2 years ago
Admissions Advice

What kind of work should I put into my portfolio?

I am applying for an architecture major. Are there any specific materials I should be submitting to my portfolio?

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2 answers

Accepted Answer
2 years ago[edited]

Great Question! I spoke to an admissions counselor at Otis College of Art and Design and this was their response:

Otis College of Art and Design has an incredible architecture program! They also have a comprehensive overview of portfolio requirements here: https://www.otis.edu/portfolio that may be a helpful guide to you.

Highlights: If a student is interested in studying architecture, their portfolio could include architectural models and/or architectural drawings, but that is not required- What is required from all applicants is a portfolio of 10-20 images total, with at least 3 drawings included. The other work could be paintings, sculptures, videos, sketchbook pages, illustrations, digital media work, fashion designs, etc.

Further, Otis offers virtual 1:1 appointments where you can meet with an admissions counselor, get feedback on your portfolio, ask questions, and go over the application process! You can set up time here: https://admissions.otis.edu/portal/virtual-appointments

Wishing you the best of luck!

2 years ago

My dad's an architect so I asked him.

He said #1 no no is a building design. Do not submit your own building designs because they will shred them apart. It's okay to submit pencil, pen, mixed media, water colors of buildings, interiors of spaces, parks and monuments which showcase your drawing and rendering ability but they don't like it if you assume you know how to design something in high school. I think the caveat to this is if you attend a private school and they have a Architectural design studio class and you are proud of your final project in that class, that would be okay.

As far as the rest of the portfolio, he thought it would be good to submit anything artistic like paintings, graphic design, sculptures, mixed media work, digital graphic designs and even graphic novel boards because they show your ability to tell a story graphically. One aspect of architectural education is the Studio class where you for 5 years have to do "charrettes" (which is French term that means - the intense final effort made by architectural students to complete their solutions to a given architectural problem in an allotted time or the period in which such an effort is made) The presentation part of a Charrette is standing in front of your peers, professors, visiting critics where you present your design on a big wall with story boards. So if you can tell a story with your drawings that connects the dots from A to Z, all the better.

Originally, architectural school was about being able to draw well and produce beautiful hand drawing images. These days with the advent of computer design, being able to digitally render is perhaps more important the your own penmanship and drawing ability. If you can showcase your creativity through a digital representation that it a huge plus because if you don't have innate PC/Mac skills, you are going to struggle the first year trying to learn Sketch up, ReVit and all the other programs like AutoCAD for modelling.

Hope this is helpful.

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