Thursday, July 23, 2015

Preparing an architectural portfolio – Review & Critique by Ar.Sujith.G.S

Presenting all aspiring young architects and student architects with a unique opportunity to get your portfolios reviewed by a practising architect!

 I cannot stress the importance of a good professional portfolio in today's highly competitive architectural field. Be it for getting internships in offices or for landing that first job, your portfolio is your one and only tool!

There are so many people out there that it is important to differentiate yourself, to get that cutting edge. And, from the innumerable portfolios that I receive, it is evident that often most students or young architects are not clear enough on how to prepare a good architectural portfolio. A lot of people think that splashing a lot of graphics and renderings will land you that job opportunity or that coveted internship position. However, a portfolio is much more than that.

So here is a great opportunity to get advice from a practicing architect on preparing a great architectural portfolio, to get useful feedback and review of your portfolio prior to sending it out to various architectural offices. Find out what architect's really look for in any portfolio. Once you sign up and submit your portfolio, you'll get a direct critique of your architectural portfolio and advice on how to improve it by directly interacting with Ar.Sujith.G.S. You'll get an architect’s perspective with suggestions on how to make your portfolio better!

Send in your details to to sign up and get more details!

Ar.Sujith.G.S Profile -

SUJITH.G.S is an Indian born architect who is passionate about design, writing, blogging and architectural photography. He began his professional journey as an architect in Larsen & Toubro where he worked for five years on a wide range of projects. Subsequently, he joined Stapati, where he has been working as a senior architect, handling some of the large-scale projects in the firm. He is a regular contributor to various architectural publications and has been a guest jury member for several architecture schools in India. He shares his perspectives on architecture and design through his blog, Architecture Students Corner.

A Sample page from the booklet 'Preparing an architectural portfolio - Dos and dont's'

WAF announces Festival Theme for 2015

50/50 – looking back, looking forward

This year the WAF seminar and keynote programme is inspired by Singapore's 50th anniversary as an independent country which it is celebrating in 2015. We are taking this opportunity to think globally about how architecture and urbanism have changed during that period, how predictions have been fulfilled or denied, and how we think conditions may change or stay the same over the 50 years to come.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The Bangalore workshop 2015

There is this very interesting workshop which is going to be held in Bangalore. Here is a brief synopsis as elucidated by Ar.Bijoy Ramachandran - 

'The Vimal Jain Foundation and the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore are organising a 5 day workshop from August 11th to 15th, 2015.

The workshop is being conducted by Richard Leplastrier and Peter Stutchbury, both accomplished teachers, practitioners and Australian Institute of Architects Gold Medal recipients. Both of them have also been involved in the Glenn Murcutt MasterClass ( since its inception in 2000. Dr. B.V. Doshi will join the Workshop on the last two days for the final reviews and public lectures.

For the 2015 workshop, participants will be invited to study the edges of the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore and suggest ways in which to negotiate the chaotic urban environment on the street with the serene quality of the campus. The aim is to attempt a bridge both physically (through architectural and programmatic ideas) and metaphorically between these two contrasting conditions. Though known internationally as a premier academic institution, IIMB is isolated from its immediate context and offers no opportunity for a dialogue. It is the hope that through the workshop one begins to find a way to have the Institute engage with the city and vice versa. This also offers a real opportunity to address the challenges posed by rapid urbanization and commercialism - how these edges are treated will hopefully offer clues for how ‘quality’ and public space could find its way back into our streetscapes.

The workshop is open to students and practitioners.
Application forms and portfolios are due on the 17th of July (email to

Richard is the genuine article - a sage of our time. If not the workshop you must try and come for the lectures on the 16th.'

Monday, July 13, 2015

Preparing an architecture portfolio - Dos and don't's - by Sujith.G.S

 As a practicing architect, I come across a relatively large number of portfolios for internship in our office, as well as those applying for job opportunities. Most of these portfolios are pretty average and poorly crafted, even though the quality of design is pretty good. That either means that a) students do not pay enough attention, or b) students do not have a good idea of how to prepare a good portfolio. It is in this context that I thought Id share some points to help students with their architecture portfolio preparation

A portfolio should reflect the architectural and aesthetic sensibilities of the student. It is a great way of communicating what you believe in, in highlighting your strengths and skills. That being said, an architectural portfolio is a professional document and one must make every effort to keep it as professional as possible, while highlighting your creative side.

Keep your portfolio neat and simple.  I can't stress that enough. Most of the designers appreciate portfolios that are clean, which can clearly communicate your design and creative works. You can always take inspiration from the simple clear design aesthetics of Apple. It was Steve Job's single minded pursuit for perfection which has thrown out all the unnecessary frills and helped evolved some of the most beautiful gadgets.  An architectural portfolio should also be similar. The idea is not to create an overloaded graphical presentation, but one which would highlight your design work and would communicate it in a clear legible manner.

Today there is a plethora of presentation and graphical softwares which can create awe inspiring images. But keep in mind that ultimately it is not the fancy graphics that will have to be the highlight of your architecture portfolio. Graphics are just a tool to convey your mastery of the relevant softwares and also your presentation skill. But always keep in mind that it is always a design portfolio and that design must take precedent.

Please avoid unnecessary personal details and 'cool' personal photographs. If you must add your picture, please keep it relatively straightforward.

Most of the portfolios that I get include ‘photography’ as one of the skill sets. Today, with the plethora of good quality cameras and editing softwares, almost everyone is an amateur or semi-professional photographer. Thus unless you really are passionate about photography and have got some good photographs, it is always best to avoid adding random clicks as your photography work.

As an architect, one is expected to be able to communicate your ideas through sketches and drawings. It is a skill that most of the architects look for in students. That being said, not everyone can effectively communicate through good sketches. If sketching is not your cup of tea, I would advise that you do not forcefully include poor sketches just for the sake of adding it, but highlight other skill sets like graphic abilities. Always try to include as much hand drawn content as possible in your portfolio and while doing so, ensures that the sketches are scanned properly in good resolution (300 dpi always) and that the lines are clear.

Pay attention to your fonts and text. Today, there are plenty of fonts which can be used to create eye catching content in your portfolio. Create a hierarchy of fonts and font sizes to be used in your architectural portfolio and maintain the same throughout.

Be extremely careful in all the content that you include. All the text must be checked for grammatical mistakes. Always, and I mean always, use spell-check on all your content in your portfolio. It is not at all acceptable to have basic spelling mistakes in your portfolio. It would mean that you are not professional enough in your work.

Writing quality content is again another challenge for any architectural student. Add only that text which you feel is absolutely essential. Pay more importance to images. Avoid giving too elaborate write-ups explaining your designs and ideas. Most of the architects are not going to ever read through the whole text. So, keep your writing to the minimum and let your drawings do the talking. And always ensure that only relevant and grammatically correct content is included. If on the other hand you are good at writing, let it come through in minimal sentences which would capture the essence of your design.

Finally, don't be afraid of white spaces! You do not need to crowd your whole layout, cramming tons of stuff in it. Make white spaces work in your favour by their judicious use. However, this has to be handled carefully, as too much white can lead to a blank look. So use your aesthetic sense and decide the optimum amount of content vs white space.

A few examples of interesting portfolios -

This is a  good example of a well crafted portfolio. Most of the points mentioned above are reflected in this one


A sample page from the booklet!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Charles Correa, rest in peace!

If you can keep your head when all about you 
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you, 
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too; 
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!
- 'If' by Rudyard Kipling

Charles Mark Correa, one of India's greatest sons has passed away. Correa was one of the master's of modern post-independence Indian architecture, creating works which exuded a very unique Indian aesthetic, which were unabashedly contemporary, but which were always rooted in their context. 'Critical Regionalism' can best be used to describe his works. Correa has inspired a few generations of Indian architects through his body of work. He was one of the thought leaders who defined the direction of architecture after the turbulent years of the Independence struggle, deriving a uniquely Indian concept of space. He was someone who did away with heavy theoretical and conceptual postulating but someone who explained his designs in simple terms as ideas which ordinary people could directly relate with. His body of work stands testament to the timelessness inherent in his designs. It is indeed a deep loss for our architectural fraternity. 

Rest in peace sir. Your works continue to inspire us and will continue to do so for countless generation of young architects!

Learn more about Charles Correa, India's greatest architect here

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Artwork in Calicut Railway Station

By Sujith.G.S

Came across this beautiful work done by a couple of artists from Sargalaya with the waste / thrown materials form the station, referencing it directly to the 'Swachh Bharat Abhiyan' Feel that it is important that all of us do our part in creating beautiful and clean spaces. It is also very important that we teach our children the common sense not to litter in any place so that cleanliness becomes a way of life

The Bali Bible for Architects - Warisan


Stumbled on this very interesting and vibrant courtyard inside the Warisan. Warisan is a shop cum display of beautiful furnitures and antiques, which are tastefully spread-out in a sprawling sloping roof building. it is the central courtyard which draws one in - a wonderful open air dining space which is enlivened by the flickering shadows of the beautiful frangipani trees in the corners. There are tables arranged in the shaded verandahs with their deep eaves, which forms a layer all around the courtyard.Rustic flooring, simple elegant furnitures, dark wooden battens and partitions, lush landscaping, all combine together to create a unique space which becomes all the more active as the day winds to a close! Do check it out for a beautiful experience.

Check out 'Bali by Design' on Flipkart for some inspiring architecture designs from Bali!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The Bali Bible for Architects - Alila Uluwatu


The Alila property in Uluwatu is one of the definitive designs in the field of hospitality architecture. Designed by WOHA, the uniqueness of the design evolves from the conceptual gesture of merging all the built interventions into the existing landscape. Thus, spaces seamlessly blend into the surroundings, which are further aided by the luxurious landscaping.

The sloping topography of the site is resolved into a series of levels around which various spaces are organized. A design language which stresses on the rusticity of materials, especially those on the exterior, contrasts beautifully with the sleek finishes inside. The gradual weathering of the materials, especially the exposed ironwood, further helps it to merge seamlessly into the surrounding landscape. Explore more of Bali here

The public areas are defined by a series of covered flat roofed spaces, which are interspersed with water bodies and greenery, inviting one to move out into the exteriors. Each individual villa is again meticulously planned – arriving at a beautifully minimalist and clean layout, which is made vibrant by bringing in the landscaping to the interiors. A small lush open to sky courtyard defines the head of the bed, creating a feeling of sleeping amidst greenery. The ample day bed in the front further opens out directly into the pristine pool, which extends out to the open cabana on the edge. All of these are then tied together by the luxuriant all prevalent green and beautiful black lava stones

Alila Uluwatu is one property that should be in all architect’s bucket list, to really experience the power of great design and of course, to take back tons of inspiration!

Get 'Bali Living : 'Innovative Tropical Design' to learn more on Bali Architecture

The Bali Bible for Architects!

By Sujith.G.S

Bali is an amazing place – amazing for its breath-taking beauty, amazing for the beautiful people, amazing for its vibrant culture and even more amazing for its sensitive architecture. Here, the traditional and the contemporary co-exist in a uniquely symbiotic, mutually respectful relation. Bali boasts some of the best hospitality spaces in the world – amazing resorts and restaurants, which have been designed by the who’s who of the architectural community.

What is truly fascinating about Bali is that there lies a strong sense of aesthetic and design among the people there, which reflects itself in all the build spaces – right from the traditional homes to the high end resorts and more interestingly, to all the common urban spaces, including even intimate shops, street and furniture. This, combined with the luxuriant all pervasive landscaping renders Bali a paradise for the architect! Bali is definitely a must visit for all architects, for the sheer experience of great design, detailing and also to indulge in some of the most vibrant regional craft traditions anywhere in the world.

The Bali Bible for Architects will be a series of posts on the amazing architecture that I have encountered in Bali, which I hope will be an inspiration for all architects and students.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Architect Peter Stutchbury

– by Sujith.G.S

Based on the presentation Peter gave in Thrissur in February 2, 2015.

Was privileged to attend one of his presentations on his works and ideas, a presentation in which he reinforced the importance of understanding the specifics of each site and designing accordingly, instead of a ‘one size fits all’ strategy that is so prevalent in contemporary architecture today. Quite fittingly, the major part of his presentation was about the uniqueness of each topography, each land formation; put in perspective by the landscapes of his native Australia.

He stressed to reinforce his conviction that the natural systems around us hold the key to the propagation of a truly sustainable, sensible and sensitive way of life and of practicing architecture. He exhorted us, practicing architects and students to go beyond superficial issues and address fundamental questions on architecture – those of mood, of place making, of emotions, of spatial quality, of good detailing, of livability – and of timelessness.

His works were a true reflection of his strong convictions and there is an inherent thread of continuity in terms of ideas, across all his projects, though the spatial manifestation varies according to the idiosyncronacies of the specific site. It was truly an inspiring talk, a call for us to step back and evaluate the direction we are heading – for, as Peter very subtly pointed out – we are dead if we blindly follow the West. What we require is a new direction, born out of our own context, one addressing our unique concerns.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Synopsis for Crossroads 2014 on 'Art in Architecture' by Sujith.G.S


 by Sujith.G.S

CROSSROADS is an initiative by the architectural fraternity of Calicut to create a platform for some genuine architectural deliberations, critical thinking and ideation in the field of architecture and urbanism. The conference, in its first edition addressed the dynamics of the public realm through its theme of ‘Public Architecture‘. It was an attempt to revive the importance of public architecture in establishing the social and cultural equity, by actively involving & participating in building the public realm. The event featured talks by keynote speakers, a walk through the historic core of the city, workshops, exhibitions of public projects, competitions and various other activities, which created a platform for some great interaction and some critical architectural discussions.

The theme of the event this year is ‘Art in Architecture’, where we want to address the relevance and necessity of Art in Architecture. Although entwined in a symbiotic relationship, we find that there exists a dichotomy in the way art and architecture is integrated in our spaces today, with the end result being the highly chaotic interventions in our cultural landscapes.  Our cities and built spaces are filled with numerous examples of arguably irrelevant junk which masquerade as art. Further, the duality of design as a functional response to a programmatic requirement and also to notions / questions on higher metaphors needs to be explored in today’s context. No approach is absolute, yet, we find our spaces increasingly being defined by faux notions & symbols of artistic concepts. There are critical questions that we must ask – how deep is the role of art in architecture? How does art reflect and enhance our cultural construct? How can art inspire architecture in the exposition of a positive spatial and social agenda?

The subcontinent provides some excellent examples of integrating the regional craft traditions into the built environments. Presently, these craft traditions are being eschewed in favour of a globalised vocabulary, borrowing heavily from international imagery and graphical creations, without having the conceptual depth to contextualize the designs and to make it more relevant to the regional context. The pertinent question that we need to ask is if at all it is necessary to incorporate these micro-narratives into our spatiality, and if so, what are the social, economical and psychological implications?

Questions on the relevance of new media and digital templates in the architectural discourse need to be further addressed. How do we embrace this explosion of content and arrive at relevant themes? Today, the evolution of architecture is taken forward by newer economical realities and technological innovations. The tools of the trade are becoming increasingly digitized and the traditions of using the hand are being neglected and the cognitive process of design is being redefined. The directness of the hand drawn sketch in evolving and distilling ideas in the design process is being overlooked in favour of other digital media. Is this a positive evolution or is there a need for moderation?

Considering these multiple levels of enquiries, ‘Art in Architecture’ can evolve multi-directional approaches and positions which can help articulate a meaningful and relevant social perspective. Consequently, at this juncture, we feel it would be appropriate to address these new realities, to start a dialogue, to contemplate and to postulate, so that there is a much better understanding and appreciation of this critical agenda.