Student partner work - Stealing drawings with no credit


Worked on a huge studio project for almost a year with a partner and they used my renders in their portfolio. He asked me a couple times last year if he could use them and I said no. My reasoning was that he had no partake in any of those specific drawings.

He's never done a render.. not even on photoshop so I am confused why he wouldn't put my name to the drawings. He didn't even put my name on the project title. 4/6 drawings he used for this project were entirely mine and he never touched...

Is there an academic protocol for this? If I confront him and he tells me to beat it where do I go from there? He's applied to multiple firms already using this portfolio.

Sep 15, 19 1:25 pm
Non Sequitur

Nothing you can do.  Offices know that many students either out-source graphics or present group work as their own.  This can easily be fished out during the interview process.. and if not, red flags will pop out once this wanker is asked to produce some graphics.

By chance, was it this student's design ideas which you rendered?

I had 3 group project in my undergrad portfolio and I clearly listed all team members as contributors.  

Sep 15, 19 1:48 pm

The whole building design was definitely collaborative. Just so frustrating being the one to do most of the work and have others leech off you.. oh well, you're right, fingers crossed the real world screws him back over for pretending he can produce those graphics.

Non Sequitur

making pretty renderings is the easy part tho.


Welcome to the real world kido :) Jokes aside, you'll find that rendering is the least of most firm's problems. They're usually the last line item (although the most exciting) that Project Manager's care about to get the building built unless of course you have a client that specifically requested it. Most cases they don't really care all that much other than the occasional "Wow, that is beautiful, but how much is that going to cost?" comment. Productive members of the team aren't spending their time doing renders anyways, those are typically assigned to summer interns, juniour staff or simply outsourced to specialized firms that can do hell of a better job than 99% of the office.


If its group work, they are generally entitled to use as their own, provided that it is referenced as part of group work. 

The idea is that group projects are designed to make you work and create as 'we' not 'I'. It's an academic grey area. It could be classed as plagiarism depending on your university policy if they are claiming that they did the work alone and not referencing the group. 

Sep 16, 19 3:44 am

Bookmark this post and come back in a few years after you've thought about using renderings your firm paid a Chinese renderer to create in the portfolio you're using to find a new job.

Sep 16, 19 11:49 am
Non Sequitur



Thought he's referring to college work?


Does Indian renderers count?

I always tried to put a small "courtesy" or "copyright" notice in the corner of any images I wasn't directly responsible for creating so I could cite the source of the image when used in my portfolio. I also indicated the project was a group project and usually included the names of the others in my group while explaining my role in the group so my responsibilities and my work were clear.

I also worked to provide high-quality amateur (oxymoron?) photographs of physical models for most of the groups I was in, and sometimes the entire classes physical models. I always requested they included a similar notice when they used my photographs in their portfolios, but I never followed up on it to know whether they did or not. 

It only hurts them in the long run when an employer thinks they possess skills they don't have. Properly attributing the images to the creator communicates this in a subtle way. 

This kind of thing also seemed a lot more important during school than it does now. 

Sep 16, 19 12:44 pm

I'm trying to sort this out in my head. It was a year long design with a partner (collaborative).  And your partner wants to use what I'm assuming is the presentation in his portfolio.  And you said 'no'?  

I can't seem to wrap my head around that unless you add something like he designed just the mechanical systems or structural drawings or dropped out or some reason you aren't treating your partner like they were a partner.   

Sep 16, 19 1:36 pm
Non Sequitur

I think the OP wants to claim ownership of the images because he/she pressed the go button on the render-machine.


Ding ding ding. We have a winner here. School can do funny things to people who think the group work is the equivalent of "my work" and "your work" = group work. The distinction is that group work belongs to the group regardless of who contributed what. I'm sure many of us have our share of lazy contributors but ces't la vie.


If he tells you to "beat it" then i suggest the Micheal Jackson version. 

Sep 16, 19 1:54 pm

Weird Al - Eat it is good


When your studio partner asked you if he could use the renderings of your joint project in his portfolio, he was asking as a courtesy.  It's kind of like when someone in an open studio says "hey, do you mind if we listen to the baseball game on the radio?" - they're asking because it's polite, knowing that you're going to say go ahead (and frown and put on your headphones if you really have a problem with it). You weren't supposed to say no.  It's a joint project - you both own all parts of it and can both use it all in your portfolios.  I think maybe what happened is that he was so annoyed with your strange denial of his request that he decided not to even acknowledge your involvement.

If this was a portfolio for academic purposes - like a portfolio review for rising to the next year or for graduation - then your institution might have specific rules about attribution.  If he was an AIA-member firm owner who was using this for marketing purposes then there would also be some rules he's supposed to follow about using and attributing work that others were involved in.  But as a student or recent grad using an academic project for his portfolio for his first job, there's nobody to do any official hand-slapping for you.  It's not great that he didn't label it as a team effort - but it also wasn't great that you told him not to use the work at all. Neither of you sounds like a great bet for a mature employee able to work well with others.  For most potential employers it would count for more if he identified it as a team project, since the ability to collaborate is so crucial - so if he's not doing that then he's hurting himself anyway. 

If I were you I'd shrug this off.  Let karma deal with it.  An academic project isn't likely to stay in either of your portfolios for longer than a year or two anyway once you get full time jobs after graduation. 

Sep 16, 19 4:46 pm

While you both own it. You both need each others permission for commercial use. Also you both need to credit each other for what each other did.


lawyer up, hit facebook

Sep 16, 19 7:28 pm

no judge judy will sort this out


Ask him to cash you ousside, how bout dah?

Nov 12, 19 3:30 pm

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