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Your Friday outrage over unpaid internships

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Serpentine winner not only doesn't pay interns, he requires them to provide their own computer.

https://www.architectsjournal.co.uk/news/serpentine-pavilion-architect-under-fire-over-unpaid-interns/10041229.article


 
Mar 22, 19 10:09 am

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All 34 Comments

Archquest

Hopefully the world will realize how unethical these people and organizations are, and stop doing business with them.  They do it bc its "its nice" opportunity, lol. Nice for them because they reap the rewards from unpaid labor. 

Mar 22, 19 10:31 am
JLC-1

entitled rich kids milk their parents until they start milking their employees, on a global scale.

Mar 22, 19 10:55 am
Non Sequitur

You're right, it is friday!


Mar 22, 19 11:56 am
lower.case.yao

Nothing short of a global revolution will change this profession. Too many people willing to sacrifice to get ahead.

Mar 22, 19 12:36 pm
Volunteer

Medical interns make $50,000 a year minimum and are called Doctor and put MD after their names at the end of medical school and before internship. Just an observation

Mar 22, 19 12:53 pm
Non Sequitur

...and they have earned that min$ and title. Arch school is not even a minor-league sports compared to that profession so stop it with the bad analogy.

Volunteer

There is zero costs to referring to someone who has completed a five year course in architecture from an accredited school or obtained a graduate degree in architecture from an accredited school an architect. No costs. Zero. Zip. Zilch. Not doing so is saying your schooling isn't worth.......anything.

Non Sequitur

the cost is paid by those who made the real effort in passing the exams. Until you can pass those test, you can call yourself whatever else you want, but you're no architect. Simple, those silly snowflake kids can go cry elsewhere. Your schooling is worth a design degree. Proper work experience is worth a professional title. See, very simple.

tduds

Lawyers then?

Volunteer

People who have finished law school but not passed the bar put LLB (Legum Baccalaureus) after their names. So is architecture a profession or not?

tduds

Is your argument that graduates who have not yet received their license deserve to be poor?

Volunteer

My argument? No. Just the opposite. I think people with accredited degrees working in the field should be referred to as architects and paid accordingly. I know a lot of engineers. Many have their PE license, many haven't. I have never heard the point made that the unliscensed engineers are not engineers.

Non Sequitur

Not failing design school is not the same as graduating Law or Med school... not sure why this is such a hard concept. I work with plenty of non-licensed engineering folks. They call themselves electrical/mechanical designer or something like that. No shame.

@work

I agree @Volunteer, I know a lot of MD residents and I would say that they are at the same level in doctorhood coming out of med school as an architecture student coming out of grad school. AND, they make important decisions right away that impact patients. Don't go to a hospital in July.......

tduds

My responses in this thread have been to Non. I agree with you, Volunteer. Sorry if that wasn't clear.

tduds

It's weird, Non, that you're focusing on the prestige / shame of a title in a thread about payment. The doctor / lawyer / engineer comparison is about the fact that they expect fair compensation for their work, while architecture interns largely go un or under paid.

Non Sequitur

^I admit I'm not putting in much effort today, got a few things on my mind, so faulty logic is probably to be expected. Regardless, not inheriting the title architect does not mean fresh grads can't get decent living wages... Nor does having the title prevent you from working for shit $ either.

@work

A title provides agency.

tduds

Okay it sounds like we mostly agree then? Unpaid internships are bullshit and we as an industry should shun the firms that perpetuate them.

Non Sequitur

tduds, yes.

joseffischer

Engineers have to pass the FEs (typically while they're in undergrad or right after) to be called E.I.T.s (engineers in training)... then after the PE test, they're engineers. I've been calling our young ones A.I.T.s for a hot minute now (2 years?) but it hasn't stuck.

For anyone who screams "that's illegal cause it has the A word in it"... um, no one will ever get confused whether you're registered or not if you call yourself an AIT

RickB-Astoria

unpaid internships should be flat out illegal with absolutely ZERO exceptions for any entity other than a legitimate non-architectural non-profit organization with a legitimate 501(c)3 status or is a legitimate religious organization (we aren't really going to discuss that) where volunteering is normal.

Even then, it should be limited to 10 hours a week x 15 weeks or 150 hours total with higher number of hours per week but less weeks or more weeks at less number of hours. If we are to allow such unpaid internship, it should be adhered to these limitations.


@work

My grad school had a former student come back to speak about the "amazing opportunity" to work 12 hour*6 days a week for free at SANAAA, providing free-work a platform

I've been offered these "amazing opportunities" too many times. 

I worked at a place the was 13+ hour * 7 days a week. The hours were spent chasing their whims and would have been better if they knew how to time manage - not every small idea needs to be cross examined.  

The college's dean KNEW that he was abhorrent and worked make sure that any issues with his studios slid off.  The dean had interviewed for jobs like Michigan's dean and wanted to make moves.  This is a SYSTEMIC issue where those that have the power to make changes stay quiet at best and enable at worst. 

Mar 22, 19 1:27 pm
archanonymous

I'm pretty disgusted with the dean and professor swapping that goes on at most schools, given that most have no critical thought, built, or research works worth a damn. Just exhibit, crib student work, publish, rinse and repeat.

Jayness

I'm curious to understand how a medical school graduate has "earned" that min$ versus an architecture school graduate? The analogy is also entirely appropriate...medical school is not a challenging pursuit, it's entirely rote memorization and learning applicable techniques in practice, the hard part is competing with other students for a place in that system.....

Mar 22, 19 1:29 pm
Non Sequitur

You must not know many med students then.

joseffischer

You have a very high appreciation for the medical field Non... I personally do not. They make more mistakes than I'm allowed to while still staying in practice. You must not know many nurses, because a coffee and a chat with any nurse will enlighten you on the worth of those fresh MDs

Jayness

Actually.......my wife as well as my entire family, but you maybe you could provide a comment of substance, or is that beyond you? 

Mar 22, 19 1:57 pm
Non Sequitur

I could, but I won't.

Jayness

I very much doubt that

Non Sequitur

Your assumptions are incorrect and you've significantly discounted the value and intelligence required for med school by your previous comment thus you have no credibility. Arch school is not difficult, nor is the typical work-load. Some (most) have this notion that they are special because they work countless hours doodling over and over. That's not the same thing as training to be a surgeon or emergency dr.

JLC-1

then make it difficult and license with graduation - this dance over what's more deserving is just smoke and mirrors to keep scamming, arch programs don;t have to be 4 years and then masters, you could do 5 years plus 1 year final project and professional practice, take the exams and be done. But I bet many "architects" would oppose.

Yeah, my sister and I lived together while she was in med school and I was in my BArch program. We worked equally grueling hours. She graduated FAR more prepared to practice medicine than I was to practice architecture.

Jayness

Thanks for proving my doubts correct. Assumption? Which ones are you referencing? At no point did I discount the intelligence required for medical school - as I said the challenge of med school is getting into school which is not comparable to acceptance at an architecture program but significantly harder. I contested the ideas that medical school is challenging or that med school graduates have earned some min$ while arch grads haven't.....more importantly maybe you can clarify how you've come to the conclusion that architecture school is not difficult, especially considering the hours, the subjectivity, and intensity of academic programs..it's routinely ranked as one of the toughest majors based on those factors, not specific knowledge like it might be in organic chemistry or neuroscience....finally training to be a surgeon or emergency dr. is typically something pursued in residency not medical school but I'm sure you knew that.

Non Sequitur

JLC:  "then make it difficult and license with graduation"

Yes, that's the correct way.  Make the schooling actually difficult and more in-tune with real world conditions and allow graduates to write the exams immediately after graduation.  

Archquest

if an employer saw one of these work for free places on a resume  , would they respect them for their experience or laugh at the fact they work for free for a starchitect name on the resume? 


Why would anyone want to hire someone who works for free anyway.  


But maybe the blame should be on these people in power who take advantage of these young inexperienced people, rather than blame the naive young ones. 



Mar 22, 19 2:01 pm
jla-x

Working for free is volunteering....volunteer for things that help people in need rather than glam-architecture ... If you have that kind of financial freedom go help at a soup kitchen or habitat for humanity...why the f would you help an architect realize their art (not yours)...



Mar 22, 19 2:08 pm
jla-x

license upon graduation, or remove license all together.  Simple.  Lawyers graduate and take bar.  No experience required.  If you make people dependent upon other people for experience they will take advantage and act like your gatekeeper.  Can’t  complain about this shit and support the required experience model.  It’s the root of the problem 



Mar 22, 19 3:07 pm
archanonymous

Red Herring. NCARB and North America subscribe the the education plus experience model, this job is in Japan. People looking for a license here can't even get very few hours anymore working in a foreign country. This behavior (by the firm and interns) isn't about a license, it's about exploration and (for the interns) access to other
opportunities.

tduds

If the bar for licensure were lowered you'd just end up with more licensed architects working as unpaid staff for "exposure"

tduds

Licensure and compensation are not related issues.

Mar 22, 19 3:17 pm
joseffischer

Then why do so many firms build into their practice a pay jump upon licensure?

JLC-1

well, not having a license precludes you from deciding your own compensation.

tduds

I'm sorry - what I meant was that the criteria for licensure are not the main factor driving unpaid internships. I was talking about the existence of compensation, not the amount.

tduds

I feel like I'm particularly misunderstood in my comments today...

RickB-Astoria

JLC-1, that's not exactly true. BEING AN EMPLOYEE to someone else precludes you from deciding your own compensation. Licensed or not, the EMPLOYER determines the pay. It is up to their hiring policy which they control in the first place. You can always decide to take the job or not but if you are seeking a job then it is likely that you are not in a position where you can picky about what job you want. You either accept what is offered to get the job or you don't. The question is how much do they need you and how much competition you have for the job. If there are others who can do the same job, you don't have leverage for negotiation. A license is not necessarily much of a leverage.

Archquest

exploration?! , more like exploitation 

Mar 22, 19 3:21 pm
Dangermouse

wow 11am to midnight?  it was 10 am to midnight when i was there.

regardless, these are open desk positions and somewhat common in japan.  i thought this was common knowledge--are we really surprised?  

Mar 23, 19 9:56 am
Dangermouse

the devaluation of labor starts at the academy.  at the GSD, student work is treated as having no value. 

guest jurors aren't required to sign NDA's, and everyone steals freely from students, either outright copying work (see SOM's freedom tower) or packaging the theft as pedagogy.  

Rem has used unpaid student labor to underwrite his research projects for neigh unto a decade. sure, he calls them "option studios in Copenhagen" but really, you're doing work for his firm to put on an
exhibition.  In fact, you are paying the GSD tuition to do work for another architect! 

i didn't do rem's studio. i took a sponsored option studio. underneath all the pedagogic trappings and verbiage was an economy of exploitation: we were doing free design research for a client, under the guise of academic work.  we even had to send the 'sponsor' our design documents as part of our final project submission.  i paid tuition for this
privilege.  

then there are issues of actual making.  people farm out 3d printing and rendering on the regular.  fabrication lab staff and ta's do enormous amounts of heavy lifting and are totally erased from the project credits.  we don't recognize the custodial staff for setting up the rooms and cleaning up the ungodly piles of garbage left over after the review.  

after the review is complete, after the book is published or the exhibition opened, do the students and custodial staff get to have private champagne dinners with mohsen? of course not.  the person who ostensibly did the least amount of work, whose fame is purchased through ignored, undercompensated and unacknowledged labor, he or she gets the lucrative speaking engagements, the fame, the visiting professorships, access to the billionaire clients, etc. 

so, honestly, unpaid internships in japan…who fucking cares.  

Mar 23, 19 10:18 am
Archquest

Sounds like your trying to defend these firms in Japan that don’t pay interns with other academic nonsense, and because you got suckered into working for free. Yea it sucks ohh well for yo

Dangermouse

lol ok buddy. i turned down paying internships in the states to 'work for free'. i knew the conditions, accepted them, and worked on incredible projects.  i don't regret it.

Dangermouse

if you think a description of academic exploitation is nonsense, then you're just another jingoist who thinks free labor is bad in japan but good in the usa.

tduds

Have you considered that maybe we think it's bad in both places?

captain zero

"fabrication lab staff and ta's do enormous amounts of heavy lifting and are totally erased from the project credits. we don't recognize the custodial staff for setting up the rooms and cleaning up the ungodly piles of garbage left over after the review."

I am described here, I love you for saying this, and it makes my job 1000% easier from hearing it.

Volunteer

It seems to me that if people with accredited architecture degrees practicing  architecture in an architectural firm under the supervision of a Registered Architect were called architects their pay would tend to be more, maybe quite a bit more. When they became a Registered Architect they would get a salary bump from an already improved pay scale. Both sides would benefit. As for the legal angle that currently exists does anybody think the state legislatures really care who is called what? The laws were pushed through by lobbying groups for their own benefit. Other than to hold down newbie wages I can't think of any.

Mar 23, 19 10:26 am
Non Sequitur

Where would that extra money to pay those higher wages, simply because of a title change, come from? It’s not like the fresh grads are suddenly better with billable skills.

RickB-Astoria

That lobbying group in architecture context has been the AIA for most of it.

archinet

I only did internships that paid enough for me to live, and honestly the higher the pay typically coincides with more responsibility and learning to be made. As for working for free at a prestigious office- it does not help much, the last office I worked at had a few ppl that worked for Aires Mateus for free and nobody gave a shit- nor were these ppl any good.

The best thing to do is simply not accept such conditions.  

Mar 23, 19 12:02 pm
sameolddoctor
Idiots who compare Medicine to Architecture deserve to stay as paupers for their entire lives. And when you get into an accident, go approach an architect to fix you up and make you survive. Lol.
Mar 23, 19 2:36 pm
Volunteer

People who want to improve the position and public perception of their profession are idiots?

curtkram

when you get in an accident, the paramedic that arrives on scene makes an average salary of less than $32k per year. (2015 dollars)

tintt

Sometimes they are volunteers.

tintt

The paramedics. My hometown had high school kids working as EMTs. I did the training but never rode the ambulance.

tduds

But who designs the hospitals?

sameolddoctor
Yes and even that 32k paramedic is better suited to help society than our privileged ass. And yes, you are not improving the profession by a rant on Archinect.
Mar 24, 19 12:30 am
Volunteer

How is attempting to have a civil discussion a 'rant'?

RickB-Astoria

Why the F--- have licensing of architects because it seems like the discussion alludes to it. Doctors spends maybe 4 years in medical school and may have whatever the hell degree for a bachelors degree. Architects have around ~3.5 years worth of architecture specific educational curriculum. The rest is general education or non-related education. They are different education. In the U.S., a doctor still has 3-7 years of "residency" (internship) before they obtain their medical license. They still get called doctor because their degree is a DOCTORATE degree so if you stay in college long enough, you might earn one even if it isn't in medical field. You earn your ,MD after completing medical licensing. If you have a D.Arch, you can use Dr. Dickhead Jones.

Volunteer

No, idiot, they are referred to as MDs after completing medical school.

randomised

Devil's advocate here: Isn't it kind of racist to project your own superior  western values onto other cultures that are less advanced?

Mar 24, 19 9:13 am
Non Sequitur

Is it wrong to call cultures that still tolerate (encourage) slavery terrible degenerate wankers?

randomised

Don't think so, but what if one chooses slavery voluntarily? If you can afford to study architecture you usually can afford to work for free for a while, hell, the entire architectural competition system is about working for free, unpaid, unless you're the lucky s.o.b. that wins. I still think it's wrong obviously. But there might be some nuance here, maybe.

tduds

Isn't it kind of racist to assume other cultures are "less advanced"?

randomised

Nope, that can be easily and objectively measured with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and/or anecdotal evidence, any culture that doesn't meet the requirements is simply less advanced and/or inferior. Or perhaps that advocate of the devil is just a racist asshole, also possible.

jla-x

On the Kardashev scale we are all type 0. On the Kardashian same is true.

jla-x

On the Kardashev scale we are all type 0. On the Kardashian scale same is true.

randomised

But did Kardashev pay his interns, that's the $64,000 question!

tduds

I'd love to make $64,000 as an intern.

( o Y o )

Capitalism 101: make money on someone else's labor. 

Slavery is the ultimate goal of capitalism. The lower the "ownership" cost, the higher the profits. Economic servitude (rentierism) is just another form of slavery.

Mar 24, 19 10:56 am
archi_dude

No that’s socialism. You make money with your own labor in capitalism, unless your stupid.

geezertect

If you're dumb enough to give your labor away for nothing, then you are only enslaving yourself.

cap·i·tal·ism noun: an economic and political system in which a country's trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit

"trade and industry" includes labor. Like the unpaid interns discussed in this thread. That is most assuredly NOT socialism.

archi_dude

Making money from someone else labor via taxes, socialism.

archi_dude

The business owners I know generally put in the most hours out of anyone in the office. Of course unless we are talking about the few who inherited their money and quite literally made all their money off of someone else’ labor and live in the Hamptons.

jla-x

Socialists shouldn’t have an issue with working for free...why all the butt hurt?

"Making money from someone else labor via taxes, socialism."

Please explain the mechanism whereby private profit on labor is generated by socialism. 

RickB-Astoria

Slavery is when dickheads have control and oppresses others to servitude with unreasonable & unacceptably low to zero compensation.

jla-x

Forced labor is a feature of communism. Stolen labor is a feature of socialism. Free labor has nothing to do with Capitalism. No one would work for free unless a) they were forced b) they were persuaded by govt regulations or cultural expectations to believe that experience was compensation.

jla-x

Capitalism allows for the freedom to form contracts consenually. If a person wants to work for nothing who’s to stop them. The idea that this is tantamount to “Slavery” is ridiculous and insensitive to actual victims of Slavery (which is always backed by govt authoritarians) Slavery in the south was not a feature of freedom...it was a feature of govt authoritarianism that subjected one class to benefit another. To suggest that free markets result in Slavery is hilarious since the greatest violations have been almost exclusively by socialist/communist states...The Hamptons don’t have gulags as far as I know, nor do Japan...

jla-x

Socialists are simpletons that believe govt, by virtue of name, is somehow more moral than the rest of society...the mechanisms to rise to the top are in and of themselves corrupt, then a reasonable person should assume that the cream is spoiled. The socialists, rely on a false notion that the results of democratic selection are more moral than the individual components that form the electorate...which goes against every thing we know of human nature. As Jordan Peele said “The scariest monster in the world is human beings and what we are capable of, especially when we get together.” (US was a great flick by he way..) The group or tribe is always more dangerous than the individual...

RickB-Astoria

jla-x, there was never a full proper implementation of communism. What there was.... was dictatorships. Communism was never implemented properly at a national level by any country even Cuba. Few were better than others but communism was never implemented.... just different shades of dictatorships.

jla-x

Because it can’t be. Because authority is required to make it work....which is why you always end up with authoritarianism.

jla-x

Capitalism is imperfect, sometimes brutal like nature, but it usually allows for enough dynamism and freedom to keep the monsters from getting complete Control...but with increased technology that may not be the case for long...

RickB-Astoria

power corrupts absolutely

tduds

Socialism means the workers own the means of production. One profits from ones own labor.

jla-x

No it does not. A company can be owned by its workers in capitalist system. Nothing stops 1000 people from owning a corporation together. Socialism means that the state limits private property rights, controls the means of production (impossible in a complex modern society) and redistributes profits. Inefficient and everyone ends up poor...not “I can’t afford that new Zaha apt” poor but “um that dog doesn’t taste too bad with enough salt” poor

tduds

"Socialism is a range of economic and social systems characterised by social ownership of the means of production and workers' self-management, as well as the political theories and movements associated with them."

jla-x

How do you redistribute the ownership to workers without govt force. I have a business, built it with my skills and labor, you can’t have it. Now what?

jla-x

Your naive ideas assume that people will simply obey. Obedience requires coercion and force. Do you want the state to have expanded police powers? If so, in a “democracy” how do you ensure that a tyrant won’t abuse that expanded power that gives power to cease property and control labor markets?

Non Sequitur

Jla, a very successful craft brewery in my city turned over ownership to its staff a few years just as the big beer companies were snapping up craft brew joints left and right. The staff room door at their brewery reads "owners lounge".

tduds

I can't debate you honestly until you figure out what the definitions of socialism and capitalism are, and perhaps then you'll realize they aren't mutually exclusive silos but extreme ends of a spectrum - on which any reasonable system must exist somewhere in the middle.

tduds

I'm not here to try to prove you wrong, just popping in to point out that the premise of this reply is based on an incorrect understanding of the two economic systems (which are economic, not governmental).

jla-x

I’ve said before, social programs can exist within the framework of capital-is

jla-x

*capital-ism, but capitalism cannot exist within the framework of socialism. Socialism cannot exist without a government dedicated to enforcing it. Nordic countries are not socialist. They are market economies with good social safety net programs. If we have people proclaiming the dangerous mantras of socialism, and being dishonest about its perils, it’s history, then we cannot have a conversation about the degree of social programs that we want to include while maintaining a devotion to freedom, liberty, property rights, etc. I agree with some kind of universal healthcare in principle, but we can’t pay for it with mechanisms derived from the flawed philosophical roots of Marxism. We should look for creative and modern solutions to modern problems while embracing free enterprise that has advanced societies around the world.

jla-x

As well as liberty, limited govt, and the things that have advanced our civil liberties.

jla-x

*individualism, limited govt....

tduds

You're just claiming that any tenet of socialism that might be good is not actually socialist.

tduds

"I agree with some kind of universal healthcare in principle, but we can’t pay for it with mechanisms derived from the flawed philosophical roots of Marxism." 

What mechanisms are these? Be specific.

RickB-Astoria

jla-x, there is a difference between socialism and the so-called "communism" which the latter never truly existed and nor was it really socialism either. Dictatorships comes about when one or more (up to a limited small cabal) of dickhead(s) control everything or enough to oppress the rest of the people for their own power control. That can happen when ANY type of government when it gets corrupted.

There is only two kinds of government.... non-corrupt governments of the people for the people (whether it's capitalistic, socialistic, or whatever) and the other type is basically corrupt government.... aka.... dictatorships controlled by one or more (a cabal of) dictator(s).

RickB-Astoria

We can afford a better healthcare system providing at least the basic health care for ALL citizens. We just have to stop spending tax dollars on wars which accounts for over half of the U.S. Discretionary spending budget. Would our taxes go up.... maybe but if we eliminate the exemptions / deductions and cap the deduction to gross income of $1,000,000 or less and not to exceed 50% reduction on taxes. A minimum of at least 50% of the taxes they normally would pay before any deductions/exemption. All income beyond the $1 Million would be taxed at FULL 100%. If we did that, those Trumps would be paying their fair share of the taxes for benefiting off of this country. Corporations and other businesses taxed like a corporation would be allowed up to $100 Million to be taxed at no less than 50% of their normal tax rate without deductions.... basically a minimum tax rate of no less than half. Any income beyond that $100 Million would be taxed at 100% tax rate. Those who can afford the taxes should be the ones who holds this country together through their taxes especially the excessively rich. They didn't get their honestly. Cut and eliminate laws and rules that basically gives the Trumps of our country a form of legalized tax evasion.

+++ tduds

Also kudos for having the patience to use fools to make your point.

jla-x

Actually, I’ve made my point. Have fun working for millionaires in the Hamptons though while pretending to be a Bolshevik.

tduds

Have fun wrongly assuming my reality to sustain your smug sense of aloofness.

tintt

I'd rather do an unpaid internship and learn something than one that pays $13 an hour but you aren't learning a damn thing is close to it and it takes 10 or 20 years to learn something that should take 1-2 years. This profession is best learned by working directly alongside an experienced practitioner yet no one gets to do that. Is that capitalism or socialism? To say unpaid internships are only for the already well off... What about degree programs? There you PAY to work and hopefully learn something. Very much in favor of the already wealthy. Young people don't need to support themselves, they don't have a $2,000 mortgage and 3 kids. They live with family, have roommates, live in dorms. I think one if the problems of this industry greater than unpaid internships is lack of mentors. Mentors need to "get something" out of it. What if that's how your mom felt when it was time for you to walk and talk? That if she wasn't getting monetary compensation, why bother. Nobody would learn to walk and those that do walk funny.

Mar 25, 19 10:28 am
tintt

Monday outrage.

tintt

That learning isn't something you can get paid to do. The pay comes later. Look up the marshmallow experiment. If you can only operate in a 'right now' mode, you don't grow. 

Thinking that interns are only learning and that they don’t have anything of value to offer to the office is the first problem. A certain amount of training is expected when starting out in any profession.

tintt

yes, ideally, you get paid and learn. My first job was for a contractor and engineering firm and I did about half my day "working" and half my day learning but was paid for all. I think that's super rare though.

tintt

In contrast, fresh interns in architecture firms are 96-100% "billable".

RickB-Astoria

Here's what f---ing ironic.... you are always learning something.

curtkram

The intent of the NCARB internship, whatever they call IDP now, is to force that, isn't it?

tintt

Intent? Perhaps. But reality is not intent. If I earn IDP points under someone who is incompetent, it's not really the right type of learning. Carry on though. Have fun pretending.

curtkram

I'm not trying to suggest the world is perfect or anything, but their heart is in the right place. If there is a way to make it better we should do that. If people in general are horrible, not much you can do.

tintt

Socialism and capitalism, a good mix works pretty well. Just gotta mix the right parts. Can't mix the laziness of socialism with the dog-eat-eat of capitalism though. 

Mar 25, 19 10:45 am
lower.case.yao

I took an unpaid internship and I'm proud of it. If it wasn't for this firm, I would not be where I am today. I graduated during the downturn and our graduating class was completely wiped out. I know that not everyone can take them, and I empathize. I had to cut living expenses down drastically and had to live with 3 other roommates. I made a conscious effort to sacrifice a year of my life in order to jumpstart my career, and without that option I would not have been able to survive in this field. If both parties consent, I don't see anything wrong with this.

Mar 27, 19 11:24 pm
Non Sequitur

Thank you for supporting slavery.

eeayeeayo

It lets that firm undercut others with their fees, because their operating costs are lower, due to their illegal practices. That in turn eliminates jobs in other firms, because they don't get the projects they need to sustain their business, because this firm steals.  Did the other firms consent to that?  Did your "wiped out" graduating class consent to that? It sets clients' unrealistic expectations about professional fees, perpetuating firms' motivation for exploiting slave labor rather than hiring employees. And when you list that firm on your resume or tell anyone you interned there, it forever brands you as dishonest and willing to prostitute yourself. Is that why you're proud of it?

randomised

Unpaid internships create an apartheid system in architecture, only rich kids can afford to work for free at starchitects and can jumpstart their careers like that. Therefore it should be forbidden to either offer unpaid internships or to accept unpaid internships and thereby create a level playfield, so that also non-wealthy kids can intern at starchitects and jumpstart their careers.

lower.case.yao

It’s not slavery. I knew what I was getting into and could’ve left anytime and found a normal job like everyone else. I won’t pretend to understand the greater macro-economic consequences of free labor, but is this really such a big issue? Are there hundreds of firms out there using unpaid interns bidding for the same projects? Just from my experience, the types of jobs these firms compete over rarely overlap with the vast majority of work out there.

Non Sequitur

yes it is

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eeayeeayo

It really is a big issue.

On the bright side, it's an issue that got a lot of negative attention in the press in the mid 1990s, which helped eliminate some of it, and then far more attention from the Department of Labor in recent years, which has eliminated even more of it (some firms changed their ways after being hit with huge fines and charged for several years of back payments to workers' comp and unemployment for all their "free" interns), and I'm very happy to see that it is much more discouraged in architecture schools lately. All of that is encouraging. Even the majority of starchitects pay actual salaries these days (not just lunch money and train fare, which was about the best anybody expected from big-name firms in the 80s and 90s.)

Whether you're a firm exploiting free labor, or a student or recent grad submitting to it, at this point if you participate in that system it clearly marks you as somewhere between extremely naive and extremely unethical, and it may have more long-range negative consequences for your future in the profession than the "jumpstart" was worth.

lower.case.yao

I’m not seeing the difference between being unpaid and the penance some companies pay now in nyc or sf, and still expecting 60+ hours. That’s chump change compared to the fees they demand. Obviously I wish I got paid, but that’s the realities of this industry. We wish for a level playing field but life isn’t fair and some people have to grind harder to make ends meet. Starchitecture is the playground for the rich, no doubt about that. I wish I could’ve flown all over the world interning with the best for months on end, but I couldn’t afford it and wasn’t willing to let my parents foot the bill.

Non Sequitur

Nice hole you're digging there. You support(ed) slavery and are thus a big part of the problem. Nothing here to be proud of.

lower.case.yao

Is proud the right word then? I busted ass to stay in this profession, it’s something at least. I benefited fron these internships, and i’m not going to turn around and deny others the opportunities I had.

Non Sequitur

benefited? perhaps. So did those firms that used you as a slave. I significantly discount anyone who takes unpaid internships. Why do you deserve any respect if you have none for the profession?

lower.case.yao

Maybe I don’t deserve any. If I apply to your firm I can only hope my abilities in other areas make up for that discount. But I still wouldn’t call it slavery. It’s not and never has been.

Non Sequitur

It is slavery, regardless of how hard you convince yourself. My POV here is not unique either.

The best slave is the one who thinks he's free.

lower.case.yao

Actual slaves are rolling over in their graves when they see the hyperbole.

randomised

It is a big deal as it undermines the idea of equal opportunities for all, some people already scrape by just to get into architecture school and would also like the opportunity of a jumpstart, you are robbing them of that possibility, keeping the rich white male dominated status quo in place, congrats!

tduds

I've never worked for free and I'm proud of it. If I hadn't stood my ground and demanded my value, I wouldn't be where I am today. I graduated during the downturn and our graduating class was completely wiped out. I took well-paying jobs outside of architecture and worked briefly in construction until I was able to get back into the profession and eventually build a grad-school worth portfolio.

It took more time than it would have if I'd compromised my values and worked without pay, but I sleep better at night in the house I own.

Mar 28, 19 11:26 am
Non Sequitur

Same here. When I left grad school in (09 summer) I schmoozed my way to an interview with a small but very fun design office. Got offered a job at 1 or 2 Canadian loonies above minimum wage. I stood my ground and said that was not an acceptable wage and left. I later got a phone call from that office and the principal offered a few extra $ per hr. I turned it down even-though I had no other offers at the time. I finished that week employed, with salary, at twice that other firm's offer.

AlinaF

How's brag camp going?

I too never took an unpaid internship and I'm proud of it. If it wasn't for my paid internship, I would not be where I am today. I graduated during the downturn and our graduating class was completely wiped out. I had to cut living expenses down drastically and had to take multiple jobs outside the profession. I made a conscious effort to use a year of my life in order to jumpstart my career by working on my skills in other ways and building my abilities so that when I found a firm that was able to hire me, they could see that I was worth paying a decent wage. It wasn’t much, and I still worked part-time outside the profession to make ends meet, but I was glad that I never compromised my standards and took an unpaid internship. 

Mar 29, 19 12:24 am
curtkram

you just want to work as an architect.  So you'll give a way a little of your time for free.  

What happens if you actually become an architect?  A developer doesn't get paid until the building is built and they're collecting rent.  So you'll give them a little free time for a feasibility study so you can pretend to be a real architect until you get paid for SD.  

But the developer isn't going to have a solid proforma to take to the bank until they have your SD set, so you can give them a little more free time so can get paid for the SD set. 

Get where this is going?  Get why you will never be an architect?

Mar 29, 19 12:45 am
curtkram

mostly directed at lower case yao

Can confirm that the above business example is a true representation of the real world.

lower.case.yao

I'd like to address the standards and respect that everyone's commenting on. I came into this profession knowing how bad the pay was and how terrible the working hours were. I knew sacrifices had to be made. I threw my self-respect out the window in order to work on projects that I really liked. At the time, I didn't know the plague of unpaid internships and how it impacted our profession, how could I? I was selfish and only knew where I wanted to go.

I understand now from your comments that this issue is personal. It directly impacts your fees and thereby your income. So I apologize that my being party to this behavior further escalated the issue. I'm glad this is being regulated and I'm happy the culture is shifting. I hope one day to see no unpaid internships in this professions or any other. I think that's obvious, I said before that I didn't like taking the job.

On the other hand, I directly benefited from the internship. I worked on cool projects and gained a set of skills that allowed me to work on even more cool and interesting projects. I'm proud of that fact, but I can't change my history. I can, however, work my hardest to become an architect, as curtkram put it, a help remedy the situation. However, I am unconvinced further regulation will work.

Mar 29, 19 1:42 am

I didn’t feel like this had to be said when I wrote this post, but apparently it still needs to be said ... 


https://archinect.com/blog/article/149979138/can-we-talk

Mar 29, 19 11:10 am
Non Sequitur

.

Chemex

Maybe we should just make architecture school free for students -- that is where a culture of giving away your work starts. Architecture is a public good, therefore society should support it. 

That's my Presidential Platform: ARCHITECTURE FOR ALL 

Mar 29, 19 11:24 am
randomised

Boom!

https://www.dezeen.com/2019/03...

Mar 29, 19 5:45 pm
Non Sequitur

Excellent discussion in those comments.

geezertect

He be a collyage professor, so him talk and rite reel guud grammuh r and punctiation as you can tell by the email. I'm suitably impressed-I don't know about the rest of you.

amiramro

AIA this is what 2019 is about? 


https://www.instagram.com/p/BxzCg1yiDA3/?igshid=186xwjwsda44r





May 25, 19 7:07 pm
amiramro


Mark Foster Gage unpaid internship to be continue to 2019.. VERY DISAPPOINTING! But your voice matter to stop this 

May 25, 19 7:12 pm
geezertect

You'd think a Yale professor would have better grammar and punctuation skills, but you would be wrong.

reminiscences

Isn't this more of a supply-demand problem? Architecture as a profession has disproportionate supply compared to its demand. Firms undercut their fee to get projects because their is too much competition for instance. If you are not going to do the project at that price, someone else will. "Starchitects" are just trying to create a brand around themselves having some sort of superior design ability, which in reality is a brute force algorithm of trying things until it works- hence the unpaid interns and even underpaid full-time staff in many instances. The market governs wages. We may argue all day how much value architects bring to society, the markets clearly don't see it that way creating this wage problem that percolates down. I admire the tenacity of these "your voice-matter" campaigns but they don't work very well. Unless you have some sort of leverage in situation, you won't change anything for yourself or for others. 

May 25, 19 9:32 pm
b3tadine[sutures]

Riiiight. Don't stick it to the man, suck it.

reminiscences

Sure stick it to the man and make him pay, but the root cause isn't people like him, it's the market itself. Unless you understand the root cause, nothing will really change but most people are either intellectually incapable or too inexperienced/young to understand that...

midlander

@remini
false. this is a culture problem.

midlander

there is plenty money in architecture. the guys doing this are doing it because it gratifies their ego to have people groveling for unpaid internships. if they needed to pay them, they could figure it out. it might shut down some unprofitable studios run as vanity projects by professional academics, which is fine.

b3tadine[sutures]

mid, definitely.

archanonymous

If only. (to the shutting down of unprofitable studios run as vanity projects by professional academics)

archanonymous

It would actually solve a whole lot more problems than just labor rights and unpaid internships. Less shitty theorizing and pontificating with unbuilt paper architecture and more room for small firms actually solving real design problems in interesting ways for actual clients.

geezertect

Mostly supply and demand. Nobody pays for something when they can get it for free. As long as there are too many little eager beavers ready to fellate these guys, the "problem" will continue. Don't throw a T-bone steak on the floor and then get mad at the dog if he eats it.

reminiscences

@mid

I completely agree its a cultural problem but again feel it's an after-effect not the root cause. It goes like this "we did free design work in response to an RFP/interview. That's how we built our chops and that's how you should too". As long as that's how most firm get projects, it will always remain a cultural problem to be honest. 

reminiscences

That ultimately boils down to proving the "value" of your design services to financial stakeholders. To get you foot in the door for newer clients, the typical process involves a lot of free work just to kick-off that relationship. That's a market problem. So many smart architects can't be bad at proving value of what they are doing for so long. Unpaid staff is a systematic after-effect that shouldn't persist especially if the cash-flow is good, but again is a repercussion of what is essentially a supply-demand issue in establishing a consistent value.

archi_dude

The AIA handbook touched on this. In the marketing section it says something along the lines of “approximately 90% of firms market based on design excellence, where less than 5% of people surveyed looking for architectural services said design excellence was a factor in choosing an architect.” Its a profession totally obsessed with a service no one wants.

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