The word portfolio has broken out of its original box. Since 2000 the “portfolio” has gone from simply being considered a carry case filled with mounted work, to becoming a term used to describe whatever medium best displays an individual’s work. There are quite a few industries that produce “portfolio work,” in other words, work that is representative of a company’s (or individual’s) skills within their field. Some of this work cannot be properly displayed within the confines of a carry case. This could be for any number of reasons; for example, the work is not a print piece, and even photographing it would not convey the type of or quality of work produced. The list continues. Also, consider the effect of experiencing something in its original media versus a reproduction. The ability to interact with a piece of work via our five senses instead of simply viewing it makes any body of work so much more tangible. It is immediately less an idea and more a reality, especially to consumers who are new to a given field, its products and ideas.
It is for this reason that I would like to look into the idea of what I have come to call a Living Portfolio. A Living Portfolio is an area dedicated to displaying “portfolio work” within a business, in some senses a gallery. Instead of the standard portfolio case imagine -- not pictures and depictions of the work created by a given business or individual, not small text blurbs describing what a particular piece was created for, but the pieces physically there for people to experience through sight, sound, touch, scent, taste or a combination thereof depending on the environs of a particular Living Portfolio.