Thursday, May 28, 2009

Portfolio Contents

I do not have a portfolio - any resources you can suggest on how to build an effective, compelling portfolio, if you're starting from scratch, what elements it needs to contain, how deep it needs to be? My creative outlets are typically writing and drawing (badly!) for myself, and I'm admittedly intimidated by the idea of putting together a winning creative dossier.

I am looking at applying to school for fall '11, so I have plenty of time.

With that much time, I would suggest you take some freehand drawing courses; this will improve your ability and provide materials for a portfolio. In addition, purchase a sketchbook, carry it with you at all times and draw no less than 30 minutes per day. Part of drawing is making it a habit. While waiting, draw something you see for 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 5 minutes. It does not matter what the subject is.

As for resources for portfolio, the best is Portfolio Design by Harold Linton. It is also a website -- -- It teaches you the basics of layout and the importance of balance between graphic and white space. If you do not have the talent, learn Photoshop and InDesign as it will make doing a portfolio that much easier.

As to what to put in your portfolio, contact the schools. If your undergraduate degree is something other than architecture, what is inside does NOT have to be architecture. You want a balance of creative work so an admissions committee can see how you think and create. This could include freehand drawing, painting, three-dimensional work that is photographed, photography, etc.

If you truly feel intimidated, try to look at other people's portfolios. As you visit programs, be in touch with the current students and ask to view their portfolio. However, do not be swayed -- just use it to gain ideas.

Dr. Architecture

1 comment:

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