On June 4th, 2021, the New York City Department of Design and Construction’s Community Partnerships and STEAM Initiatives partnered with ACE Mentor student Md Hoque to host a virtual Portfolio Building Workshop with Stuyvesant High School faculty and DDC STEAM and professional staff.
Md Hoque, a senior at Stuyvesant High, will be attending Syracuse University in the Fall to pursue a degree in Architecture. Since 2019, Mr. Hoque has been an active participant in the ACE Mentor Program and has made significant contributions to TEAM 8. Mr. Hoque is also President and Founder of the Architecture Club at Stuyvesant High School. The club was created to provide much needed mentoring and support to students. Mr. Hoque noticed early on that there was a need for an accessible and affordable portfolio building workshop. A portfolio is essential for students interested in pursuing careers in art or architecture. Mr. Hoque and fellow classmate Kelly Guo conceived the Portfolio Building Workshop to provide classmates with an opportunity to develop portfolio submissions for their college applications. Students also received guidance from Stuyvesant teachers William Wrigley and Arthur Griffith, and special guest ACE Team 8 mentor and DDC Sustainability Coordinator Ankita Nalavade.
“This program, which was conceived and executed by Md and Kelly Guo, not only demonstrates their vision, skills and abilities, but also their willingness to share what they have learned with those who are coming behind them. This free workshop was a much-needed introduction to the art of creating a quality portfolio. One big barrier to portfolio creation is that many of the workshops offered are expensive -- ranging in cost from over $500 to in some cases to over $9,000. The high cost of these portfolio workshops puts this much needed service out of the reach of most, if not all, of our students,” stated Deputy Commissioner for Community Partnerships and STEAM Initiatives, Lee Llambelis.
"Within STEM schools, art and architecture students are often woefully unprepared. Unless they know an architect, many students are often not aware of the importance of the portfolio to their college application until it is too late. In many instances, the portfolio, which is a major component for students applying to arts and architecture programs, is neglected, or put together without much guidance. In an attempt to change this, Kelly Guo and I created Portfolio Days, events to inform and prepare students applying to programs in the arts and architecture. With the help of art and technology teachers, current seniors, alumni and mentors from ACE Team 8, our sessions during this school year have been very informative and practical. We plan to host these events in the future,” stated Md Hoque.
A portfolio allows a student to showcase their growth, learning process, and skills all while enabling them to develop an intellectual identity. The Portfolio Building Workshop invited sophomores and juniors to learn about the importance of compiling a portfolio early in the college admissions process. As part of the Portfolio Building Workshop, Mr. Hoque invited DDC STEAM Program Coordinators Gemelli Briceno and Tatiana Vargas to speak to students about STEAM programming, careers in the STEAM professions and the ACE Mentorship Program, where students are introduced to a broad variety of careers in architecture and engineering. In the ACE Mentor Program, DDC professionals work with students throughout out the school year to plan and design a project to submit to the Construction Industry Round Table Competition.
Participants had the opportunity to review Stuyvesant alum Seungmi Yang and Seniors Jiahe Wang and Md Hoque’s artistic portfolios so that they could better understand the different components required. Seungmi Yang attends LaGuardia College and is majoring in Game Design. Seungmi shared the importance of showcasing the procession of your skills and stated, “The progress is just as important as the final piece.” One art piece Ms. Yang exhibited illustrated the progressive stages from start to finish which allows the audience to visibly see the improvement in her skills that culminate with an intense character battle with interesting angles and focus.
Jiahe Wang will be attending the University of Chicago and intends to double major in Art History and Media Arts and Design. Ms. Wang’s portfolio displays versatility in a wide range of artistic pieces. She explained the importance of including a statement that spells out the overall theme of the portfolio to help the audience better understand the artist’s work. Ms. Wang’s theme throughout her portfolio was enriched with interpretations of her life’s experiences ranging from living in Beijing, Nigeria and California, to now living in New York City.
Md Hoque will be attending Syracuse University and plans to major in Architecture. Md demonstrated the components are good to include in an architectural portfolio that highlight technical skills, creativity, and vision. Mr. Hoque’s interest in architecture stems from his love of the natural environment and his desire to incorporate biophilic design into architecture. “I have always loved the idea of creating something with my own hands, be it clay phones at my grandfather's house or creating jewelry boxes from scrap woods and metal. But above that, I have a deep love for the natural world, both living and nonliving. Over the last decade I’ve noticed a steady decline in the beauty of the natural wonders, from light pollution to oil drilling in the Arctic, and I decided to take a stand against it. Assessing my abilities and my goals, I concluded that my contribution to this fight would be through architecture, specifically biophilic architecture.”
Biophilic design is an approach to architecture that seeks to connect building occupants more closely to nature. Biophilic designed buildings incorporate things like natural lighting and ventilation, natural landscape features and other elements for creating a more productive and healthier built environment for people.
Mr. Hoque was a valued and vital member the ACE Team 8 design process. He spearheaded the modeling of the final project assisting mentors and students to render a 3D visuality of their homeless shelter. Mr. Hoque’s leadership skills, love of architecture, and the guidance he received from DDC professionals during the ACE Mentorship Program inspired him to want to assist his fellow students.
The high school students who participate in the ACE Mentorship program, attain tutelage and support in their future endeavors. They also stay connected to the DDC STEAM pipeline which ensures continued mentorship in the years to come for our future architects, engineers, and construction managers.
About the NYC Department of Design and Construction
The Department of Design and Construction is the City’s primary capital construction project manager. In supporting Mayor de Blasio’s long-term vision of growth, sustainability, resiliency, equity and healthy living, DDC provides communities with new or renovated public buildings such as such as firehouses, libraries, police precincts, and new or upgraded roads, sewers and water mains in all five boroughs. To manage this $14 billion portfolio, DDC partners with other City agencies, architects and consultants, whose experience bring efficient, innovative and environmentally-conscious design and construction strategies to City projects. For more information, please visit nyc.gov/ddc