A portfolio is a record of your projects, and aims to tell the story of a body of work and represent your architectural ideas. It may include:
• concept sketches
• orthographic drawings (such as plans, sections and
• measured drawings
• abstract images
• photographs of physical models
• CAD images
Before compiling a portfolio, it is important to think about your intended audience and their requirements. You can select and adapt different pieces of work in order to suit different purposes.
The size of your portfolio will be determined by your chosen layout and your intended audience. Traditionally, physical portfolios are produced in an A1 format, however if you are doing a smaller presentation then A3 can be used.
It is important to ensure that you present your information clearly, and carefully plan and edit the content. This is especially crucial if the portfolio cannot include any supporting material.
Tips for preparing a portfolio
- Plan and organise your content using a layout technique such as storyboarding (see image above).
- Treat your portfolio like a book or magazine, and don't be afraid to use double-page spreads (where two sheets read together as one).
- Just like a book, your portfolio should have a clear beginning, middle and end.
- Don't make your viewer move in order to read your work.
Electronic or e-portfolios are made using software such as Microsoft PowerPoint and are saved onto a CD or memory stick. Web portfolios are displayed using the internet.
It’s important to consider how your portfolio will be displayed. You’ll need to adjust the quality, resolution and size of the images depending on whether they are to be viewed on a screen or projected at a much larger size.
You can enhance and edit images of physical models using a programme such as Adobe Photoshop or Apple Lightroom. You’ll need to save CAD drawings as a format that can be viewed without the original design software, such as jpeg.
Examples of electronic portfolios
Source: Farrelly, Lorraine. The Fundamentals of Architecture. 2nd ed. AVA Publishing SA, 2012