industrial design in a respected school in my country.
they require a portfolio, but the problem is i’ve never really designed things, so i don’t have anything to show.
i have a lot of ideas, but i don’t know where to start or how to turn them into portfolio items.

what works should my portfolio include then?
are there certain skills/aspects i should focus on?
is there anything i should work on to improve my ID skills in general?

any advice would be appreciated :slight_smile:

p.s i’m volunteering for national service now, so i have about a year and a half to get a portfolio together, till i’d be free to go to design school.

Let me guess… Singapore or Malaysia?

Perhaps if you tell us the name of the school, someone may just knw better. I think it defers froms school to school.

actually, israel.
the school is called Bezalel. it is considered world-class, as far as i know.

i was just wondering what youthink my portfolio should include, based on yourexperiences with different schools around the world.

what do you think is usually expected of a young, unexperienced nominee?
what skills are a requirement to start with at school?
do you think showing sketches / blueprints are enough?
or should i try to make actual products?

just write anything that comes to your mind.

I asked a similar question last week and recieved the following useful guidelines from a Mr. “Designer”:

"One of the major aspects of any design portfolio is showing the thought process by which you solve the design problem at hand. This means not jumping into CAD right away.

You should have atleast one project that is completed start to finish, meaning identifying the true problem (up-front research), exploring solutions (concept sketching), validating and selecting the most appropriate approach (consumer/user polling or interviewing), design development (CAD and material recommendations), and the money-shot awesome rendering of the final design. To expand you could also use SW or Pro to perform the design analysis (mold flow, FEA, etc.)

The main thing is to demonstrate that you can think through a design problem, interpret the research data, and create an attractive cost effective, and functional product. For the most part this means showing the ability to sketch accurately and rapidly to communicate your ideas and intentions to the client, or in this case the entrance review board. Check out some of the portfolios here on core. I would select atleast 3-5 years experience for the best examples."


"Before moving into CAD it helps to show multiple form study models. Such as in foam, clay, wood, plaster, whatever works.

YKH can you think of any books to help illustrate the entire process. Only ones I can think of that I thought were worth the money are:
ROI by Bill Dresselhaus, available at www.BillDresselhaus.com
Proffessional Modelmaking by Norman Trudeau.
Design Secrets: Products: 50 Real-Life Product Design Projects
by Industrial Designers Society of America

Check the net for more books on topics of maker rendering, photoshop rendering, perspective sketching, and concept ideation.

Websites would be:

Actually it really defers from school to school. Like in CCS, they don’t really care about how well you can draw cars. They want to see your fundamental skills in real-life observations, which can be done in any medium. Then they will look at what other skills you have for a plus. It applies to all students… Fine Art, crafts, ID, communication design etc…

I think in Art Center, they pretty much expect you to be able to sketch right from the start.

And other schools look for different things. So I don’t really know what to tell you.

thanks for your tips…
made me think.