How to Do Your Architecture Portfolio

How to Do Your Architecture Portfolio

What is an Architecture Portfolio

An architecture portfolio is a compilation of your best architecture projects whether it’s from your college years, in your career, or theoretical projects. If you’re an architecture student, this may include your plates in school or from design competitions. If you’re a young architect, this may include actual projects (given you have the authority and it is actually designed by you). If you’re a firm, this includes projects designed by the firm.

If you’re like me and you get overwhelmed just thinking about making an architecture portfolio, overthinking which plates or projects to put, where or how to even begin, then here are a few tips for you!

Related: How to Apply to Different Architecture Firms

How to Make Your Best Architecture Portfolio

Personalize to whom your viewer is – who is the firm you’re sending it to?

Now, I know it may take a ton of time in making a portfolio especially if you choose to redo some projects or re-render some but this tip is similar to when you’re writing an effective cover letter. If you’re currently looking for a job, you may want to align your portfolio content to the firm you’re applying to. Check out what they’re looking for. What are their projects? What is their style?

You may want to showcase your best work that relates most to them or aligns well to what they seek.

Include a CV that goes with it

When I made my architecture portfolio, I designed my CV with it to make sure it goes together smoothly. When applying to different firms, you’re normally asked for a portfolio if they’re not silently expecting one, hence you’ll expect that you’re not going to send a standalone resume. 

Related: What is Architecture? Introduction, Apprenticeship, ALE

Go with online portfolio or choose PDF (with a predetermined size)

I’ve mentioned in the blog post, How to Network as an Architecture Student, some benefits of having an online portfolio. In addition to what I’ve mentioned, you can also opt for other websites such as Behance or maybe make your own website, as if having your own firm, if you can!

Of course, a much more usual version would be in PDF. Take note though, that firms set their limit when it comes to file sizes. You’ll want to research that before you plan how you’re going to design and create your portfolio.

Keep it short and sweet- best projects only!

When it comes to portfolios, less is definitely more. You don’t need to put so many projects especially if they’re only becoming redundant, more especially if they’re not your best ones anymore. Take your pick amongst all your designs – which are you most proud of?

We don’t know how long people will be taking a look at it so it’s better to make an impact right there and then instead of having it at page 50 (definitely exaggerating).

Include drawings

Drawing is a skill of every architect. I use the word skill mindfully, if you know what I mean. Just like how knowing about different architecture software is valuable, so is this. Same rules apply – best ones only!

Related: What are the Tools Used by Architecture Students

Include team projects – mention your part

Of course, there’s a major pro in including team projects. It can show how well you work with people and architecture is a very collaborative course. Make sure you mention what your part is as you tell the story!

Blank spaces are a breather

The pages don’t have to be full in a cluttered way – in fact, avoid clutter. There are a ton of outstanding architecture portfolios that are minimalist in design and this can even help with your impact.

Still confused with how to start your architecture portfolio?

Here’s a step-by-step guide you can use if you’re applying for a job!

  1. Who are you designing the portfolio for? List them down.
  2. Research about what the firms (or people) look for in a candidate, what their style is, what their projects are.
  3. Take your pick from your pool of projects. List them down and gather the files.
  4. Plan the pages. You don’t want to exceed the maximum file size (if you choose to go with PDFs).
  5. Start designing! Tell your story through your portfolio.

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