What is a work sample?


I've been in architecture for quite a while, but I'm still not sure what a "work sample" is when applying for an architectural position.  It seems like it would be distinct from a portfolio, especially since sometimes a position posting/application requests submission of both work samples and a portfolio to apply.  The name "work sample" suggests the actual product of one's work, such as construction drawings, renderings, sketches, and the like.  But I also get the sense that "work sample" can often just mean "portfolio".  So how do other people understand this term?

By the way, I have worked only as a (non-design) project architect with no rendering work, so my portfolio for the most part does not show my design experience or renderings.  It consists of images of projects I've worked on to give a sense of the type of work I've been involved in.  I feel that working drawings don't make sense in a portfolio like that.  Details I've done might fit in if they're "aesthetic" enough, but even that seems a bit of a stretch.

Jul 10, 24 2:30 pm

To me a work sample is just a short portfolio.  

If possible pick on relevant project and include:  design sketches, a few pages of CD's, a rendering (if you have them), and a few pics of the finished project.  

I may be wrong about this but that is what I look for when I view a work sample.  

Jul 10, 24 3:20 pm  · 

if for an interview, i'd bring 1/2 size set of CDs or an SD presentation or a spec set, if those were the types of things I had done for work previously.

if for a digital submission, select specific sheets from the above & caption them with your involvement & their impact (if you're able to indicate that).

it's a proof of your stated experience, so choose something with substance, even if it isn't "design-y" (or if it is)

Jul 10, 24 6:11 pm  · 
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I’ve always read this as meaning two opposite things depending on the context.

For applications I’ve always just done this as a series of single 8.5x11s attached to my resume. Each page gets one project, with  4-6 projects total. It’s pretty easy to slap a couple of photos or renderings, or diagrams, or details, or bite size drawings onto a page and turn it into a nice little demonstration of your skills/experience. Basically, a simplified portfolio empathizing what you're trying to demonstrate for this position. I’d never assume this is what’s intended for an interview, because you should have your portfolio.

If it’s in the context of an interview, then I interpret it inversely as a more detailed example of the work you do at your job, often as a half size set of drawings to supplement your portfolio. I would never assume this is what’s intended for an application, as you really shouldn’t be sending around full sets of your company’s drawings to other firms. 

Jul 11, 24 5:26 pm  · 
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