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Apps for Architects: Portfolio for iPad

By Andrew Hawkins, AIA

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Portfolio for iPad

Portfolio is an app for presentation, and it was developed for photographers to display their work. But I have found it is quite flexible and adept for an “architectural” portfolio as well. It is extremely nice to have a digital portfolio, a requirement in this day and age.


The usage for this app is essentially a giant photo album, but with enough creativity it can become much more. You can use it as a marketing tool or to educate clients or even to experience architecture. You can create multiple albums, so you can have many different versions of your work or inspiration in one place.

I also use it as a “visual materials palette” for clients. They do not always know what a burnished split face block or a retractable aluminum awning actually looks like. And in lieu of them just agreeing and taking issue later, open this app and show them! The app makes this such an easy task. It also allows for video within a gallery.

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This app is very customizable. You can modify the look to create a very “branded” experience. This is an important feature to me, and should be for you too! You can create splash pages and enhance the overall feel of the app with all of your company colors, logos, and the like. Also it allows you to set up a locked slideshow that can be viewed without interference from users.

We use this as an exhibit tool when we hit the convention circuit. The app allows photos, videos, and PDFs. Each image can contain a certain amount of metadata that can be useful as well. It is a predetermined list of data but still a nice addition to the options. You can use this as a presentation tool by just hooking up your iPad to an external source. AirPlay is also available, which can be handy in slideshow mode.

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I do not have many quips with this application. I have been using for several years, and it still delivers. It seems to get updates in a timely manner and is really one of my favorites for this task. Although it doesn’t have any online component to it like Morpholio, I think that’s okay since an internet or cellular connection is not always an option. It does take some time and planning to get this one set up, at least to make all the customizations, so this one is not for quick creations. But this is another app that concentrates on one task and strives to do it well.


Currently this app is available for iOS only. Android users can use the web version for now.

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Andrew Hawkins, AIA is the President and Principal Architect of Hawkins Architecture, Inc. Andrew believes in sustainable design, technology in practice, and the power of thoughtful architecture. He routinely attempts to adapt technologies from other disciplines and appropriate them into architectural practice. He is also active in the AIA at the state and the local level in Texas.

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