Dear Reader, Process is what puts the design in a designer.

Anyone can complete a large project on time, but it is the trail of steps that a trained designer follows that makes the work quality. Design is a broad blanket that applies to nearly any field. Writing for the Design Professions intertwines our training aesthetically with the written world. I was excited to use my training in this new way. Writing for the Design Professions taught me the various genres that are commonly used in the Architecture profession. The documents included in the portfolio are examples that I can carry through into my career. Each document challenged my abilities as a writer and showed me various techniques to write effectively. The different types of documents covered ranged from a memo to a digital proposal. Writing clearly and effectively is important to a memo. A bottom line paragraph followed by short and to-the-point paragraphs allow the reader to grasp the whole paper quickly. My memos use this tactic to give direction to the paper. They also take the audience into consideration with the style and tone that the paper takes. The most enjoyable document, the Well-Designed Essay in Unit 2 opened the opportunity to use my design abilities and apply them to a conventional document. The consideration to the audience was important to the style and overall design of the document. The text and images worked together to drive the concept throughout the whole document to find the conclusion. Professionalism is in the eye of the beholder, and in a design field anyone with an opinion can see quickly what is professional. Therefore, finding the opinions of the target audience is a valuable asset. The portfolio’s design and wide variety of projects shows a mature portfolio that explores different fields; from hand-crafted projects to digital work. I edited my documents thoroughly and also had others look over them for an audience reaction and clarity- yes, even my mom. Editing and revising the projects was the most time consuming steps in the process. I used a variety of resources to edit and revise my documents. Everyone from colleagues to my mother gave opinions on the papers. I feel each opinion I received benefited the project as a whole. A close friend, and English major, was quick to put me on track with when I strayed from main points, While my girlfriend, an education major, loves to find the sentence level errors. My mother

was the fail-safe way to find my “designer babble”. But each time a revision was made, I was closer to a final product. The portfolio itself works to examine different genres of writing. Each is written for a specific purpose to work together in the larger context of the project. The Virtual Peace Garden Proposal for example employs a wide variety of writing genres. All of the documents contribute to the larger idea of selling the project. Each is also designed and edited with a cohesiveness to achieve the same objective. I have learned that revising is a never ending process, but an important one. The question is when an end will be found. My revisions were of various degrees, from surface level grammar to a major overhaul. Many of the memos and cover letters had the surface level corrections applied, but the Well Designed Essay was of the latter. I started the document twice but it would wander to an unrelated area. Each time the document would be salvaged for useable content to contribute to the next rendition. Finally, the completed document, with works cited, is a key document in the portfolio. The Proposal in Unit 3 was another document that transformed quickly. As each of the group members would complete a document, we would rotate the documents to edit, add to, and reformat. The cover letter for example was rewritten three times only to find a hybrid of all three in a fourth and final document. The collaboration was what kept our group going on the project. We knew our objective and knew we could rely on the other group members to revise for the better. While going through my documents, I found a few topics that held true throughout my writing: I am able to find a main point and support it well. I am able to relate to the reader on their level. I also found a few aspects that need to be improved on: I need to work on the research and integrating it into the document I need to reduce the unnecessary language. A main point leads the document through supporting details and even examples. Everything works to prove and backup the main point. The Virtual Peace Garden Proposal is a good example of this. When we introduce the project with the cover letter, we push the main purpose of the project and never let that die throughout. We use language that keeps the idea new and interesting while supporting our design with meaningful reasons.

Also within my Unit 2 Essay, I used the audience as a driving force in the document. Each piece of the essay is aimed toward a designer’s mind. From the cover images of the road and building, the relation to each other is evident. This starts the designer thinking on my level. The project is intended to look at how we as designers can use these observations in the future to better the field. So each section is wrapped up with a way a designer might consider the point made in the future. In my future, I need pursue more relevant, and more pronounced research. The research that I used throughout the semester was always close to what I needed, but did not have the relevance I was hoping to find. Maybe it was shear lack of the material, or I was not using my resources to the fullest extent. Regardless, I will look into not only finding but implementing the research into the document in a more meaningful way. The citations used throughout the semester worked for what they were, but I felt they did not contribute enough to the document. Because of this, many hours of searching was disregarded as general background. Also, my background as a writer does not relate well to my chosen profession. In a field of mostly visual presentations, text must be chosen wisely. In a presentation, a sea of words scares onlookers that one day may be a client. Just as within a floor plan, information shown in a single, effective drawing will have a better impact on onlookers than many drawings cluttering the page. I have worked to reduce the amount of unnecessary text this semester by using revisions and asking myself if the information is supporting my main point. If not, cut it. Because of this attitude, my style of writing has changed dramatically for the better. The processes I learned in this course changed my writing style, my editing method, and even my design. Applying an architectural mindset to writing was new to me, but I think it works. There is no reason to have unnecessary content, it just takes away from the purity of the design- any design. You will see the documents, but remember the trail of steps that were followed throughout this semester. Enjoy. -nick

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