October 29, 2011

Guidelines for a portfolio

As promised - short guidelines for making a portfolio.

I’ll keep it really short since tonight is the most interesting FestU out of them all - the Halloween party! And I do look like a zombie at the moment, since I’ve spent the whole day in front of the computer (finishing my portfolio).

A good architecture portfolio can take you places. Seriously, like getting me to Sweden and Chalmers. It wasn’t grades for sure, though I guess recommendation letters had to do something with the admitting process as well.

First thing to remember - sending a portfolio for a school is not the same as sending it for a job. Companies usually want to see just a sample portfolio, a teaser so to speak and if they like it, you will be called for an interview. Then you can produce a big hard copy portfolio with all the projects you ever worked on (if you want).
A university portfolio is different. Usually you have not only the file size limitation, but they also limit you to a number of projects. The year I applied to Chalmers, it was a maximum 4 projects in a file of 2mb.

Some guidelines:
- put only the projects that you know are good. In a case of a small number of projects, there is no room for something less than perfect. If it’s a bigger portfolio, start and finish with a great project and put less good stuff in between. I had only 3 projects, one per year of Bachelor studies.
- if you are a creative person that shows potential in drawing, painting, sculpting, photography - think of putting products of that work instead of one project. Just name it “hobbies” or something like that. It’s good to show variety. Also, think about putting links to a website you have, if it will help showing your personality more.
- think of a common layout. Some people combine all the posters they already did for exam presentations into one file. I tend to like it more if there is a visual theme that connects the works inside a portfolio. Try to create a template you can fill as time goes by. Even if you wish to use done posters, have the same headings for them, or any similarity that will show it comes from one portfolio.
- also, try not to write too much. Having a short paragraph or two is enough. Nobody has time to read all the text anyway.
- always write if the project is done individually or in a group!
- if you are building the portfolio from the scratch, remember that you don’t need all 4 elevations or both sections. One drawing (the one you think is the best) is enough. Goal of the portfolio is to show diversity in your opus and your capabilities, so having a number of same drawings doesn’t mean anything.
- if it’s a digital copy, think what dimensions will look good on a screen. Also, think both about the size of the file and the quality of pictures/drawings. You don’t want them to see just a smudge of your work when they look at it full-screen.

I sincerely hope this will make it a little bit easier, for all of you thinking about applying to Architecture at Chalmers. Feel free to ask any more questions regarding application for the Master programme. I’ve been there and I know how confusing it may seem. Trust me, once you get the hang of it, it’s a piece of cake.

Happy Halloween,
zombified Evie

October 22, 2011

Thank you Kick Off - Göteborgs Opera

I probably shouldn’t be writing this since I haven’t slept since 7am on Thursday and I’ll make a bunch of mistakes and typos. Student’s life, what else can I say. Everybody who studies architecture knows how we get day or two before the presentation. I am no exception. Also on this point, I was asked by many people what is needed when applying for a Master of Architecture at Chalmers. I promise to talk about this sometime soon.
Today I had a treat after the exam - a night at Gothenburg's Opera. We watched for free a modern dance performance thanks to the Goteborgs Student KickOff (http://event.goteborg.com/student/valkommen) coupons. Thanks thanks thanks! A lot!

I am always amazed by the level of work I’ve seen put into Swedish production of plays. And by these I mean operas, dancing, acting… Everything is driven to the perfection and music, light, scenography - they all relate incredibly.

What I’ve seen tonight was just one in the row of amazing performances done in Göteborg.

“Three different styles join in harmony when the choreographers and their works come together with the Göteborg Ballet ensemble. For the first dance première of the season one Italian and two Scandinavian choreographers have worked together with three composers to create a triple bill full of movement, energy and music composed especially for this production.”

Without any doubt, my favorite (and judging by the amount of screams and applause, audience’s as well) was a work of Susanna Leinonen - Transient Horizon. Second best goes to a Swedish choreographer Helena Franzen and her new work Fading. Third act by Italian artistic director Roberto Zappala got me confused. I didn’t really enjoy it and I had this feeling one of the dancers was extremely unsure in her performance. But what do I know about that? You can watch scenes from all 3 dances on Vimeo http://vimeo.com/30675248

What I do know is how much more I like modern ballet to the classical one. I believe it glorifies the body so much more, both in perfection and imperfection of it. And also, you can dream while watching it and create a unique story that relates only to you and only in that point of your life. I have no idea what the three different works from tonight represented, but in my mind each had a story.

If you wish to read more: http://en.opera.se/forestallningar/leinonen-franzen-zappala-2011-2012/
Pictures are taken by Mats Bäcker. Video is uploaded and belongs to Göteborgs Opera. Quoted text from the Opera’s site.

October 18, 2011

IKEA and Erasmus

Actually, the full title is How to fight P.E.D syndrome with shopping at IKEA.
There is this thing some students call “post Erasmus depression - P.E.D”.

Basically it means that once you return back to normal life after a half (or more) year of partying, meeting new people, enjoying life to the fullest you tend to get depressed… If you are interested in hearing more about it, go to this guy and watch some of the videos http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCsbo8j_HDI
Unfortunately, even though I am not an Erasmus student, I tend to get this syndrome from time to time. It happens around the holidays when I remember all the adventures with people that went back home. And then we try to meet in a city we’ve never been to before, celebrate Christmas or the New Year and tell anecdotes about the time spent together in Sweden. These days, I am in the middle of such planning and it is so complicated!!!

But there is one other thing you can do if you ever find yourself in P.E.D position.

Have you heard of IKEA? The world's largest furniture retailer that was founded by a mere 17 year old boy called Ingvar Kamprad. It is this wonderland of furniture, textiles, decorations, toys, food and much more. It has a very unique type of architecture designed to make you shop till you drop - quite literally. We are all dreading the visit to this monument of empty wallets and still we all run there whenever we can. I don’t know a single person that managed to just get in, buy what they need and get out. No, no, you will end up with at least a couple of candles, new bed sheets, some cute pillows and a plant (preferably plastic one since we all know about students’ nurturing abilities). I could get deeper into the architecture that makes you consume more than needed, but it’s not the reason why I mentioned IKEA.

Reason behind it is that this unique design is applied to every IKEA shop in the world!

No matter where you find yourself there is one thing that will always look the same - the layout plan of an IKEA store. That is why some post Erasmus students go to IKEA frequently. Inside it feels like you never left Sweden. Everything is familiar, just where you remember it was and only thing that changed is restaurant menu.

So, if you have some of the P.E.D syndromes - find the nearest IKEA store and go over there!
Or you can try an opposite approach. If you are planning to come and study in Sweden, go to the IKEA in your home town and remember how it looks. Whenever you feel homesick, you can just enter the store again and it will be like you never left home.
And now I’m off to bed and the newest floral IKEA bedding I had no need for.

October 12, 2011

Workshop with Gun Lund

One more week and the course I am enrolled to at the moment - Design Tools and Communication - is over. It’s been a journey this one month of working from 9 till 9 everyday (some people even worked during weekend, but I wasn’t prepared to give up those two short days of relaxation). But this week it was also fun! We had a workshop with a Swedish choreographer Gun Lund.

She is one of the pioneers of contemporary dance in Sweden and she is also an alumnus of Chalmers. She received her Master degree in Art and Technology at our lovely University. In 2005 she was awarded the Dance Prize of Swedish Theatre Critics (according to Wikipedia).

What we did with her was a research of Drottningstorget (Central station tram stop) flows of people and the spatiality of the space. Around 15 of use went to the location, got dressed in blue and green raincoats and walked around the place. Then we danced a simple choreography she taught us. The place I was even had music to dance to - three older guys with accordions and some other instruments I don’t know. They even played a Serbian song.

And people stopped to look at us and take videos, though it was raining. I just hope somebody will post it on youtube so I can see myself looking funny!

Here are some of the pictures from E=mc2 Dance in 2004, one of Gun’s works.

Fotograf: Robert Nilsson

October 6, 2011

Autumn, it is official

There I was, in my summer-ish dress, over knee boots and a leather jacket, waiting for a bus home. On my shoulder a huge IKEA bag with pillows and bunch of other unnecessary stuff (shopping at IKEA is my next subject, I swear). One minute I was standing and enjoying a light breeze of fresh air, next minute a drop of water fell on my hand, next second whole lot of drops soaked me and my new pillows!
There it is - Swedish/Gothenburg weather - completely unpredictable.
I am officially declaring autumn from today on. My wardrobe and I were fighting against it, but not anymore. It’s officially time to put on raincoats, umbrellas and gummistövlar (or as known in some other countries - fishermen’s boots). On the other hand, light is amazing and perfect for picture taking.

my two favorites, above and bellow

So, enjoy the weather lovely folks,

p.s. you can always find my pictures on http://charlesbaggins.tumblr.com/ since this blog changes the size of files and they look really strange (at least to me)

October 1, 2011

Liseberg Adventure

Liseberg is free on 1st and 2nd of October thanks to Göteborgs Students - all you need is a coupon handed to you by University you are studying at. We went today and the day was amazing! At the beginning we were afraid that the weather won't be that good and unfortunately AtmosFEAR was closed, but still... I'll let pictures talk :)

The closest I got to the closed ride.

Lovely people working at the Park.

The last picture is an introduction to the next post - Autumn in Sweden - the colors.
I hope you enjoyed the pictures,