architecture/design studies

Hello all, I am new to this forum and this is my first post. I have some questions, and I was wondering if you could help me out.

Basically, I want to go on to take architecture and/or design, and practice these as a job at a firm. I am a first-year at the University of Toronto, and I’m working on my second semester. The plan was for me to take the undergraduate architecture option here, but unfortunately I missed the cutoff by 2% (very frustrating). I am not worried so much about taking undergraduate architecture, since what I need to practice arc is a grad degree. So I was planning on taking arc at the graduate level and doing Film and Art History at the undergrad (practical art courses at the UofT are awful, apparently).

What worries me about all this is that I am not a seasoned artist, and thus I have no portfolio, so to speak. I have moderate skill in Photoshop, and I’ve been told my photography is above average, but aside from that I’m pretty much on my own. I am awful at drawing (and always have been, practice hasn’t helped much), and I can’t use CAD or 3D Studio Max to save my life.

Basically, what I’m wondering is, how would I go about starting to prepare a portfolio over the next three years? The way I figure, the sooner I start, the better the finished product will be, right?

actually you don’t need a Master’s to design buildings at all. that degree is only for their licence.
It’s the civil engineer’s stamp that gets a building built - only 8/9% of buildings use architects.
Why wait 3 more years to study what you love? Do you see yourself as a film-maker someday?

Move. transfer out.

I would like to study at the graduate level as well and get accreditation… as far as I know, the Architecture Board or whatever its called for north america only licenses those who have a professional (or graduate) degree.

And the reason why I haven’t transferred out is that the colleges which I would ideally like to study in (such as, say, Pratt) require portfolios, something which I don’t have. I wouldn’t say that I’m not artistic (I play music, love photography and can manipulate photoshop and illustrator decently), just that I’ve never really had that sort of drawing, painting, artistic-based upbringing.

I think another reason why I’m into Arc/ID is because of my mother, who is a very successful industrial designer herself.

But the bottom line is I don’t have a portfolio, and that really hurts my chances when applying to transfer schools, no?

So how do you see a film degree helping you get your portfolio ready for an architecture program?

another thing to consider in the world of architecture, if your undergrad is not in architecture or environmental design, the professional master-degree programs are normally 3 -4 years, If your under grad is in the related field your only looking at 1-2 years.

you are correct, if you want to be a licensed architect in the US, you need a professional degree.

If you are interested in architecture you may want to check out

I realize Film and Art History doesn’t get me closer to building a portfolio, but the problem is that the University of Toronto doesn’t offer any real hands-on, portfolio-building courses. They do offer Visual Arts, but its a very poor course since OCAD, the Ontario College of Art & Design is right down the street, and it is much, much better.

I am really, honestly stumped. The way I see it is I have two options:

  1. Transfer out, take some form of architecture/design course at a more design-heavy uni. Problem with this is I have no portfolio, so I would need one to apply. Problem with that is there are no decent hands-on art courses at U of T, so building a portfolio would be tough.

  2. Stay the course, take what I am taking right now and somehow create a portfolio. It would take me longer to get into an architecture grad school.

So yeah. I am seriously considering transferring out once my first or second year is over, but I need a portfolio I can show the design-prone universities I apply to.

realize you wont transfer into architecture as a sophomore but as a freshman - you’ll be required to take the full foundations year curricuulum. you will only need an admissable portfolio. but you’ll need is asap for this fall admissions deadlines.

go for it and stop taking film classes now.

I second what no_spec said. Your applying to an architecture program, they don’t expect you to have a killer architecture portfolio. I would advise meeting with an admissions counselor at a few different schools to better understand what they are looking for, and what you really need.

Feel free to PM me if you have specific questions