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HOW TO CREATE AN ARCHITECTURE PORTFOLIO?

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28/09/2018
Tags: Career opportunities Master

All final master´s portfolio from the MCH'2018 participants have been properly received, so we want to share them with you all. Our participants worked hard on them during this edition, a fact that can be easily checked, considering the quality of the included projects and their overall performance. We want to thank them all for their commitment.

 

In this post, you can find some tips to create the best architecture portfolio.

How to create an Architecture Portfolio?

Your skills and academic record can be certified through a good CV, which sometimes is the only document you will need to apply for a job. In other cases, that CV must be submitted with a cover letter that explains your skills and specially, why you are the correct-one for that particular position in that particular company. In the architecture field, quite often you are also asked for an architectural portfolio. At MCH, our experts in collective housing architecture receive thousands of portfolios every month, so they know what to expect from a candidate willing to join those architecture firms in the world. With this post we want to solve your doubts about how to create an amazing architectural portfolio, which for sure will increase your possibilities of being selected for that position you are applying for.

What should I include in my architecture portfolio?

To begin, you have to decide if your portfolio is going to have a digital format or if it is going to be printed. In both cases, you will have to show what you are capable of, but in the second case, probably you will be able to put a greater amount of resources on it. As it happens with the curriculum vitae, the ideal strategy is to fit the works shown in your portfolio to the needs or requirements of the desired company. However, companies will also highly value your versatililty, so we advise you not to show just one type of work. Try to include the most relevant projects done in all different sectors or fields.

 

Keep in mind that, as an architect, you have to demonstrate your organizational skills and creativity with all the elements, so try your architecture portfolio to be a reflection of that.

 

For all those reasons, to create and update a CV requires much less effort than an architecture portfolio. In that last case, you should take it as a job itself, as you will not only have to include the documents of the projects you have worked on, but you also have to make a summary of both text and images. In addition, you must explain your methods of creating your architectural compositions, by integrating all previous elements into a holistic and unique style that will make your portfolio unforgettable.  

 

Types of architecture portfolio

There are several types of architecture portfolio. As we have indicated, the portfolio can be digital, printed and even binded, but apart from its format, there are other issues to consider such as its extension, the included images and texts.

 

These are some types of portfolio that you can use and develop to create your own:

Schematic

Although it is more than advisable that your portfolio carries images and descriptions of your creative process and your achievements, you can also express it schematically to be clear and concise. This type of architecture portfolio will include brief descriptions in which it is clearly stated what type of project it is, what was intended with it, and what was achieved, without going into too many details.

Creative

If you are applying to a company where creativity is an essential point, let your architecture portfolio be the reflection of that creativity they are looking for. Avoid simple ways of expressing your portfolio, such as including one work per page, and try to give an original touch to each project you have made, of course, without forgetting that in one way or another, everything must be coherent and easy to understand. If you can deliver your portfolio online instead of printing it, try not to use tools like Behance. Create it from scratch by yourself. In addition, you can also place a video or animation, if it fits well.

 

Master portfolio

If you are currently actively looking for a job, it may be too difficult to make a different portfolio for each company or project you want to join. If this is your case, you can create a master portfolio in which all your work is collected and detailed in the same way. If you want to customize it, you can include some pages of your creative or schematic portfolio to your master portfolio, according to the needs of each particular company.

 

Tips for a perfect architecture portfolio

As you have seen, having your portfolio up to date and with your best works or those selected for each type of position you aspire to, is an unavoidable task for each single architect.

 

Although you can build and order your portfolio in many different ways, MCH recommends always to keep these key points in mind: 

  • Clarity: in a portfolio of architecture you must translate your work in the best way, but it is possible that the first step in the selection process is the recruitment office, so try to make your portfolio not excessively or exclusively technical. We also recommend that you define in the clearest way your responsibilities and tasks in each of the projects you decide to show in. 
  • Brevity: as it happens with the extension of a CV, it is estimated that a good portfolio should not exceed 15Mb. Less is more. Nevertheless, if you still want your portfolio to contain many of the works that you feel specially proud of or high-resolution images, you can use an online compressor to reduce its weight. Of course, do not use this technique to make eternal portfolios as it will be counterproductive, since you will lose photographic quality. For this, we recommend IlovePDF. 
  • Grammar correction: although it is a non-decisive aspect to get an architectural job, in any profession it is not well seen to present a poorly written portfolio or cover letter with spelling mistakes. You must carefully read all the texts that you have included in your portfolio and contact someone who can help you re-viewing it, specially if the language in which it is written is not your native language. You can also use online tools such as Reverso or Grammarly. 
  • Include what you know best: if you are a very good hand-drawing person, do not hesitate to include your sketches in your architecture portfolio. The same happens if you are a great model builder, or if you are capable of projecting good plans or 3D images. Develop more widely the field that you are specialist in.

The projects you have done in the past can open a lot of doors, but a quality education in a relevant and international school of architecture is often the beginning of all of it. For that reason, we invite you to participate in the next edition of the MCH, an international and advanced postgraduate program in architecture and collective housing presented by Universidad Politecnica of Madrid (UPM) and Swiss Federal Institute of Technology of Zurich (ETH). Ask for information clicking here!

 

Next edition of the MAS in Collective Housing will start in January 2019, and the application period is already opened, till 31.12.2018 or until vacancies are filled.  Don't miss your chance and apply now!
 
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