Hypocritical Architects

Jan 14 '14 22 Last Comment
Jan 14, 14 3:04 am

As an intern architect, I hear this line of "at least be happy you have a job" or "you must earn the privilege of having architecture make a living for you." Granted I am very grateful I have a job...well two part time ones and a rendering side business because c'mon, full time jobs? ha ha what are those. Anyway I was laid off earlier this year, so trust me when I vent about this, I am very grateful I am employed currently with close to full time hours. However, architects/firm owners have got to be so hypocritical in this area. I hear them complaining about how a certain developer is posting their job on craigslist with almost zero fees expecting them to go after it purely to keep the firm's portfolio alive to make the firm look like its still doing current work and has current experience in today's economy. They balk at how unethical these horrible developers or residential investors are.

THEN these same architects go post an "internship" on craigslist for their firm that requires 5 years experience and experience with every computer program to mankind that MIGHT become paid after a year of perfect service. They wonder why the profession is on it's death bed  and the talent seems to be ending up at the contractor or project management offices. I mean the hypocrisy is astounding I love it, anyway off to researching other more worthwhile and fulfilling professions. And I say fulfilling because honestly I feel like a lawyer for code most of the time, design is 1%, ADA parking stalls and truncated domes are 99% of this profession. I mean serious, we just got comments back from the city today and not one comment was about structural or construction clarifications but 31 comments and notes needing to be added pertaining to accessibility paths of travel around a freaken parking lot. Please somebody say something positive about my career choice!!!!


there is no there
Jan 14, 14 5:13 am

The people in wheelchairs thank you!

Non Sequitur
Jan 14, 14 7:41 am

198Kevin, you should have worked harder in school. Your perspective is not representative of the profession but I guess it's easier to complain and claim everything is broken than making an effort.

Jan 14, 14 8:05 am

Yes, everyone who refuses to get in line with the "We are going to pay you next to nothing to work long hours because you have to pay your dues" mentality should have worked harder in school. The fact that offices think that they can get away with paying recent graduates so little is disgusting and degrading. This profession needs innovative entrepreneurial minds, not more "gifted geniuses" who cannot run a business correctly.

Jan 14, 14 8:24 am

There is no there, thank you for making me laugh!

Non sequitur must have just gotten done writing his CL posting for a $12 an hour intern that must know Revit (2 years professional min), AutoCAD, Rhino, Grasshopper, Maya, don't forget Navisworks. I guess he realizes you will not be applying for that one. Shucks.

I remember after working for 6 months at my last office I was given a sheet of paper that I was suppose to fill out 'assessing my performance'. FIRST red flag. Then I asked for a raise, and my boss replied "I don't even pay anyone in the office $3k a month", SECOND read flag. Guess what the THIRD red flag was? No, it was not getting paid monthly... he had the gull to suggest asking my parents for money at the end of the 'performance assessment'. 

God I feel bad for the silly others still moronically working at that office praying that they are working up some kind of ladder, and not down.

Donna SinkDonna Sink
Jan 14, 14 9:21 am

Our profession is definitely dysfunctional.  What I'm not clear on is whether other professions are similarly dysfunctional, or in fact, is the entire notion of a "professional career" a misnomer these days?

Jan 14, 14 9:47 am

Ohter professions are indeed just as fucked up. 


Bank Of America Smiles On Its Junior Bankers, Tells Them To Take 4 Weekend Days Off Per Month after one intern apparently worked himself to death.


24 year old copywriter dies after working 30 hours in a row

Lawyers? Doctors?  They've got shit loads of theri own problems, just google it.

Architects, especially young architects need to stop bithcing so much.  It could (and probably will) be worse.

Jan 14, 14 9:54 am

As a new business, I can't even pay myself. I figure better to wait until I can pay an employee before I hire, but could sure use the help now. Some days I'd like to swap experience for work, that's for sure, but obviously that's unethical. I keep wondering if there is some way to make it mutually beneficial, but all my bright ideas would take more work or money than just hiring.

Jan 14, 14 9:59 am

Nothing will change until the firms that off shored the millions of US jobs are forced to bring them back. If Mercedes and BMW and now Airbus build their stuff in the US then GE can damn well assemble their crap in the US as well.

Jan 14, 14 10:00 am

Supply and demand + lack of business sense + "guild" mentality

I suppose the highest complaint is the difference in pay grades vs law/med where it seems that six figures is relatively common - you put in your time, but then is there a financial reward?

Miles JaffeMiles Jaffe
Jan 14, 14 10:24 am

You come here to complain about your bad career choice? LOL

Archinect: Reason #698 to require new members to make at least 10 posts before starting a new topic.

Also make some sticky threads (always at the top) for topics that get endkesslessly repeated (Architecture Sucks, What Style is My House, Free Design Advice, etc.). 

Yes, some of these stupid posts are occasionally amusing but less and less so as the become more and more repetitive.

Jan 14, 14 11:38 am

Agree, we need stickies.

Jan 14, 14 11:59 am

Agreed about stickies, but they should get stickied in a place where they wont be annoying, otherwise the entire first page of the forum will be stickied topics.

Jan 14, 14 12:30 pm

DeTwan, I agree.  I feel bad for anyone who still believes in the idea of upward mobility in the work place.  Truth is that no one gives a shit about each other anymore.  Its plain and simple.  There is no loyalty anymore.  The only way to move up is to move out and on your own.  Depending on the "boss" for your career advancement is like depending on a fat kid to share his pie for your survival.  Bad idea.  The problems with the workplace are much deeper than we all think.  It is all related to the decline in the old school values that most of our parents and grandparents had.  Your word, a handshake, the informal expectations of hardwork=advancement and reward....the expectation of good behavior and honor...All gone...These are the things that made it work years ago.  Its as simple as that.  We removed the honor system and in effect we removed the honor.  Same goes for professionalism...we removed the personal expectation that we should uphold a certain level of responsibility and care and replaced it with a meaningless mandate.  My grandma used to say that if you treat people like animals don't be surprised when they start to act the part...  We as a culture treat everyone with mistrust and skepticism.  We expect bad behavior and show this by putting safety measures in place...(contracts, mandates, etc.) Im certainly no republican, but there is a lot to be said for the notion of personal responsibility!  

Jan 14, 14 12:37 pm

Actually Non Sequitur I wish I had worked less and not worried so much about not working enough and having a portfolio that exploded rainbows. You see, what I think is truly broken about this profession is how it's stuck in a 19th century Architect "master builder" mindset. A mindset that is obviously not aligned with today's economy. In school, the emphasis was put not on quality of work but the amount of time spent on projects. If you finished on time, it wasn't because you had good time management it must have been because you didn't care. Translate that into the real world and you see why so many architects can't afford to pay their interns. The firms I work at realize they are a business and act like it. Resulting in my pay being much higher than the students who looked down on me at school for getting sleep. now those same arrogant students who were very open in letting me know how much more worthy of the profession of architecture they were, struggle to pay basic bills. They are stuck at firms with the overtime and weekend hours will make the budget work mentality. I'm not talking trash on the construction industry, I love seeing buildings take shape, I just don't think the traditional architecture firm and architect career path are really relevant. And before you say money isn't everything, I totally agree, but if i'm going to work hard at something, there better be a reward. I'd love to at some point be able to donate to charity and not be a charity case.

Jan 14, 14 12:39 pm

let me clarify, worked smarter not harder.

Jan 14, 14 12:51 pm

If you love design get out of architecture. 

Non Sequitur
Jan 14, 14 12:59 pm

198Kevin, Miles' post above explains the snarky responses. I got out of school during the start of the "recession" people keep lamenting about and I was hired within 2 weeks. I did not find employment due to connections of fancy schools but because I knew how shit went together and knew how to design. But you're right, you need to know more than just how to draw-up a rainbow portfolio. Every single colleague of mine who took time to understand construction is gainfully employed, and more importantly, licensed. My income has even grown over 40% over the last 4 years.

There is plenty of opportunity, it's just too many are stuck in a "poor ol'me" attitude.

Jan 14, 14 1:29 pm

I actually agree with Non Sequitur's point, there are opportunities out there. The job market and the job search process has changed across the board and individuals searching for jobs have to recognize this change. It takes some work to find an opportunity, but it seems all anyone does is complain.

Non Sequitur
Jan 14, 14 1:40 pm

Nice, I think the problem resides in the type of projects architecture school design studios give. Students are taught to design museums and libraries and they protest if they have to even look at pre-cast office towers or stripmalls. It's no wonder fresh-graduates feel let-down when they enter the working world, then they come here to complain.

Jan 14, 14 2:46 pm

Non Sequitur, I completely agree with what your saying, darn now I'm a jerk. Anyway, your situation still seems pretty good compared to most despite the hard work. What construction sector are you in and what state?

Non Sequitur
Jan 14, 14 2:58 pm

Kevin, I practice in Ontario, Canada. Our office dabbles with a decent mixture of both public and private clients in projects ranging from assembly, education and office space. Basically everything in all scales (for example, one of my first projects running solo was replacing exterior stone on a downtown office building) but no residential.

I believe we are currently chasing a large energy project.

Jan 14, 14 3:00 pm


"The job market and the job search process has changed across the board and individuals searching for jobs have to recognize this change. It takes some work to find an opportunity"

what are some examples of what you would consider effective job hunting strategies?

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