What to put in my Architecture portfolio (to get into college)

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What to put in my Architecture portfolio (to get into college)

Postby Briain » Wed Oct 19, 2005 8:01 pm

I'v finished the tecnichal side to show off my drawing skills, but I'm really stumped on what to do for the creativity/3d side of things. I have a few ideas for buildings or something, but I just don't have a clue what to make them out of. I bought a load of lollipop sticks with the intention of building a simple howe truss bridge, but quickly realised that wouldn't work. I made an Irish cottage out of small clay bricks and have to put a thatched roof on it, and I was thinking of making something similiar to Calatrava's proposed Fordham tower in Chicago, where each floor is rotated x degrees from the one below.

There are basically two things I'm interested in at the moment; patterns and movement in building/nature/art. I've been drawing a photo of a girl with pigtails, the pattern of the hair is really interesting to me, and the movement of the human body, twisting and turning, is why I'm interested in the Fordham tower.

I'm developing a base of knowledge for the interview I'll have, getting to know various architects and some of the work around Dublin. I'll be applying to UL & DIT, my first choice is UCD, but I'm still fully going for the portfolio requirement needed in UL & DIT.

If anyone here did a portfolio to get into college, could you please help me out with what to put in it? I'm quite lost at the moment

Thanks for reading
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Re: What to put in my Architecture portfolio (to get into college)

Postby rira » Fri Oct 21, 2005 11:47 pm

hey,
well on first reading you seem very confident on the technical side of things but going on DIT (having no experience of UL) I would say that that is of lesser importance than creativity - it's not uncommon to have NO technical stuff in a portfolio

doing anything is a good place to start - that way you'll have plenty to choose from and even little scribbles can go into a sketchbook (which they really like to see plenty of by the way)
they say that you're work has to be recent but some of mine came from my junior cert and noone remarked in any interview about it (you know the whole stamping everything gives it away!)
finally if you are really clueless try a portfolio preparation course in PLC colleges or I did a good one in the Crawford in Cork at the weekend (I'm sure other colleges do them too)

not everything in you're portfolio has to relate to architecture (in fact none of mine did besides some photos - they really helped and kinda allowed me to control what they asked me about and it only took a couple of hours around town in the morning)

also don't underestimate the importance of passing the suitability test for DIT, failing doesn't mean that you won't make a good architect but as DIT is a backup it's important to have it in the bag - writing out a personal statement a la UCAS is a good idea and try some pattern related IQ tests - it'll help you to concentrate on the day! equally really consider applying to UCAS for British schools - it takes a lot of pressure off knowing that worst case you can still do it in X who gave a really good
offer!
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Re: What to put in my Architecture portfolio (to get into college)

Postby Bren88 » Thu Nov 17, 2005 2:42 am

rira wrote:also don't underestimate the importance of passing the suitability test for DIT, failing doesn't mean that you won't make a good architect but as DIT is a backup it's important to have it in the bag - writing out a personal statement a la UCAS is a good idea and try some pattern related IQ tests -



That small segment above is possibly the best advice you could get. The portofolio is a important, but the test is more so, as is the way you act in the interview. When I did the test two years ago it was combined for both the degree in Architecture, and the degree in Architectural Technology *.
The test is the same format every year, The first section is a series of picture sequences, nine is each I think, and involves spotting various patterns of increasing difficulty. The scond section is a general write about yourself.
When I did it I messed up the writing section, it didnt suit me at all. And I ended up getting two points too little to pass the test. If I had of passed I would of only needed 10% in the interview to pass, which is practically a certainty.
But, in hindsight, i am happier in the Technology Course, I am far more suited to the projects and elements of the course. Working closely with the Architecture course you very quickly decide if you are happy were you are.

The portfolio is important, but what I am trying to say is if you dont make the grade in the test, you cannot get into the course, even with 600 LC points. There is no minimum interview/portfolio mark. If your LC is strong enough an average interview will get you through. The interview doesn't decide if you get into the course, just how good a LC you need to get. The test is the only one hat can prevent you.

*note: DIT have this year decided to remove the test element of accessment for the degree in Architecural Technology. It was found that the interview gave a much better reflection of applicants. But at this stage the Architectural program still contains both the test and interview.
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Re: What to put in my Architecture portfolio (to get into college)

Postby rag » Thu Nov 17, 2005 8:53 pm

Well Briain, best of luck to you, I was in the same boat as you last year, so I know what you're going through. Yeah, just adding to whats been said already, you won't get to show off your portfolio to DIT without passing their test. Personally I don't like that method of assessing people, but its the system thats there, so the best you can do is prepare as best as you can. I had prepared a portfolio, but didn't pass the test, so I never had the chance to show off my true potential to dit. I'd reccommend reading the 'how to get into dit' page on this forum for more info on the matter. Fortunetly, my portfolio assisted me with my applaction to uk courses.

As regard to what to put in your portfolio, you sound like you're off to a good start. I'd say the creative side of things is probably more important than the technical. Also, like rira said, non architecture material can look good too. I had a series of black and white pictures of a bicycle frame in part of mine, for example.

I'd be wary of any advice you get in school, I quick found that in my school that I knew far more than the people who were meant to know stuff on the matter like career guidence people and art teachers. I also found that their advice could be counter-productive. Thats not to say that they weren't unhelpful, perhaps its necessary to take some things with a pinch of salt.

Lets not forget points now. In Ireland they can bring you a long way, like ucd, for example. If its what you really want to do, don't limit your horizons to ireland. I'm now studying architecture in Liverpool, where on my course there are almost the same number of places as dit, ucd and ul combined. It just shows the scale of whats available across the water.

Best of luck anyway!
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