Message - Re: Portfolio for BA Architecture course

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Posted by  Paul Malo on September 12, 2002 at 06:39:41:

In Reply to:  Portfolio for BA Architecture course posted by Michelle on September 11, 2002 at 19:53:41:

I'm in the US, so can't speak to British practice, but from long experience in considering applicants for an architecture school, here's my sense:

You have considerable advantage of maturity. Younger students have more distractions; older students generally progress more rapidly. They contribute to the mix of students, bringing greater life experience and different perspective.

Don't try to make your portfolio look "professional" by focussing on whatever you may have done related to architecture. Yes, you should convey your great interest and enthusiasm, but don't try to show your ability by presenting your own architectural designs, at least not exclusively. Chances are your reviewers will not share your views about architecture and may find the work banal. Tell them that you like to design--but don't burden them with your designs. Say they are available, if the reviewers want to see them.

What you should emphasize, if possible, is any sort of freehand drawing or painting that reveals particular hand-eye coordination and ability to visualize. May applicants hesitate to show rough sketches or mere "doodles", thinking that the portfolio should look professionally finished. That's a mistake. One student recently showed me a portfolio all laborously redrawn to create a unifrom presentation. It was counterproductive. The work appeared mechanical, lacking sponteniety. Do, however, trim and mat sketches or otherwise assemble them in a coordinated manner that seems to show concern for design.

Design everyting--even your letters. You'd be surprised how many applications (even for faculty positions) are discarded on arrival simply because the format shows no concern for visual design.

Read everything you can about architecture, and volunteer opinions. You may not get agreement with your views, but having views is very important !

Good luck.

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