Richard Meier and Partners Architects Hosts Second Portfolio Development Day
During the fall semester, B.Arch. students studying at AAP NYC had the opportunity to receive personalized critiques on their portfolios from experienced practitioners. Fourth- and fifth-year architecture students met with architects from several firms during the second AAP Connect Portfolio Development Day, held this year at Richard Meier and Partners Architects in New York City.
The daylong event combined presentations, networking, and individual portfolio reviews to help the students prepare for their upcoming job search. The day began with a presentation by Vivian Lee, a partner with Richard Meier and Partners, titled "Portfolios: Best Practices and Do's and Don'ts."
"[Vivian] Lee's presentation gave us specific examples of what a good portfolio is versus one that isn't as effective," says Xi Yu (B.Arch. '18). "We learned how important the portfolio's layout can be in conveying a project clearly."
The presentation was followed by a Q&A session, lunch and networking time, and then individual one-on-one critiques with a group of AAP alumni and other practicing architects in New York City.
"Being around Cornell alumni made conversation easy and enjoyable," says Anna Orlando (B.Arch. '17). "Not having to worry about formal interview standards and expectations made the focus on our work extremely constructive in a more relaxed setting."
"I was impressed with how eager and ambitious the students were," says Katie Donahue (M.Arch. '15), an associate at Handel Architects. "For many of them, this was the first time they had ever done a portfolio review and their work and ideas were very compelling. Handel Architects is always looking for talented graduates and the fresh and energetic perspectives they bring — and there was no shortage of that at this event."
"At Cornell, your design work feels as much a part of your life as eating, breathing, and sleeping," adds Joseph DeSense (B.Arch. '09), senior designer at Richard Meier and Partners Architects. "It can be very difficult to present it to a person without that intimate knowledge and understanding of it. The ability to do so is not only a part of a successful design presentation but part of a successful portfolio as well. I hope that the individual reviews we had with the students gave them an opportunity to step back from their work for a moment and approach it as an outsider, much like an interviewer would."
The practicing architects who participated in the event included Gustavo Rodriguez from FXFOWLE; Erica Cho (B.Arch. '15) from Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates; John Lura (M.Arch. '11) from MdeAS Architects; Natalie Pierro (B.Arch. '09) and Jeffrey Lu (B.Arch. '14) from RAMSA; Donahue; Stephen Moser (B.Arch. '81) from Moser Architects; Dario Brito, Keith Binnie, and Stephanie Zhao (M.Arch. '14) from Perkins Eastman; and DeSense, Lee, and Will Smith (M.Arch. '12) from Richard Meier and Partners Architects.
By Rebecca Bowes