Architecture personal statement and portfolio

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besalibethali
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While preparing my architecture application last year, I realised that there isn't much info and application help out there that was actually useful. I know my PS and Portfolio aren't the best but I will do my best to help anyone who needs help with their Archi application.

I study architecture at Cardiff university now.



my personal statement (please do not copy, just be inspired and take note of the style etc):


The spaces we inhabit, the cultural buildings we attend and the way we choose to adorn our spaces create who we are and can have a significant impact on our life opportunities. This is what captured my passion in architecture: to help improve the life quality of communities by shaping their environment.

I have nurtured this passion by attending the UCL summer exhibitions which brought to my attention the complexity and creativity of architecture. ‘Species of Spaces’ by George Perec intrigued me, expanded my horizons of creativity, and allowed me to appreciate the infinite possibilities of how one could shape their limited space.

My captivation in the history of architecture motivated me to attend a symposium named Marginalia and has broadened my knowledge on dismissed architectural histories. The presentation on ‘Kings Cross Fiction: A History of Urban Change through Novels and Films’ was particularly interesting as it shed light on the delivery of architecture in works of fiction. I felt as though it related to my reading of ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ by Margaret Atwood. Atwood uses the historically and contemporary respectable sites of knowledge and understanding, such as Harvard University, and turned it into a horrific place where ignorance and violence manifest.

Completing an online course provided by Mario Botta, I was introduced to architecture being more than a building fulfilling its function, but rather the idea that buildings are portrayal of human expression in spiritual form. As Renzo Piano explained in his TedTalk, architecture does not respond to human needs alone but also desires. A particular example he suggested was that a humble hut is not “just a hut” but rather that this minimal space tells a story of the identity of the people that live in that hut. This allowed me to take on a different perspective on what architecture is and I became more analytical of my surroundings. I had to delve deeper than just the surface of a building I see and research stories of the identities of the people that inhabit it.

Completing work experience at an architectural firm, I was tasked with surveying the office and using AutoCAD. I learnt skills such as precision, as I had to be meticulous with measurements, and the basics of AutoCAD to model the office in a short amount of time by effectively communicating with my supervisor. By developing an appreciation for software modelling, I learnt about an app, OnShape, that allowed me to continue the exploration of modelling.

My trip to Iran introduced me to Islamic architecture. It was alluring to see the interaction between worshippers and the Imam Reza shrine, or the Shah Abdul Azeem Shrine, and how the spiritual experience overwhelmed them. This contrasted with my reading on Muslim Athenians praying in garages who have been banned from doing so at mosques. Despite not having a functioning environment to worship, it dawned on me that spirituality is not found in an extravagant building but rather it’s a community that adds spirituality in space. Consequently, I completed an EPQ on this topic and it has increased my competence in planning, time management, and communication.

The question of what it means to be an architect in a world of climate change is one I am deeply invested in. Completing a ‘Modern Building Design’ online course by the University of Bath educated me on the fact that, as of now, the architectural and construction industry accounts for 50% of pollution. However, I believe there are many ways, such as the use of new materials like Nano-lime, that could be used to reduce the carbon foot print levels. It is a development that I would love to be a part of, to allow architecture to have a revolutionary impact on the world’s climate.

I would like to study architecture because it is a developing industry that has the ability to reflect the needs and values of a time.


I will send portfolio on request.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to write them here and I will try my best to answer them!!!
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EliArch98
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I'd love to see your portfolio if possible sending you a pm

Also, several questions I have regarding the course at Cardiff: I've read that it is more essay based than other architecture courses, do you think that for a student looking for a course that is very much experimental and studio based it could still be a good fit? Also, how is the city in terms of inspiration?
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Studentfrommars
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(Original post by EliArch98)
I'd love to see your portfolio if possible sending you a pm

Also, several questions I have regarding the course at Cardiff: I've read that it is more essay based than other architecture courses, do you think that for a student looking for a course that is very much experimental and studio based it could still be a good fit? Also, how is the city in terms of inspiration?
I am also looking at Cardiff for next year. Did you go to their openday?
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besalibethali
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(Original post by EliArch98)
I'd love to see your portfolio if possible sending you a pm

Also, several questions I have regarding the course at Cardiff: I've read that it is more essay based than other architecture courses, do you think that for a student looking for a course that is very much experimental and studio based it could still be a good fit? Also, how is the city in terms of inspiration?
so currently im undertaking 3 modules:
-Buildings through time- (two assignments with both 1500 word limits and has to include lots of diagrams and drawings and pictures) and this is 20 credits
-architectural design- this is all the studio work and designing which is 80 credits
-architectural technologies- 20 credits and for this there is also a written (with diagrams and images etc) assignment due at the end of the year.

the architectural design module is the biggest and so i would say its not very essay based, and that it is mainly design. there are no actual essays so far as the assignments require lots of images to communicate certain things instead of the use of paragraphs and paragraphs of explanations alone.


Cardiff is a very nice city- nicer than i originally thought. I think there's plenty of inspiration, Cardiff Bay being my favourite so far. I do suggest that you visit to make your own decision about this.
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student1510
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Hello I would love to see your portfolio as I'm struggling with deciding what to put on mine. It would be of great help!And thank you for helping all of us!
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