Friday, May 24, 2013

Advertising to Architecture

I am 28 years old, and have been working in Advertising for the past 6 years since I graduated college. I am not an art/graphic designer, but rather in Client Services/Account Management (basically spend my days managing projects and campaigns). 

I don't think this is the right fit for me, and have been strongly considering a career change to Architecture. The problem is, I have ZERO experience. My undergrad degree is in English and Film Studies. 

Do you have any tips on how I can build a portfolio while still working full time? I live in NYC, so I have a lot of resources, however I am not quite sure where to start. As you have said, I would need some type of portfolio or design project under my belt in order to apply to any Masters programs (even the programs for people like myself with a BA in an unrelated field). 

If you also think that at 28 I shouldn't be considering a move to Architecture, I would love to hear your thoughts on that too. 

Thank you very much!


As your undergraduate degree is in an unrelated discipline a portfolio that you submit for graduate studies does not need to be architectural; instead, it needs to be creative. To that end, consider simply taking a drawing course (life or figure) from an area institution.  Of course, you could also take any other creative art courses - sculpture, painting, ceramics, etc.

Center for Architecture (offers courses)

Also, I would contact a few graduate architecture programs and ask them what they are looking for in their applicants.  Visit to see if you can see some examples.

Learn how to actually design the contents of your portfolio -- is one good example that parallels the book by the same name.  View other examples on -- but do not get intimidated by what you see.

Aside from building your portfolio become involved with the architectural community of NYC - namely the AIA New York chapter.  They also have events, lectures, etc. for you to learn but also connect with professionals in the field.

Best in your search!

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