How to Build an Architecture Portfolio|Build Your Portfolio While Still in Architecture School

Build Your Portfolio While Still in Architecture School

button1-bm
Hoping to land a drafting or architecture job straight out of college? Don't wait until you've completed your art or design degree before building a portfolio. It's certainly true that employers are interested in your coursework and the strength of the program you attended. But they will want to see how well you integrate your learning with practical--as well as innovative--projects and renderings.

More than a dozen top architecture firms weighed in on a portfolio survey conducted by non-profit Archinet, and their responses on what makes a solid design portfolio revealed common threads:

  • Keep the presentation brief
  • Show a wide range of work
  • Demonstrate creativity and intelligence
  • Show you know how to use design software
Combining School Projects and Previous Work in the Portfolio
Design firms participating in the survey agreed that previous work samples--even if the project was created during a non-paying internship--can contribute to the overall strength of the portfolio. Employers typically look for examples of client presentations, broad or detailed designs, and writing skills, as well as hand and computer-generated sketches.

They also typically want strong evidence that you know how to render designs and sketches in CAD 2D and 3D formats. Some firms also may seek presentations that illustrate both overall design concept renderings as well as technical detail work. The scope of your work, as well as its consistent high quality, can be critical components in the portfolio.

Depending on the prospective employer, you may want to include work created in illustration or photo rendering software as well as physical models. Photographs on a disc may also be acceptable.

Know Your Audience
Remember, a professional design-firm audience is traditionally different from an art school crowd. While some employers may look for so-called "out-of-the-box" creativity, many firms are traditional and may not accept overt, "artsy" presentations. Do your homework before submitting anywhere.

The presentation of your portfolio can be as important as its modular contents. Find out ahead of time whether your prospective firm accepts hard copy or digital portfolios, or both. Some may even allow you to send in a PDF file via email.

Several firms agreed that presenting a venture from concept to execution is critical in showing that you know how to complete all the steps in an architectural project.Haphazard organization and poor writing (cover letters, resumes, and design-concept documentation) can ruin an otherwise good portfolio.

About the Author
Gabby Hyman has created online strategies and written content for Fortune 500 companies including eToys, GoTo.com, Siebel Systems, Microsoft Encarta, Avaya, and Nissan UK.

Featured Architecture and Industrial Design Schools

 
 
Results:  8
Matching School Ads

100% Online & No Standardized Testing

Selected Campus Locations:
  • Online
Selected Programs:
  • BS in Aeronautics

With an education from an Art Institutes school, imagine what you could create.

Selected Campus Locations:
  • Henderson

You can get started on a new career with Institute of Technology.

For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the program, and other important information, please visit our website at www.iot.edu/disclosure

Selected Campus Locations:
  • Clovis

Purdue University offers a strong foundation of tradition and history, an environment of intellectual curiosity and discovery, and a supportive, student-centered approach to learning.

Selected Campus Locations:
  • Online

There's still time to apply to Grand Canyon University and pursue your education. Learn more today!

Earn your graduate degree online with Northcentral University.

Selected Campus Locations:
  • Online

Colorado State University-Global Campus

Colorado State University-Global Campus (CSU-Global) offers career relevant bachelor’s and master’s degree programs for working adults and nontraditional learners.

Selected Campus Locations:
  • Online

American University is a leader in global education, enrolling a diverse student body from throughout the United States and nearly 140 countries. Located in Washington, D.C., the university provides opportunities for academic excellence, public service, and internships in the nation’s capital and around the world.

Selected Campus Locations:
  • Online