Whether you are applying for an internship, job, Master’s/ education opportunities, or just wanting to showcase your work, an architecture portfolio is a MUST. Students, interns, and professionals alike are all looking for opportunities to showcase their work to get a job or even just to let people know about the kind of work they are doing. A portfolio basically is a collection/compilation of works from your academic as well as professional strata and helps the viewer better understand the kind of work you are good at and why they should hire you. An architecture portfolio essentially is a compilation of your works and talents and helps build the narrative you wish to tell your viewer.

It is therefore important to keep in mind these ten things while working on your portfolio: 

1. Understand your Viewers

Study the firm you intend on applying to thoroughly. Understand their scope and areas of work. Shortlist your projects that best suit the kind of work they are into, the kind of projects they do, their design ideology and philosophy, their work ethic, etc.

Ensure you showcase work that aligns with their ethos in order to be considered. 

2. CV/ Resume with accurate and authentic Information

Your Cover Letter is the first thing your audience will look at in your architecture portfolio. Ensure they have something interesting to look at and read through. A brief bio explaining your areas of interest and insight into your personality beyond architecture would also help them understand you better and thus consider your application. You could also provide links to your social media handles and work website, if any. Maintain a professional email address- if you do not have one, create one.

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Refer to CVs online to better understand how you want yours to look like_©www.biz-at-it.blogspot.com
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Refer to CVs online to better understand how you want yours to look like_©www.pinterest.com

3. File size and Readability

Nobody has the time to wait for a heavy file to load and open. So, make certain that your architecture portfolio is compressed to a size not more than 15MB. While doing so, you must also keep in mind the legibility of the contents; the file must not be overly pixelated, thus rendering it undecipherable.

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Blurry and pixelated images to avoid_©www.mymemory.co.uk
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Blurry and pixelated images to avoid_©www.wallpaperflare.com

4. Project selection

Project selection is a crucial task when compilation an architecture portfolio. You must keep in mind that the projects showcased in the portfolio can vary according to the audience it is being sent to. For example: If one wants to apply to a firm focused primarily on landscape architecture, at least one, if not more, landscape project in the portfolio will give the recruiter a fair idea of your inclination and awareness of the said subject. In addition to academic and live projects, one may also include group projects and work submitted for competitions as well. Just keep in mind to give due credit to your colleagues.

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Firm specific project selection_©www.issuu.com
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Firm specific project selection_©www.pinterest.com

5. Proof-read / Peer Review

Often we are unable to catch errors in our own work because we have been looking at the same content for too long. Getting an architecture portfolio proofread and peer-reviewed not only helps one spot fallacies but also gives us a fair sense of understanding about how others see our work and the areas we can improve upon.

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Discuss and peer-review_©www.rettnews.org
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Have your work proofread_©www.anytask.com

6. Showcase your Skills

Can you paint, write, craft, or more? Include it in your portfolio. Skills are often well-appreciated add-ons in any profession. You may not see value in the hobbies and skills you have, but someone else might, and that is what matters. 

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Paintings and other artwork can also be a part of your portfolio_©www.mymodernmet.com
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Hand sketches and renders set your portfolio apart_©www.pinterest.com

7. Presentation

Since architecture is more about visuals and the story, it takes the effort to balance the visuals and graphics with the text and storyline. De-clutter your sheets with the right graphic composition and well-articulated, crisp text. Sketches and hand render along with physical models are appreciated in our profession and will set your architecture portfolio apart.

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De-cluttered sheets are often more legible_©www.archdaily.com
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De-cluttered sheets are often more legible_©www.pinterest.com
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Physical architecture models must be well documented and presented in the portfolio_©www.blog.buildllc.com

8. Be original

We all know how valuable an idea is considered in any profession. We are also aware of how plagiarism is a serious concern, and rightly so. If and when including group projects or work that also involves others, give credit where due and have your recruiters appreciate your honesty. For all you know, this could also be a reason for them to hold on to you. 

9. Format

Gone are the days when architecture portfolios could be made and viewed only in PDF format. You can now present your portfolio on various platforms.

  1. You could create your own application and showcase your portfolio on the same.
  2. You could also use a web-hosted platform such as Behance, Issuu, or the likes to have access to a bigger audience.
  3. You could also put your portfolio upon a self-hosted website and share a link for the same.

The pros and cons for all these platforms must be thoroughly studied and analyzed; an option can then be picked according to one’s current requirements.

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Web-hosted platforms like Behance give one a larger audience_©www.YouTube.com
Web-hosted platforms like Issuu give one a larger audience_©www.issuu.com

10. A well-drafted Email

One thinks sending in an amazing architectural portfolio should seal the deal, but oftentimes, their email could be a deal-breaker. How well one articulates, their email can often determine whether the recruiter will even bother opening their portfolio. Make sure your email is formal, addresses the concerned people in the right manner, conveys your intent crisply, and is engaging enough. 

References:

  1. Arch20. 10 Reasons for Young Architects to Work in Small Architecture Firms. [online]. Available at: https://www.arch2o.com/young-architects-small-architecture-firms/ [Accessed date: 15 February 2022].
  2.  Gabriel Kogan (2016). 12 Tips For Making an Outstanding Architecture Portfolio. [online]. Available at: https://www.archdaily.com/780996/12-tips-on-making-an-architecture-portfolio [Accessed date: 16 February 2022].
  3.  30 X 40 Design Workshop. (2017). How to make an architectural portfolio (for Architects, Interns, and Students). [YouTube video]. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mvcas0iICHo. [Accessed: 18 February 2022].
Author

An architect with a multicultural background and a creative nerd; she is a stickler for perfectionism and all things intricate. She believes in doing work that gives her happiness, fulfillment and creative satisfaction over anything else. When she is not working, you can find her cat-napping in sunny places around the house, dreaming of sea-side vacations and admiring starry night skies.

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