AestheticEnergy
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I need to start planning my A-Level art coursework project but I'm having trouble deciding on a theme. My teacher didn't give us a set of themes to choose from; instead we have to find one on our own and go with it for an entire year, and having this much freedom on what to do is making it difficult to decide.
I want to go into architecture so my first thought was to do a project that's something along the lines of buildings/architecture/space. I'm not really the best portraiture artist like many other students and I've never really put my architecture drawing skills to the test so this would be a good opportunity to show my interest in the subject and build my portfolio when the time comes.
On the other hand, I am planning to do an EPQ on architecture as well so I'm worried that having 2 separate projects on the same topic won't display any 'well-roundedness' if that's what universities really want to see.

Should I go ahead and do my art project on architecture or do something totally different and leave the architecture bit to my EPQ?
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PetitePanda
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Hi I moved your thread to a more specific forum hopefully, people with more knowledge will see this better
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SebastianMesser
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(Original post by AestheticEnergy)
I need to start planning my A-Level art coursework project but I'm having trouble deciding on a theme. My teacher didn't give us a set of themes to choose from; instead we have to find one on our own and go with it for an entire year, and having this much freedom on what to do is making it difficult to decide.
I want to go into architecture so my first thought was to do a project that's something along the lines of buildings/architecture/space. I'm not really the best portraiture artist like many other students and I've never really put my architecture drawing skills to the test so this would be a good opportunity to show my interest in the subject and build my portfolio when the time comes.
On the other hand, I am planning to do an EPQ on architecture as well so I'm worried that having 2 separate projects on the same topic won't display any 'well-roundedness' if that's what universities really want to see.

Should I go ahead and do my art project on architecture or do something totally different and leave the architecture bit to my EPQ?
Hi there, if you know you want to study architecture then it makes sense to build your portfolio around that, but... as you say, we’re looking for ‘well-rounded’ portfolios. I’ll expand on this and hopefully it will be helpful for others too...

Firstly, we’re looking for process - how you develop the brief and how you go about exploring the project. It sure is a scary ask to have to find your own theme for a whole year’s work at A’level stage, but this does mean that you are also free to follow where that leads you, rather than having some sort of predetermined aim or end point in mind. The challenging bit, is where to start (the white paper problem)...

Secondly, do not ‘design a building’ - if you are going to university to learn how to do that, then what you do before you have any of the knowledge and understanding of what that means is going to be naive at best. We want to know about you, your interests and your skills (personally I think textiles are the best preparation for architecture - taking something one dimensional and making it two dimensional, then taking something two dimensional and making it three dimensional... but I cannot say if anyone else holds that opinion 😉)

However, some skills are really worth acquiring, practicing and highlighting. My top tip, if you can (post Covid-19 lockdown) try to attend life drawing classes - you may still be able to find the life drawing class on BBC iPlayer to practice first. There is nothing more demanding (or satisfying) than the eye-hand coordination required to draw a human figure from life.

Keep a sketchbook - at all times - and draw from the real world rather than photos. Draw things that catch your eye - they don’t have to be extraordinary, just things that interest you (and you can talk about why they were important to you) and, if appropriate, try to figure out how they operate. That way you will be able to show observational skills, abstract thinking and technical drawing (freehand).

You are going to have to make models (a lot) if you study architecture, so show work in 3D too. As a rule, we don’t want to see the train set type of model - unless you have an extraordinary train set diorama you would like to talk about - we want to see you thinking three dimensionally, and experimenting with materials.

The Royal Academy of Arts’ twitter feed is currently running a daily doodle challenge - so far these have included making a sculpture from the contents of your recycling bin, and making a paintbrush from materials found on a walk or in your garden. Those could be good starting points to overcome the white paper problem?

And finally, there is a load of guidance (including what should be in a portfolio) for people who want to study architecture on the RIBA website: architecture.com

I’d also recommend StorpWeber Architect’s YouTube channel where there are lots of examples of portfolios produced in their first year architecture studio at the Bartlett. If you look at the earlier projects 1 & 2, these might give you some ideas for projects you could do too.

Best of luck.
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AestheticEnergy
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(Original post by SebastianMesser)
Hi there, if you know you want to study architecture then it makes sense to build your portfolio around that, but... as you say, we’re looking for ‘well-rounded’ portfolios. I’ll expand on this and hopefully it will be helpful for others too...

Firstly, we’re looking for process - how you develop the brief and how you go about exploring the project. It sure is a scary ask to have to find your own theme for a whole year’s work at A’level stage, but this does mean that you are also free to follow where that leads you, rather than having some sort of predetermined aim or end point in mind. The challenging bit, is where to start (the white paper problem)...

Secondly, do not ‘design a building’ - if you are going to university to learn how to do that, then what you do before you have any of the knowledge and understanding of what that means is going to be naive at best. We want to know about you, your interests and your skills (personally I think textiles are the best preparation for architecture - taking something one dimensional and making it two dimensional, then taking something two dimensional and making it three dimensional... but I cannot say if anyone else holds that opinion 😉)

However, some skills are really worth acquiring, practicing and highlighting. My top tip, if you can (post Covid-19 lockdown) try to attend life drawing classes - you may still be able to find the life drawing class on BBC iPlayer to practice first. There is nothing more demanding (or satisfying) than the eye-hand coordination required to draw a human figure from life.

Keep a sketchbook - at all times - and draw from the real world rather than photos. Draw things that catch your eye - they don’t have to be extraordinary, just things that interest you (and you can talk about why they were important to you) and, if appropriate, try to figure out how they operate. That way you will be able to show observational skills, abstract thinking and technical drawing (freehand).

You are going to have to make models (a lot) if you study architecture, so show work in 3D too. As a rule, we don’t want to see the train set type of model - unless you have an extraordinary train set diorama you would like to talk about - we want to see you thinking three dimensionally, and experimenting with materials.

The Royal Academy of Arts’ twitter feed is currently running a daily doodle challenge - so far these have included making a sculpture from the contents of your recycling bin, and making a paintbrush from materials found on a walk or in your garden. Those could be good starting points to overcome the white paper problem?

And finally, there is a load of guidance (including what should be in a portfolio) for people who want to study architecture on the RIBA website: architecture.com

I’d also recommend StorpWeber Architect’s YouTube channel where there are lots of examples of portfolios produced in their first year architecture studio at the Bartlett. If you look at the earlier projects 1 & 2, these might give you some ideas for projects you could do too.

Best of luck.
ok thanks so much for the help
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Smith.123
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hi, i'm currently doing GCSE textiles and the theme is based on architecture. Personally i find it boring however art is drawing and textile is like fabrics and stuff so its up to you really, everyone's opinion is different. You might love it.
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SebastianMesser
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(Original post by Smith.123)
hi, i'm currently doing GCSE textiles and the theme is based on architecture. Personally i find it boring however art is drawing and textile is like fabrics and stuff so its up to you really, everyone's opinion is different. You might love it.
Hi Smith.123 Have you looked at fashion designers Hussein Chalayan and Issey Miyake? There will be lot of younger designers too on Dezeen. Good luck.
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