Students across all disciplines have been heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. For many, the school experience has been shifted entirely online, while the social component of education — which plays an equal if not greater role as the curriculum itself — has been stripped away. This means that resources integral to learning and well-being are not nearly as accessible as they once were. Architecture students, in particular, face a difficult situation, being in a discipline that requires constant collaboration, feedback and the use of physical materials.
One of the most important ways for architecture students and recent graduates to secure job opportunities is through sharing their work. The coronavirus has made this process and the ability to create new work more challenging. However, the internet offers a lot of helpful resources perfect for this current predicament. Below are six ways architecture students and professionals can showcase their work online and make an impact, in spite of the pandemic:
1. Build an Online Portfolio
For students and recent graduates, it’s incredibly important to have a strong portfolio that showcases a diverse range of skill sets. Now that practically all activities have been moved online, having an online portfolio that can be easily accessed and distributed is imperative. One of the biggest perks to having an online portfolio is the ability to establish and grow your reputation without any in-person interaction. There are many options, both free and paid, for creating an online portfolio.
2. Display Your Work on Community Platforms
Similar to regular portfolio sites, numerous online platforms allow users to easily create profiles and publish their work. The difference here is the social element — you can tap into their existing communities to network and share projects, as well as staying connected and up to date with the industry. Popular sites such as Behance offer a range of options for designers looking to grab the spotlight and showcase their work.
3. Create a Gorgeous Website
If the templates offered by the above platforms don’t offer enugh customization for you, consider building a personal website from scratch. Websites allow one to add a more personal touch to their portfolio, and offer the ability to showcase a more comprehensive assemblage of their creative work. A knowledge of coding is not a necessity for creating a unique website — platforms such as WordPress and Squarespace offer easily customizable paid options.
4. Experiment With VR
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more architects have turned towards virtual reality for both working and socializing. In recent years, virtual reality technology has played an increasingly large role in design industries. As reported by Dezeen, design studio, Space Popular, recently launched a series of virtual reality environments including the AA Earth Gallery, a virtual showcase for the Architectural Association school.
Applications, such as Unreal Engine’s Twinmotion and Enscape, are great real-time 3D immersion software. They produce high-quality images, panoramas and standard 360º virtual reality videos in seconds. They allow users to easily transform their BIM or CAD models compelling, lifelike experiences.
5. Enter Ideas Competitions
A great way to showcase your abilities is through online architecture and design-related competitions. Architizer’s One Drawing Challenge, One Rendering Challenge and One Photo Challenge all offer entrants an opportunity to create and display original work for the chance to win a variety of rewards, including prize money, industry-leading tools and materials, and global recognition. Competitions like these offer a level of exposure far greater than any standalone portfolio, as well as providing winners with the most amazing accolade for their resumé!
6. Move Your Work to the Cloud
One of the biggest challenges of working from home has been the workflow adjustment. Architects and architecture students alike rely on relatively complex tools, such as workstations and rendering software, which are easier to manage in a studio setting. That said, the big players in software now offer a variety of ways for designers to move their work to the cloud and continue creating from anywhere. Some of the most popular cloud-based services are provided by Autodesk BIM 360 and Graphisoft BIMcloud, enabling real-time, secure collaboration between architects.
There are also companies like Morpholio, whose Trace and Board apps allow designers to sketch, design and present proposals for each other and clients. Finally, popular platforms such as Dropbox and Google Drive allow users to freely store and share information.