Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Biology to Architecture

I was wondering if you could provide some insight to my situation. I recently graduated from a BA/MA program in biochemistry & molecular biology/biotechnology but after much soul-searching, I have decided that I want to pursue a career in architecture and not the sciences. I have done some research on M. Arch I programs in Northern California, where I live, and have found a few that would be well-suiting for someone in my situation -- these are normally 3 year programs. 

Coming from a science background, I haven't had any opportunities to develop a portfolio or really gain exposure to the world of architecture. My question is: what types of pieces would you recommend make a strong portfolio for an M. Arch I candidate? Also, what preliminary steps should I take to get myself better prepared to apply to M. Arch I programs?

If you use either NAAB or ARCHSchools, you will be able to research the over 60 architecture programs that have Master of Architecture degrees for individuals that have an undergraduate in a discipline other than architecture.

Your best source as to what to include is to contact the architecture program(s) to which you are applying.  Contact each program to learn what they are seeking in the submitted portfolios.  Some programs will outline what they want on their website.

In most cases, programs want to see your creative endeavors and they do not need or expect to architectural related work.  For example,  include -- free-hand drawing, sketching, painting, ceramics, graphic design, photography, and furniture design are some examples of what could be included.

Another source is -- and the book, Portfolio Design by Harold Linton.

If you do not have background, consider taking an art/freehand drawing course at an area community college.  Another option is a summer program offered by some architecture programs. 


To be best prepared, visit the schools of choice and talk with the faculty/director to learn what they are seeking in applicants.  Connect with current students or recent graduates to learn of the rigors or an architecture curriculum.

Another great source is Becoming an Architect, 2nd Edition.


Dr. Architecture

No comments: