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Architectural Portfolios

Architectural Portfolios: Whether you are an architecture student or just got out of an architecture programme, you need an architectural portfolio. They may not be as important as you think, but they are much more important than most people think. Without this, you won’t be able to get a good job. Even if you come out of architecture school with a great resume, you probably won’t get a job because of it.

  • Your portfolio of investments will make the difference.
  • The problem is that most people usually

They don’t know how to make a good portfolio, and they’re sending the wrong kind of message.

Since it’s that time of year and people are starting to send me random portfolios, I thought I’d give you some insight into what people (like me) really want to see when they look at your portfolio. Most likely, it’s not what you’re thinking.

Architectural Portfolios

Things were much different when I finished architectural school 25 years ago. No one knew how to make an online portfolio, and there wasn’t even such a thing. When I look at my portfolio, it’s amazing to see how far we’ve come (up there). Back then, my resume looked great. Before electronic document management systems came along, most portfolios were put together by hand, using tools like photocopiers, actual images, and glue to stick things to the pages. Remember that Photoshop 1.0 came out in 1990, just two years before I graduated, and that I didn’t get to use it for the first time on a personal computer until 1995. Digital photos were not able to be changed by college students. That’s no longer true, and since everyone has access to digital resources, it’s important to have some kind of digital technology in your portfolio.

Today, I’d like to show you an example of one of the best portfolios I’ve seen to prove my point. Danielle Anderson, who works for me now, sent this to me. Wow, I can’t figure that out. A candidate whose portfolio I looked over and who was eventually hired by our company had one of the best I’d ever seen. As you read this, she’s sitting just eight feet away (assuming that you are reading this during regular business hours).

I won’t show you everything in Danielle’s portfolio, but I will show you a few pages that show what portfolio reviewers like me are really looking for.

Change the text

Danielle’s portfolio, which has about 54 separate pages, looks a lot shorter when seen as a booklet where two pages can be seen at once. The first thing to remember is that she didn’t include every school project she’s ever done. You should really think about the projects (and how many of them) you want to include in your portfolio. Only include projects that have images that help show what you want to say.

For example, I don’t know what’s going on in the photos above, but that’s not the point. When I look at someone’s portfolio for the first time, I might only spend a few seconds on each page. What I do see, though, is the layout of the page, the balance between white space and pictures, and other compositional elements that will be on many of Danielle’s pages. Even though I’ve just started looking through her portfolio, I can already tell that she’s paid close attention to the details when editing her photos.

Use pictures to tell the story.

You might want to think twice before putting too much text in your portfolio, since I probably won’t read it all on my first look. This is something I think about every time I look at a portfolio or even just sit down to write a blog post. Most people are interested in what they see, so if you can grab their attention with interesting photos, they may come back to read the text. The lesson here is that you can’t just rely on text to impress people who look at your portfolio. You also need images that stand out.

This is an example of carefully choosing and placing visual elements to get the most out of them. Many of the pages on this site have a lot of empty space, but that doesn’t make them seem empty. If you are going to use pictures to tell a story, only include details that are important to the story. If they don’t help, you should get rid of them.

Danielle’s resume is mostly made up of smaller projects, with only two big architectural jobs. The drawings are the main focus of these pages, and she did a good job of making them look like diagrams by leaving out any extra details. Because of this, I don’t need to see a lot of dimension strings in her drawings to show that she can annotate a design.

Here, you can see the use of white space and blank space on the page. The professional quality of the pictures Danielle used to back up her claims helped her portfolio a lot. Most of the time, when I review an author’s work, I’m not talking about the design. Instead, I’m talking about how the story is put together and what illustrations the author chose. I can learn just as much about her design skills from what she didn’t show me as from what she did. So, you can pick the best examples to put in your portfolio with care.


Keep all of the content’s visuals consistent.

This is Danielle’s second and last big architectural project. The only reason I’m showing it here is to show how consistent her layout designs were throughout her portfolio.


Show off your graphical skills.

Even though this was once a portfolio for an architecture student, it looks like it was made by a professional designer. There are a lot of symbols and guides to help you find your way. The basic site plan above this paragraph lets me know where this project is in relation to the rest of the country, the river, the neighborhood, and the historical monument that sits on the ground above it all.

If you’ve been to my blog before, you probably already know that I’m very picky about the pictures I use. If you don’t use line weight in your architectural drawings, I can promise you that I won’t look at them for very long.

Since this post has a lot of photos and I don’t want it to take forever to load, I lowered the quality of Danielle’s drawings. This didn’t do her any good. I’m sure that she used the weight of her pen well in her paintings. As you can see from the plans above, it takes a lot of self-control to keep these papers to just a few plans and a room legend. I can count on one hand the number of portfolios that show such self-control, and people took notice. I was able to pay attention to these interesting designs without being distracted because they were on their own page.

I’ve already talked about how important it is to choose and organise the materials in your portfolio carefully so that they tell a clear and interesting story. If you look at the plans, you’ll see why we thought it was important to include some building parts in this plan. I’m not judging Danielle on how well she draw her structural systems, but it’s good to see that the design process took into account how they would be build.

Even though it seems like less and less students make models these days, I still like to see one in a student’s portfolio. When I look at a model you made, I feel more than just a sense of longing for simpler times. I also get a sense of your attention to detail, your ability to focus on a boring task for a long time, and the skill with which you built your model. Do you care enough about your job to double-check that everything is down? That every little part fits snugly where it should? How did you choose the way you put the materials of the model together?

With the help of physical models, I can still tell how good your design is. You’ll need to decide on things like the base material and the shape of the model’s foot print. If you haven’t already noticed, what I’ve said has nothing to do with the design itself. I’m not so much looking at how good you are at building as I am at how you come up with ideas and how much you enjoy them.


Throw in something that isn’t real.

I find it hard to give an honest review of an architectural design project shown in a portfolio. Or maybe you were the least skill person on the project, so your studio teacher make all the hard decisions for you. Because of these worries, it would be helpful if you could show me something you did in school that wasn’t a building.

Even though Danielle’s professor helped her with this lamp more than usual, I can still see signs of a logical design process at work. The layout and presentation of the website’s content and how it looks stands out right away. Even though I’m a prehistoric human. I know what parametric modelling is, and I can see how the choices made in this work show how it has changed over time.

Graphically, these pages are great, with the exception of the light in the bottom right corner. Which doesn’t fit with what’s above it. (and I know that if Danielle reads today’s article, she would agree that she has noticed this)


Don’t forget to send in something you made yourself.

Even though it’s old-fashion, I love to see anything you make before computers. The idea that an architect is a “Master Craftsman” seems to be less important in architectural programmes these days. One of the most important things you can show is what you did or made. That didn’t require you to click buttons and move a mouse around. Show me your artistic side by showing me some drawings, a kayak you built. A classic car you fixed, or photos you took and developed yourself (I know, who does that anymore?). This is the one part of your portfolio where you can really show me. Who you are and what you care about outside of school. I would be very interest to see a picture of a homemade Stormtrooper suit.

Last but not least, I like to talk about how I think a portfolio should be set up. I put it last because I don’t think it’s that hard to understand. And it will only take a few lines to explain. You should print out a single copy of your portfolio to bring to interviews. After a few years, no one will care about the work you did in college. And your portfolio will just sit on a shelf in your apartment, collecting dust.

Architectural Portfolios

Your digital portfolio needs to be on the internet so that people can see it. With a file size of 154 MB, Danielle’s portfolio would have been a huge pain to send to me. To host your online portfolio, you could create a shared file. On Google Drive or sign up for a service like Issuu. (They have a free plan that should be enough for most people and a slightly more flexible plan. But you won’t need it once you get that job, right?

As someone who has strong ideas about how to approach a potential employer. I can tell you that your portfolio should not be part of your first contact. If you call the company first, you might find out things like. (a) If they are hiring right now, (b) who your CV should be send to. And (c) if and how they want to see your portfolio. This is first-year physics. And when I get an email that starts with “Dear Sir/Madam,” I delete it without opening it.

Now that I’ve told you what I think about portfolio reviews. Please leave a comment if you can think of anything else that should be take into account. The main point I wanted to make in this essay was that people. Who look at architectural portfolios don’t always pay attention to the buildings. Because I could learn a lot from the details “around” the building. I won’t give you my opinion until we’ve met in person. Still, I will pay close attention to your answers, your explanations, and the way you talk. If I like what I hear, I might look at your. “Dark Side of the Moon Lifestyle Habitat Pod” plans in more detail.

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