Future M.Arch applicant -what to do over summer?


I'm a sophomore Art History/Studio Art major with intentions to pursue an M.Arch 1 after undergrad. I'm sort of at a loss for what do over the summer. Most importantly I know I need to build my portfolio.

An internship or experience in the field would be ideal, but what good is my liberal arts degree at a firm? How would I even market myself?

I could do a summer intensive like Design Discovery, but would that be better kept for the summer after my junior year?

I live in Georgia, so maybe I could take some summer classes at SCAD and build some interesting portfolio pieces?

Any advice or suggestions would be very much appreciated. Thanks. 

Jan 21, 22 1:23 pm
Non Sequitur

work in construction.

Jan 21, 22 4:20 pm  · 
2  · 

^ This. Do this. Not only will you learn what can't/won't be taught in school. But you will also gain incredible insight into what folks in the field go thru to execute your design. Appreciation for the trades has determined my outcomes for success in this field more than anything else.

Jan 21, 22 5:39 pm  · 
1  · 

travel the world

Jan 21, 22 5:16 pm  · 
1  · 
atelier nobody

Both of the above are excellent suggestions.

I'll add that you might be able to find an architecture firm that will take you on as a "gofer" even with no architectural education under your belt yet, so you'll at least be getting exposure to the environment.

Jan 21, 22 5:22 pm  · 
1  · 

If you have money which I assume you do because you are pursuing M.arch ( very expensive programs ), I would recommend you to take some design studio courses from universities that provide M.arch programs. ( UC Berkeley, GSD Discovery, and many many others )  . I think it will help you to create some content for your portfolio and situate in the design studio environment. 

Jan 21, 22 5:28 pm  · 

Given the current labor shortage, I do think you have a chance at landing a gofer/general office job at an architecture firm this summer.  Just know that architecture firms run the gamut from horrible to wonderful, so don't form any opinions of the profession based on working at just one firm.  Same goes for any construction job you might find as well.

Art classes to build your portfolio are good; I don't know that they need to be at SCAD, unless money isn't a concern.  A community college is totally acceptable for intro level drawing, sculpture, etc.

Definitely do a summer architecture studio intensive somewhere for your junior year summer.

Jan 21, 22 5:47 pm  · 

Construction sounds like an ideal temporary role if you want to go into architecture. Certainly helps with learning how things go together and the processes that enable buildings and spaces to be built and designed. As a labourer would be good, but working in administration won't be too bad either. You learn about the contracts and such. It certainly helped me tbh. 

But if you can get one in an architecture firm, you would probably be a lot better off. Apply as a CAD Technician, graphic designer, or design assistant; if your portfolio is decent, you should be able to find somewhere to at least give you an internship.

Jan 22, 22 10:14 am  · 

As regards your portfolio:

Process is more important than finished work. 

Sketches, iterations, verbal explanatory notes on decisions, etc.

Start now and work on it a little over a 2 yr period is better than trying to do it in a couple of months at the end.

It doesn't have to be architecture related.

2 or 3 well thought out and well documented projects with direction, integrity, and purpose are better than a crap load of random sketches and finished pieces.

Jan 22, 22 10:46 am  · 

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