Architectural Ellipsis

... Intern Architect ...

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    Parasitic Interns

    Everyday Intern
    Dec 6, '12 10:45 AM EST

    I came across this over on Houzz (hatezz that name by the way). While I hope the series is tongue in cheek, the distribution of the intern struck me as odd:

    "The Intern is a parasitic species, typically found clustered around Architects or Interior Designers, dutifully cleaning up the designs."


    The Intern is parasitic? While I can admit that our relationship to architects is beneficial to us interns, it is in no way one-sided and definitely not parasitic. The real relationship between an architect and their interns reminds me more of, A Day Without a Mexican, rather than Alien.

    Unless you cast the architect as the alien.

    The only aspect of the Architect - Intern relationship that even remotely resembles a parasitic one is IDP. We interns are dependent on architects for supervising (signing off) our hours. By design there is only so far an intern can go by his or her self. Eventually the law requires that they must find a job working under the direct supervision of an architect. We take valuable time away from the architect in order to be taught and guided in the correct and proper way to be an architect. Hopefully we can leached enough out of the architect so that we may one day grow big enough egos ourselves and emulate our architect elders stealing their clients and projects, doing work for next to nothing (but it's still more than we got paid as interns), teaching other young interns lucky enough to be graced with our tutelage ... and then go bankrupt.

    Stupid metaphor really falls apart there doesn't it? You might try Googling "infanticide" however ...

    In the end, the angsty java guzzler made more enemies with the ID crowd than with the Interns, and I have to say I'd bet my hard-earned underpaidiems on Throwpillion Maximus in a bare-knuckled death match between the two. Darwin wouldn't have it any other way.


    • PencilPusher

      I really hope this is part of some bad tongue and cheek joke within the industry.  I would hate to think other professions looking in at ours, characterize the "Eat Our Young" mentor-ship that is handed down via "By-laws" of  NCARB and the AIA, is how they see us and mock us for it.  None-the-less I did laugh a little.

      Dec 9, 12 9:33 am  · 

      The "Eat Our Young" mentorship is sadly not a joke. A young intern must be wary at all times for the enticing yet completely one-sided internships and competitions, or both. Keep in mind that in most cases in order for you to count hours toward IDP you need to work for a minimum of 15 hours each week for eight consecutive weeks (see the employment guidelines). So those firms that would have you come in to just help scan asbuilts for a few weeks aren't going to give you enough hours, or time employed. And those that offer an unpaid internship are just robbing you flat out.

      Dec 18, 12 11:12 pm  · 

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About this Blog

An ellipsis [...] is used to signal an omission, an unfinished thought, aposiopesis, or brief awkward silence. Architectural ellipses are those aspects of the profession we (perhaps intentionally) omit, gloss over, or let dwindle in silence. Generally applied this blog should encompass many aspects of the profession. Yet, as an intern architect (now architect) I'll focus primarily on the architectural ellipses that occur in the internship process (and beyond).

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