As architecture students, the portfolio is the most important thing for us. It defines us and puts us forward in the industry. It plays a crucial role in determining the type of architecture office we will get to work with in future. Since each architecture office practices a different and unique design methodology, they look for specific things in the architecture portfolio of the applicants. However, there are certain things everyone should keep in mind while making their portfolio. Take a read, and know which ones you are missing out on!
1. Resume and Portfolio should be together
They’re like a team. Cv gives a brief glimpse of what you’ve done and lists your skills, but it is the portfolio that is the game changer. It not only highlights your skill but gives you an edge over other applicants. It is a reflection of your creative genius.
Image credit: Mirage Studio 7
2. Format and Presentation
Finalize on one format and keep it consistent throughout the portfolio. It is very important to make your portfolio look like one compact booklet rather than a scattered collection of projects - visual composition is the key. But make sure not to overload it, simplicity is the key here. Strike a balance between images and information - it should be precise but not incomplete.
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons
3. Content is a King
A portfolio is a compilation of the best works you have done till late. It is of utmost importance that you put those projects which highlight your skills. Your projects should be divided and categorized broadly under the following categories: academic work, professional work and personal work (in that order).
Here are some more Brilliant Tips to make a Professional Architecture Portfolio
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We have to show not only our creativity but also our understanding of technical/construction drawings in the portfolio. However, one needs to be very careful while compiling the technical drawings in the portfolio. Never submit all the drawings as it will eat up a lot of space in your project, and might make the portfolio boring. The key is to present the drawings so that the other person gets a general idea about your project.
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5. Keep it to the Point
Nobody has time to read and go through everything that you have done. Quantity is not the guiding factor, so you should try to keep your portfolio in the range of 20-40 pages. I know everyone has fantastic work and they all want to show it, but this often backfires. The offices receive a dozen of portfolios daily, they will initially just browse through it and if they find something interesting then they will get on to the details. Large portfolios are often never looked at completely, the reason being that they have to browse a huge number of portfolios in a day. That is why it is important to keep your best projects in the initial pages of the portfolio.
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6. Customize your Portfolio
We all have a dream office! Many offices have a distinct architectural style and specialize in a certain branch of architecture. After shortlisting the offices that you want to apply to, you should modify your projects accordingly. It is advisable not to send the same projects to all the offices. That does not mean you need to make a different portfolio altogether. You could just tweak your portfolio syncing it to the architecture office’s style. Let’s say if you are applying in an architecture office that follows parametric architecture, you should include more projects based on parametric form and designing. This makes you a better candidate at that office.
You must read this Should you Really Build Multiple Architecture Portfolios
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7. Be Honest
Be truthful about your projects and the contributions you have made in each project compiled in your portfolio. Projects are usually a teamwork, highlighting the work done by you will show your actual experience. Also, never ever lie about your projects. Putting someone else’s projects is the biggest mistake one can make, and it also VERY unprofessional. Even if your portfolio passes through the initial screening, you might get make a mistake during the personal interview when asked about the projects. And somehow, if it gets past that, they might expect a lot more from you than you are capable of based on your portfolio. In case they find out, it can tarnish your reputation in the industry. It is better to be yourself and just be honest.
Lastly, Take a read to this article, If you have given a second thought to your career for becoming a Freelance Architect!!
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