Architecture Portfolio Advice
Pointers and tips on creating your architecture portfolio when applying to university
One of the main routes to becoming an architect is to go to university and get a degree. Course providers will want to see a portfolio of your drawings, hand drawn sketches, photographs and models when you are interviewed for degree courses.
Well, sometimes, explains Annabelle Koeck, Associate at Grimshaw Architects, ‘a person might have a really interesting way of seeing the world that maybe doesn’t translate into a number in an exam result. But that doesn’t mean that they wouldn't actually be perfectly suited for engineering or architecture, which are really problem solving, and creative courses.’
As well as providing a different approach to assessment, universities and colleges want to see that ‘you're creative and passionate enough about joining the course that you've put together a portfolio’, in the first place. Also, ‘that you have a broad approach to things’, Annabelle explains. ‘It doesn’t have to be drawing or build-based. It might be theatre or poetry.’
Yes! ‘There's this stereotype around creativity that some people can find really intimidating. But also a portfolio can be about problem solving. You could be really good at problem solving, and that in itself could be great for a portfolio. You don't have to be a sort of stereotypical creative artistic type, which I think, when you say, ‘portfolio’, people do think of that one approach.’
"a person might have a really interesting way of seeing the world that maybe doesn’t translate into a number in an exam result."
So, how would someone go about composing one?
‘There are a few different paths for composing a portfolio, usually. One is that your school assist you quite a lot with it. If you've done arts drama, you might have a lot of content from school.
‘But a lot of students might not have done those subjects,’ Annabelle says. In this case, there are a lot of extracurricular programs you can do. ‘It could be photography, modelmaking, sketching -- it's about just starting to build that content.’
Beyond the resources on our website, here are some more ideas and organisations to get you started: