Well, I'm starting my portfolio, and am not sure about where to start. Since I alredy have some good pieces, I was gonna do some different work (drawing, painting, photography...), but theres something that it's driving me nuts. Should the portfolio have a main theme? If yes, I'm gonna kill myself. I thought to include some paintings, a pair of sketches, some good drawing, maybe a few interesting photos and if possible one or two scultural pieces. Since I'm actually attending an architectural pre-degree, I've figured putting the best pieces I'll done. But if I have to change everything to make a theme-work I'll die (nevermind, if I have to do it, I'm gonna do it).
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First thing is to check if the University has guidelines on what they want to see. Some do some don't.
The main thing they will want to see is creativity. Remember that Architecture is about design above all else. You can be taught how to draw correctly and use CAD but it is the creative design process they want to see.
So with this in mind this would be my advice [to take or leave as you wish].
1. Variation of work. They will not want to see a whole portfolio of faces drawn with pencil for example. Try to include different mediums, different subject matters, different techniques.
2. Its not about buildings. Although ultimately it is about buildings the first year especially is exploring ideas and concepts. Often the first projects will have nothing to do with buildings. Check UCL Bartlett videos out for what the first year get up to. Therefore don't feel you need to include loads of 'architecture'
3. Pick several pieces of work that really demonstrate you ability to create something. Whether its a mural, a model, an animation or drawings. They will be looking for potential not the finished article.
This is from the Bartlett Website:
This should include a range of work. We are not looking for 'buildings' or 'architecture' as such. Please draw what you find interesting. We do look for work undertaken outside your art A-level course! Please do not leave work at home as you only have one chance to have an interview. We do look for personal sketchbooks and do not mind any unfinished work.
When I went for my interview the thing that the person spent the most time looking at was sketches that had taken me an hour or so the night before the interview. I had done some photoshop work of some pretend spaces and so did some quick post rationalisation sketches while watching TV. She barely looked at the photoshop work and spent a good few mins getting me to talk through the sketches.
Most important bit: Be yourself and have fun with your portfolio.
You don't need a theme, just put in your best work, whatever that is. I organised mine so that it looked eye catching throughtout, but grouped similar work on each page, so sketches all on one etc. Make sure that the work you put in YOU like, as you will probably be more confident.
I agree with the person above. And definately make sure you check the universities guidelines, they are usually easily found on their website, they really are helpful but even they give you a wide range of ideas, they clearly don't want everyones to follow strict guidelines so don't give them, as then all portfolios would be the same, and won't show personality.