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Need Help for M.arch I Portfolio

hieuphung

Hello,

I want to apply for Master of Architecture but I am struggling to prepare for my portfolio application. I have been searching on the internet and it seems like most sample portfolios have some sort of professional works included. I don't know how a non design background portfolio should look like since I have a non design background major. Does anyone have any suggestions? What should the portfolio look like? Is it okay if there is no professional architectural works included in the portfolio? 

I can hand draw  but have limited ability to do digital works. I am currently finishing my bachelor degree in urban studies.

Thank you in advance.

 
Sep 19, 17 9:08 pm
SpatialSojourner

As oddly as it sounds, professional work is not a necessity - I would even say it wastes space if it's the typical "boring" designs.  I went to a competitive grad school and no one cared at all that I could detail a wall (our systems studio was a joke and a majority of professors hadn't seen the inside of a firm much longer than I had). 

Don't stress over creating an "architecture" portfolio - think of it as a creative endeavor.  Have fun.  Since you are in urban studies, use projects that you did for class (spruce them up or refocus the work) or invent a project that has some dope GIS viz like something that Sasaki would do.  (Photograph some feature of your town that could use an intervention and lay them all out on a page like Sasaki does textile buildings and then draw out your intervention.) GSAPP example.

If you're into steam bending or finger painting, include pictures of that to show that you understand composition and craft. Include smaller photos of process, cause the final thing doesn't mean anything without showing your work.  

Fold some paper and create an origami "building" or mess around with Rhino/Sketchup and create "geometric studies".  Random person's portfolio that is sort of the idea that I found quickly.  If you know python, try some tuts using Rhinoscript and make some cool looking stuff

Collage some shit together to create some pseudo-intellectual piece either using photoshop or trace paper and magazine clippings: example 1, example 2

Most important thing is to not use a bunch of random junk lines and stuff thrown around the page.  Typography! Pick one font with many weights and stick to it or pick two that go together.  Display the images in a clean way, don't cram things in, look at white space and page composition and hierarchy. And have fun. 

Sep 19, 17 9:58 pm
hieuphung

Thank you so much for your insightful ideas, SpatialSojourner.

It seems to me that the work should be more like an artistic portfolio rather than an architecture one, which is somewhat doable for me. One quick question, what program should I use to create a portfolio that looks professional?

Thanks.

Sep 22, 17 12:24 am
borispmchan

Hi there, 

I've got a bachelor's and master's degree in biomedical science but I've always wanted to do M.Arch. With my rubbish portfolio on some ideas of imaginary structures like a garden bridge (in hindsight that was the last thing one should do), I didn't get into UBC & Calgary last year. 

Wonder if you guys have any good advice on what to start with for someone without proper training in design and visual arts? 

Cheers.

Sep 25, 17 5:03 am
Non Sequitur

You seriously want to jump into a 3y M.arch after 2 other non related degrees? How much of the profession, or building construction, do you know? Just trying to gauge against the typical laymen romanticizing of architecture. Anyways, one big problem with portfolios is that people think: I'm applying to architecture, I might as well show them architecture". That is the wrong approach. You need to demonstrate creative thought process, an understanding of depth and scale, and a control of composition... regardless of the medium.

borispmchan

Just a bit of background information about myself : I've always wanted study architecture since day one, but back then I couldn't get into the B. Arch (RIBA part I equivalent), somehow got into the biology programme I hated. Afterwards the master's programme in Biomedical science offers me a handsome scholarship on top of the virtually free tuition - so much I can now afford to do an M.Arch abroad.

borispmchan

Thanks for reassuring my gut feeling bout how my previous portfolio failed, in hindsight that was some of the stupidest things I've done.

Non Sequitur

No worries. I failed my first entry portfolio too with similar assumptions as you made (this was back in 2002 thou). Take up a few life drawing classes through your city art program and start carrying a sketch book. Draw what you see quickly freehand and see where it takes you. A good urban sketch drawing or two goes a long way for non-arch background applicants.

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