April 17, 2007
by: Murrye Bernard Assoc. AIA LEED AP

Event: New Practices New York: 06 Views/06 Positions
Location: Center for Architecture, 04.04.07
Speakers: Matthew Bremer, AIA — Architecture In Formation; Mark Foster Gage — Gage/Clemenceau Architects; Gordon Kipping, AIA — G Tects; Tobias Armborst — Interboro Partners; Amale Andraos — WORK AC; Marianne Hyde — Zakrzewski Hyde Architects
Moderator: William Menking — Founder & Editor, The Architect’s Newspaper & New Practices Showcase Jury Chair
Organizer: AIA NY New Practices Roundtable 2007; The Architect’s Newspaper
Sponsors: Häfele America; MG & Company; Fountainhead Construction; Microsol Resources

Courtesy Center for Architecture

Courtesy Center for Architecture

Much of winning the New Practices New York Showcase competition depended on how successful the submitted portfolio appeared to the judges. “It’s more important how it looks on the page,” explained jury chair William Menking, founder and editor of The Architect’s Newspaper. Some of the portfolios reviewed were “really bad.” So what do jurors look for in a good portfolio?

Firms could submit up to 10 projects, but most submitted fewer. Portfolios had to be in an 8 1/2″ x 11″ format, leaving limited space “to make someone fall in love with you,” said Mark Foster Gage of Gage/Clemenceau. Matthew Bremer, AIA, of Architecture In Formation approached the portfolio design process as a way to “say the most with the least.” Amale Andraos of Work AC looked for outside assistance — she and partner, Dan Wood, AIA, hired a graphic designer to “read” the firm and establish guidelines for their portfolio.

Emerging architects are often confronted with the issue of how to present their work, often choosing to collaborate with others or with a more established firm. Interboro Partners didn’t show any built work. They followed a strategy that “started out with a thesis and then tried to support it,” according to firm principal Tobias Armborst. Marianne Hyde of Zakrzewski Hyde Architects explained that she and her partner/husband, Stas Zwkrzewski, used a timeline at the beginning of their portfolio to clarify their professional careers.

The New Practices New York competition provides a forum and resource for recently established architecture firms. An exhibition was held at the Center for Architecture in March 2006, and each firm creates an installation at the Hafele Showroom. The next installation in May will be constructed by Work AC, and a discussion with the firm’s partners will occur at the Häfele Showroom May 10. Click the link for more information.

Murrye Bernard, Assoc. AIA, is a designer with TEK Architects in New York City and Director of AssociateNews, the national quarterly publication of AIA’s National Associates Committee.


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