What Makes a Good Architecture Portfolio?
The architecture portfolio is the most powerful tool any aspiring architect has in their armoury to showcase their best work to potential employers. A great portfolio will showcase your creativity, design skills and technical abilities. But what makes a great portfolio?
Most architecture firms will be looking for portfolios that are organised and clearly lay out the information in an easy to read format. They should be diverse, showcase a wide range of projects, and keep the reader engaged by utilizing the tools of the industry such as CAD software. The portfolio should be professional in presentation, showing attention to detail and displays a range of ideas.
Types of Portfolios
Typically there are three types of architecture portfolios; an online portfolio, a physical portfolio, and a resume portfolio.
An online portfolio is the most popular option, as it provides a convenient way to showcase your work. You can have as many images and videos as you like, and it allows prospective employers to easily access your work. Additionally, it provides a great way to promote your work and build a client base.
A physical portfolio is a tangible item that prospects or employers can hold in their hands. They tend to have a higher perceived value than online portfolios, since each portfolio is typically handcrafted by the architect. They can also be presented in different formats, such as a ring binder or a flip file.
Finally, a resume portfolio is an extension of your CV and includes more detailed information about your experience, qualifications, and other information. It is the traditional style of submission, and is a great way to stand out from the online crowd.
What Should the Portfolio Contain?
So what should you include in your portfolio? The following is a list of the essential elements of an architecture portfolio:
Projects – Choose a number of projects to display with a variety of scales, types and locations.
Drawings – Come up with a strong selection of different types of drawings to demonstrate your conceptual, visual and technical abilities in CAD software.
Photographs – Print high quality images that convey your design intentions and tell a story about the building or area.
Typography – Use typefaces in a consistent manner that is legible and helps to emphasise the information.
Diagrams – Diagrams are a great way to summarise and explain design intentions.
Descriptive Text – Descriptive text should be used to explain the projects and process of the design thoughtfully and concisely.
How to Present a Portfolio
It is not enough to just have a great portfolio; it needs to be presented in an effective way. Here are some tips on how to present a portfolio:
Order and Structure – The portfolio should have an uncluttered structure; each page or section should have a clear purpose and be easy to navigate.
Layout and Design – The design of the portfolio should be consistent and of an appropriate level of sophistication. Keep the layout simple and clutter-free to ensure all your content is seen to its fullest potential.
Material Quality – Ensure the quality of all materials is high, from the images and illustrations to the paper and printing.
The Benefits of Online Portfolios
If you are looking for a portfolio to share with a wider audience then an online portfolio is the way to go. Here are some of the benefits of online portfolios:
Global Reach – With an online portfolio, you can reach a global audience of potential employers or clients.
Easy to Edit – An online portfolio can be easily edited and reorganised at short notice.
Interactivity – An online portfolio allows you to show your work in a much more interactive way. This can include animations, videos and virtual reality experiences.
Creating an architecture portfolio can take time, effort and money, but it is well worth it in the long run. Make sure to invest in high quality materials, pay attention to detail and present your portfolio clearly and professionally.
What to Include in an Interview Portfolio
When going for an interview or meeting, it is important to have a well-organised portfolio of your work. Here’s what you should include:
A selection of your best work – Choose pieces of work that are relevant to the job you are applying to, or that best showcase your skills.
A professional portfolio box – Invest in a high quality portfolio case that displays your work to its fullest potential and reflects your professionalism.
Up to date resumé – Include your CV and any other relevant documentation, such as awards, accolades and certificates.
Collateral material – Design materials such as printed or electronic brochures or Leaflets that focus on your individual practices.
What to Include in an Online Portfolio
An online portfolio can be a great way for a prospective employer to access your work. Here’s what to include:
Selected projects – Focus on quality rather than quantity. curate the pieces of work your are showcasing carefully.
High quality images – Images should be of a high resolution to ensures the best visual representation of your work.
Video content – Videos provide an alternative way to engage with potential employers and illustrate your skills in the context of a project.
Informative text – Provide textual content that gives further context and information in order to explain the project and design process.
Search Engine Optimization
In addition to the content and design of your portfolio, make sure it is also optimised for search engines. Hypersphere Media have prepared a great guide on how to optimise your portfolio for search engine success.
Ensure you include good keyword-rich descriptions of the projects and use relevant photos and videos. Also, optimising your portfolio for mobile devices is an important consideration, so make sure it is mobile-friendly.
Social media is a powerful tool for architects to share and promote their work, so utilise this tool when displaying your portfolio. Include links to your profiles and portfolio, as well as using hashtags to reach a wide audience.
Facebook is a great platform for architects to promote their work, but try using other platform such as Twitter and Instagram for greater reach and engagement.
Gathering feedback from peers and potential employers on social media can also help you to refine and improve your portfolio, as well as market and promote your work.