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How (not) to be in an Office

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I can't not start a new thread for this as it deserves further discussion, roasting, and perhaps even an occasional golf clap. 

SCI-Arc's discussion on "How to be in an Office" is below (action starts around 7:05). I listened to it this morning and it is not good. If you haven't listened/watched it yet ... I can't say I'd recommend it, but it's worthwhile for you to understand that this is not how we should be advising students and recent grads. 

For the more twitter inclined, check out the #HowNotToBeInAnOffice thread. I wish I would have been aware of its happening to participate live, but this is my next best effort at shining a light on this.

Seriously though, this type of worship of Architecture as a lifestyle has got to stop. Architecture can be a lifestyle, and that's ok ... but we have to stop worshiping it and making it seem like it's the only way to contribute to the profession. I'll try to carve out some more time later to add some of my thoughts, but until then, please post your thoughts.

 
Mar 30, 22 11:21 am
b3tadine[sutures]

dank.lloyd.wright and crew have been roasting the fuck out of this.


Mar 30, 22 12:10 pm  · 
10  · 

The contempt for anything larger than a boutique "atelier" is dripping off every word the three of these say. The implied messaging here is that if you're serious about architecture you need to work for peanuts at a small office until you gain enough experience to open your own "atelier" and can take advantage of young architects for the rest of your "long, long career."

Keep in mind of course that the "atelier" isn't a fully sustainable business model as it also needs to be supplemented with low-paid laborers (note they acknowledge this as pointing out a different "market rate" for atelier-style offices) and "3, 4, 5 side hustles" to make enough. I mean Margaret straight up says that she went to grad school so she could become a professor, and she wanted to be a teacher because she knew she wanted to have her own practice. Owning your own "atelier" apparently isn't enough to live off of.

About the only thing I can even agree with semi-enthusiastically is that you shouldn't jump straight into grad school if you graduate with a B.Arch ... [yay golf clap]

Also that students today are faced with a profoundly different problem of how to pay for school. And no, Margaret, a "SIDE HUSTLE" or even "SEVERAL SIDE HUSTLES" is not going to get there. [golf clap for Dwayne for barely acknowledging this reality]

BTW, did any of them actually answer the question of "how to be in an office?" Does 'be the person that gets shit done' count as an answer to this question?

Mar 30, 22 1:34 pm  · 
10  · 
monosierra

It's a cloistered circle - you could build a career teaching, writing and talking about what your colleagues are teaching, writing, and talking about. You do a symposium on what I'm thinking - and I write an article on what you're talking about. Then we all hold an exhibition on what we're jabbering on, be it politics or French philosophy. In the meantime, let's not build anything and instead mock architectural professionals for "selling out". But who's going to pay for our apartments and charrettes!

Ah, here comes that sweet tuition fee from Chinese students - and all the free, visa-less labor they can provide. Have them attend classes where we teach them all about what we are up to.

Maybe someday we can anoint one of them to join our hallowed circle to continue the cycle of teaching, writing, and talking.

Mar 30, 22 2:32 pm  · 
15  · 
monosierra

Gaslighting of the highest order - these SciArc faculty make $250k in pay and benefits, besides getting cushy positions for their partners. Then they blackmail students for free labor. I've always wondered 1) how on earth does a "firm" like Wiscombe's even survive financially and 2) why his work looks so much like student projects. I guess the answer lies in SciArc's hallowed hall.

If they admit they are artists, then so be it. They are not part of the architectural profession. But then they will have no business running an architectural practice and teaching in a reputable school.

Mar 30, 22 2:27 pm  · 
7  · 
tduds

I missed the live watch on twitter last night but I intend to catch up on this (and the commentary) later this week/end. Seems like it's causing a lot of drama within SCI-Arc as well as online.

Mar 30, 22 2:29 pm  · 
4  · 

Seems like it's causing a lot of drama within SCI-Arc as well as online.

Mar 30, 22 2:56 pm  · 
3  · 
Immigrant Developer

INSTRUCTOR SALARIES

https://archinect.com/forum/th...

Mar 30, 22 2:57 pm  · 
4  · 
SneakyPete

Why are we listening to the ownership? How to be in a firm (according to the people who don't know)...?

The first 3 minutes are navel-gazing cringe.

Mar 30, 22 3:01 pm  · 
4  · 
SneakyPete

Semantic discussion of office vs. other words which mean office? Seriously?

Mar 30, 22 3:02 pm  · 
1  · 

It's the only way they can justify their taking advantage of people. It's not unethical if we call it something different and pretend like everyone who participates in this other thing is different and special somehow and we all understand the costs involved [wink, wink].

Mar 30, 22 3:05 pm  · 
2  · 
SneakyPete

Step 1: Admit you need us more than we need you. "Put yourself in a mode of learning..."

Mar 30, 22 3:05 pm  · 
 · 
SneakyPete

If an ENTIRE INDUSTRY is told to only accept jobs that allow their WORK to define themselves, we're totally fucked as a species.

Mar 30, 22 3:07 pm  · 
1  · 
b3tadine[sutures]

The only reason they believe that they can pull this shit, is because they are SCI-Arc, and not a state school. Which is so fucking elitist. The thing is though, a lot of what they said is almost intrinsic to the process of getting an architectural education, so much so, that I wanted to say, bitch, what are you smoking.

Mar 31, 22 4:18 am  · 
1  · 
monosierra

There's a remarkably lucrative niche for writers who cannot compete with the pros, philosophy PhDs who have no business in an actual doctorate program, and artists who lack the technical ability and imagination to make a career as a full fledged artist - you find them all in architecture departments like this, where they make a pretty penny as dilettantes surrounded by friends and family. As "architects" who dabble in everything but architecture, they're not held to any standards - not as artists, authors, philosophers, historians, and certainly not designers. There is no objective way to assess what they do in their self-sustaining world.

Mar 31, 22 9:12 am  · 
10  · 
Dangermouse

A few years back at the GSD some poor philosophy student wandered into a panel discussion hosted by KMH. During the Q&A said student pointed out several flaws, many fatal, in KMH and the panel's reading of Foucault. After an increasingly tense exchange, KMH threw up his hands and said "I don't have to use Foucault correctly, I can use him however I want!  Stop pestering me!"

An apt if unintentional summary of the standards to which architecture faculty are held.  

Apr 6, 22 7:02 pm  · 
1  · 
reallynotmyname

The hot subjects for archi professor dilettantism at this moment are environmental and social sciences.

Apr 11, 22 9:38 am  · 
 · 
SneakyPete
Dialogue not wanted:

Mar 30, 22 3:06 pm  · 
4  · 

... but the live chat was on:

Mar 30, 22 3:09 pm  · 
10  · 
SneakyPete

Watch this instead:


Mar 30, 22 3:08 pm  · 
2  · 
Appleseed

Directly resulting in this petition that is currently circulating:


Director Removal Petition

Mar 30, 22 3:37 pm  · 
2  · 

I couldn't listen for more than three minutes.  So much nonsensical arch-speak / nonsense word use that I couldn't continue. 

Mar 30, 22 3:42 pm  · 
2  · 

Completely understand that. I think the archispeak dwindles the further you get into it ... but if you still can't get through it at least do the brave person who asked this question the honor of listening to it and then the complete dismissal of a response in the hemming and hawing that comes after it (starts at 1:16:43 ... https://youtu.be/iszdoZCdWZE?t=4603)

Mar 30, 22 4:00 pm  · 
3  · 
SneakyPete

Rage inducing stupidity. You're a fucking professor and you didn't even have the decency to LISTEN TO THE QUESTION. Nobody gives a flying lefthanded FUCK about your cute little job at 15. Your school traps students into an unlivable condition with promises that it cannot deliver on, then proceeds to tell them that maybe they're in the wrong place? Get the fuck out of here, lady.

Mar 30, 22 4:13 pm  · 
7  · 

What a lying ass.

Mar 30, 22 4:16 pm  · 
 · 
natematt

That was an exceedingly poor response to what didn't even have to be a hard question. As much as people complain about the profession, the reality is that entry level pay at most firms (not run as a hobby) have livable pay. Do they not even realize this?

Mar 31, 22 2:23 am  · 
2  · 
SneakyPete

I just noticed I typed 15 when she said 16. Considering I was excoriating her for not listening, the irony is a bit rich.

Mar 31, 22 11:37 am  · 
 · 
Immigrant Developer

SCI ARC even sells($$$) board of trustee seats if you pay for it. Isnt that insane? 

Mar 30, 22 4:16 pm  · 
 · 
b3tadine[sutures]

SCI-Arc Salaries - 2019
Mar 30, 22 5:22 pm  · 
4  · 
monosierra

The salaries are par for the course at a fancy art school. What I find egregious is the alleged blackmailing of students and coerced free student labor by the program director and his missus, who also happens to run both his studio and his theory department.

Mar 30, 22 5:40 pm  · 
2  · 
b3tadine[sutures]

I think this gives some context. To your point.

Mar 30, 22 6:30 pm  · 
2  · 
monosierra

It does put into context his decision to take full advantage of his power over students instead of paying out of pocket for labor. Insurance, a healthy pay package for the missus, free student labor, access to fab equipment ... ah, to be the program head of Sci-Arc.

Mar 30, 22 6:37 pm  · 
2  · 
sameolddoctor

those salaries do not include bonuses, btw

Apr 1, 22 11:55 am  · 
1  · 
x-jla

I couldn’t get past the part where she said that she was “flanked” by the people next to her.  I think it was like 45 seconds in.  So annoying 

Mar 30, 22 5:41 pm  · 
 · 
x-jla

I really hate the overused word “toxic” but arch school is truly toxic.

Mar 30, 22 5:56 pm  · 
1  · 

Some are. Some aren't.

Mar 30, 22 6:34 pm  · 
2  · 
x-jla

True.

Mar 30, 22 9:15 pm  · 
 · 
Rusty!

At 39 mark person in the middle says all student loans are compound interest (and not simple interest). Da fuck. Does sci-arc only take credit card as payment?

Mar 30, 22 9:20 pm  · 
1  · 

Yeah, not exactly the person I'd want to take this type of advice from. I wonder if she was thinking of capitalization? It could bite a lot of students if they don't understand how it all works during deferment or forbearance periods.

https://studentaid.gov/understand-aid/types/loans/interest-rates#capitalization

Mar 31, 22 2:15 am  · 
 · 
,,,,

I actually listened to this video and went to TWA website with an open mind.


My opinion:


The video: dead air


The work: pointless


The verbal descriptions: no insight.


This was torture. I will never be the same.



Mar 30, 22 10:23 pm  · 
5  · 
rcz1001

If they really cut to the chase and the crux of the discussion, a more informative video could be made in 5-10 minutes versus all the babbling that I saw. 

How to be in the office? 

1. Don't be me (rcz1001).

Here's Sci-arc's video take.... first major point about being in the office is being committed and working your butt off.  Sure, there is truth to that and to an extent, you should do that but not to the point where you destroy your health - mentally, physically, and spiritually.

Second point: Architecture and Life be integrated as part of one's being. This notion is fairly common about the nature of pursuing a career versus a job. On one hand, architecture is not merely just a job but a vocation that spans your life. Therefore, there's an investment that you take into pursuing that and that it is part of your vary being and who you are. Now, there is a certain truth to that. You could interpret what they are saying as architecture being your life and that you commit to it before all other things. Now I wouldn't recommend that. I recommend a health work-life balance. Yes, your career is important and at times, you need to focus. A lawyer may need to put long hours to prepare for a case. An architect may have to put long hours in and is willing to commit the resources of yourself to put your best into your work. This does not mean you should let your work-life (career) over dominate because workaholism can become unhealthy and destructive to yourself, mentally, physically, and perhaps even spiritually. Therefore, you should not do that. If you make the career your life then you will be absorbed by the work and it sucks your soul away into you being a drone. 

Having a real-life outside of work will make you more of a whole person that people and clients can relate. Working yourself to death will be detrimental because sooner or later, you will become disconnect from others of real people and come off more and more like a dispassionate inhuman drone who can not relate because empathy is a trait that lends to the profession of architecture and that empathy needs being connected. If you have nothing outside of work, how can you converse and professional connect with helps to be able to socially and inter-personally connect with the people you serve. I am not saying one has to be close friends or anything like that but be able to converse... sometimes on topics not related to architecture subject like what do you like as a hobby and so forth. It's part of the social rapport that goes with the job. If you spend all your life doing architecture, how does the client relate to you if they have no background in architecture? You have to have a whole life that is not just live, breathe, drink architecture. 

A real person with a real life has much more to them their career vocation. 

While I am a building designer in a vocation but I am more than that. I believe that is true to other people, perhaps... more than it is for myself.

While there are a number of points made that are valid which I agree with especially the idea of not necessarily pursuing grad school immediately after undergrad. After working professionally, you would be changed in many important ways. 

Psychological studies also indicates that as people age, their way of thinking and priorities, habits, etc. usually will change. These can be beneficial in the professional life and how you work. 

One good point that matters that I do agree with is "get shit done". That is important point that I think is valuable. It isn't a quantity of hours worked race. It's a matter of quality and efficiency of getting shit done. It isn't about necessarily a mere quanity of shit you get done but the quality and the efficiency of you working and getting the shit done. It's not about rushing but efficiency of getting the quality of the work you need to do done. Not just the work of the job but everything. I hope that I my intended point comes across. Merely rushing isn't the goal.

There are stuff I agree with to a point and stuff that I am not entirely in agreement with or is sure they were really getting across the point of "how to be in an office".


Mar 30, 22 10:59 pm  · 
1  · 
monosierra

It's a case of the messenger messing up the message because of who he/she is. The points she is making are undermined by the recent allegations at TW - especially the abuse of power by the principal via his dual roles as boss and program director. Not to mention pilfering student work. 'Getting shit done' is a perfectly fine adage by it's own but it can be twisted to the purposes of whoever wields more power in a work relationship - "You gotta get shit done for free FOR THE GREATER GOOD of (my) architectural doodles, which will greatly benefit humanity"

Mar 31, 22 8:36 am  · 
1  · 
rcz1001

monosierra, I can see how the messenger (amid recent allegations at TW) can distort how one reads and interprets the message but the culture of "reading into things" is also not healthy. I agree where you are coming from when a good point and message is twisted for some purpose of abusive exploitation for the benefit of the 'whoever' that wields more power in a work relationship.

Mar 31, 22 4:18 pm  · 
1  · 
rcz1001

For those who may come across this thread in the future, I want to be clear that part of the reason I was ignoring the controversy as I was writing my responses above is that this current controversy at Sci-Arc because I haven't studied up on the controversy issues enough to be confident on talking to it, specifically. At the moment, I treat allegations as that... allegations. I am not sure of the truth in the matter but what is clearly fact is that there is a controversy at Sci-Arc, right now. I do agree with there being systemic issues of architecture school, internship, etc. I reserve my opinion on that. There must be some kernal of fact in any controversy and all those students can't be entirely wrong. If there is this kind of exploitation in any and all architecture school and the profession, unethical exploitation must come to an end as there is nothing right about doing such things... ever. I am still trying to wrap my head around this but I can thank Everyday_Architect, and Katherine (in the recent Archinect editorial/article or whatever we call it) for their take and Katherine's summarization. It is helping in those key points. When exploiters exploits students while giving what are fine points (when you take the words for what they mean) and twist it through unethical exploitation, it distorts the message and that harms the profession of architecture.

Apr 3, 22 12:09 am  · 
 · 
square.

the cherry on top of all of this is the tax breaks sci-arc receives because it has non-profit status; as much as i am a proponent of the academy, this place is a farce and nothing more than a pyramid scheme propping up circle of clowns. it's time to be more judicious about who receives privileged tax-based status, because these people are teaching nothing of value.

i've always loathed this school for the lack of discipline and formal rigor, but watching it (hopefully) implode under the weight of this new found economic lens in a younger generation is truly delightful. what will tommy do when he can no longer subsidize his "business" via his 6 figure salary that is literally paid for by the very people that work for him?

this, also, is truly rich:

https://www.sciarc.edu/institu...

Mar 31, 22 9:35 am  · 
5  · 
square.

also the condescension is so palpable.. the flexing about hiring and firing, describing the students are ripe and prime for exploitation. any student here now - gtfo, your "professors," though i hesitate to use this term because there is hardly any intellectual rigor and only a pathetic thirst for power in a weak profression, have no respect for you and see you as nothing more as replaceable drones.

Mar 31, 22 9:41 am  · 
4  · 
monosierra

There is no business case for his practice to be around. And there is no artistic case too, given how much of the stuff the office produces is student work. These people enjoy playing the role of architects. Perhaps many years ago, they had been legit designers. But now they sit bloating and gloating on the fat of academic largesse.

Mar 31, 22 1:46 pm  · 
5  · 
,,,,

Square, I couldn't agree more about the lack of rigor and discipline. The lecture by TW was total BS. There is a huge difference between the discards surrounding the development of the nucleus of an idea and a flotsam mashup of arbitrary ideas. It was insulting.

Apr 1, 22 9:50 am  · 
1  · 

I haven't been able to confirm this with a verifiable source (I haven't tried that hard), and I don't really doubt its authenticity, but I saw this posted on twitter last night:

Mar 31, 22 11:37 am  · 
3  · 
square.

queue "we're being canceled" + "what about free speech" etc etc

Mar 31, 22 11:41 am  · 
 · 
*your name

Looks like half of the faculty should be put on administrative leave and investigated. Cut all the salaries in half!

Mar 31, 22 12:21 pm  · 
3  · 
monosierra

If Wiscombe and friend start ratting on their colleagues who are doing the same unpaid shickt ... What are the odds this practice is well known in school and Wiscombe got caught only when he went too far i.e. the alleged blackmail threat by his missus

Mar 31, 22 1:18 pm  · 
1  · 
sameolddoctor

Close down Sci-Arc -- it should have been done about 15 years ago though.

Mar 31, 22 8:08 pm  · 
4  · 
proto

I was so irritated by the awkward phrase "how to be in an office" that i couldn't bring myself to watch

it seems i missed out on some cinema verite drama


Mar 31, 22 11:53 am  · 
2  · 
x-jla

How to “be” vs how to “work” or “operate” or “succeed”. The word “be” reveals the problem. It’s a Freudian slip

Mar 31, 22 12:33 pm  · 
2  · 
SneakyPete

The schadenfreude is worth it.

Mar 31, 22 12:41 pm  · 
2  · 
square.

my favorite line: "i too hire and fire sci-arc students"

Mar 31, 22 2:47 pm  · 
2  · 

Student response to the base camp affair starts around 12 minutes into the video:
https://www.twitch.tv/videos/1...

Mar 31, 22 4:19 pm  · 
4  · 

it's a student-organized 'base camp' talking about some positive experiences of recent graduates. Noticeably is that students are supportive of their classmates and other recent graduates and current students. The language reflects current generational thinking and it has a survivalist tone. The times are different than throwing rocks and barricading the gates, these guys are talking clearly about the nonpaying and/or abusive faculty jobs surfaced on 'base camp' panels and saying those jobs are not the only ones. Very useful messages and very calmly stated.
I am an ancient graduate and this whole event wouldn't bode very well with my classmates. Barricades would be set up.
These kids, however soft-spoken, are, smarter. We were combatant. 

Mar 31, 22 5:26 pm  · 
4  · 

It is like an SCI-Arc tradition. Every now and then students rise against the situation that bothers them. It is in the school's DNA. Sort of checks and balances.


Mar 31, 22 5:34 pm  · 
1  · 

I don't think their situation is not unique in any way. This is everywhere. Everyone is paying attention because it is happening at sciarc.

Mar 31, 22 5:42 pm  · 
2  · 

Thanks for sharing this Orhan. Completely different vibe after listening/watching the twitch stream for a few minutes compared to the basecamp.

More of this, less of that.

Mar 31, 22 6:34 pm  · 
1  · 

Knowing some of the panelists, they are not necessarily evil people nor are they there to exploit students. A lot of them really believe they are helping the students. All of them pay however minimum that pay is. The architectural workforce is a different culture now with better life quality expectations and recognition of their creative labor. This is a good wake-up call from the bottom up. The fringes that the panelists operate aren't at the center of today's architectural practice where thousands of new graduates find employment.

Mar 31, 22 6:51 pm  · 
3  · 

Happy Cesar Chavez Day everyone!

Mar 31, 22 6:56 pm  · 
4  · 
monosierra

The stuff these folks teach, after reading about what was fashionable in some philosophy circles a decade ago.

Mar 31, 22 4:49 pm  · 
 · 
Dangermouse

That wig makes him look like an anime villain.

Apr 6, 22 7:06 pm  · 
1  · 
sameolddoctor

The amount of elitism in this conversation is so infuriating. Close down the school, and make it a homeless shelter. Would be much better use of the space.

Mar 31, 22 8:14 pm  · 
4  · 

An appropriate time to post this historical picture again.
Birth of SCI-Arc (Glen Small Archives)
"REVOLUTION RAY KAPPE INTERVIEWED BY LIFE MAGAZINE, GLEN HOWARD SMALL IN RED BELL BOTTOM PANTS, AT CAL POLY UNIVERSITY POMONA"

Full post from Glen Small's blog for a little historical context and background:
Ray Kappe Legacy

Apr 1, 22 10:02 am  · 
5  · 
x-jla

sci arc is an interesting and unique place.  The students know what they are getting.  My only gripe is with the blurry line between academia and office.  It’s good to have a crossover, but there ought to be an explicit policy for how to deal with that without exploiting people…intentionally or not.   A line exists to differentiate employees from independent contractors.   A similar line should exist to differentiate interns from employees, and teachers from employers.  The problem is not that professors are evil and predatory, but that there really isn’t an established definition in the profession for interns.   

Apr 1, 22 12:27 pm  · 
 · 
x-jla

It’s tempting to blame individuals, especially when they are overflowing with elitist cringe, but in reality this all comes down to the licensing process and the vague “intern” position propped up by occupational licensing law.

Apr 1, 22 12:31 pm  · 
 · 
x-jla

Like with law school, licensing should be granted upon graduation and test.

Apr 1, 22 12:33 pm  · 
 ·  1

x-jla wrote: 

"sci arc is an interesting and unique place. The students know what they are getting. "

How do you know this?  In my experience most students don't know how unethical unpaid internships are.  Nor are they aware of how faculty are able to take advantage of them.  They have no other frame of reference or experience in this other than what their professors tell them.  

Apr 1, 22 1:15 pm  · 
1  · 

x-jla wrote: 

 “The problem is not that professors are evil and predatory, but that there really isn’t an established definition in the profession for interns. “ 

I disagree.

In the practice of architecture there is a clear and established legal definition of what an intern is and what their responsibilities can be. 

The issue is that some firms and schools do not disclose or accept what that definition is. Instead, they express what their interpretation of what an intern should be. In most cases this interpretation is only bifacial to the firm / school and is detrimental to the interns. This is the definition of being predatory, and in my opinion being rather evil. 

In addition, each state has separate definitions on what a professional is and this impacts how interns can or can not be paid for their services.  That is how unethical people are able to take advantage of interns.  

Apr 1, 22 1:26 pm  · 
 · 
x-jla

Because I’ve been there several times, and have colleagues who went there. Again, you’re not comprehending.

Apr 1, 22 2:45 pm  · 
 · 
x-jla

The students know what they are getting in terms of the artsy lean of the school.

Apr 1, 22 2:47 pm  · 
 · 
SneakyPete

Isn't the allegation that the internships were unpaid with vague or never explicitly stated promises of rewards that never appeared? Debate the merits and demerits of licensure all you like, but I thought this was worse than the standard "work for exposure" bullshit.

Apr 1, 22 2:49 pm  · 
1  · 
x-jla

“Intern” and “employee” should be two complete different things. In architecture and landscape there is this weird mix. It’s dumb and unnecessary. Licensing upon graduation would remove the firm’s ability to be career gatekeepers. With that, comes too much potential for abuse. Useless schools graduate useless grads, then dump the responsibility on firms to teach them to be useful on their dime. It’s an obvious recipe for what has happened. True Apprenticeships can be integrated into school programs. Upon graduating one would have that exposure, and can test. The laws prop this system up. Ultimately it’s only beneficial to the university and to a minority of predatory employers. Most employers would prefer to hire competent employees rather than have to supplement education, deal with idp, etc.

Apr 1, 22 2:57 pm  · 
3  · 
SneakyPete

Someone write this down. I agree with JLA.

Apr 1, 22 4:16 pm  · 
1  · 
sameolddoctor

Problem is that most of the professors and "leadership" is extremely monolithic - privileged, well to do, non-diverse and Euro/American. Ok Hernan is Argentinian, but you get the point. Most of these idiots are totally unaware of the travails of what a middle-class student faces in their daily lives, in school and after. Pretty amazing when Margaret Griffin is asked a question by and international student and she totally fumbles up the answer.

Forget Sci-Arc, the AIA (if it had any cojones) should stop these jerks from practicing ever again.


Apr 1, 22 4:43 pm  · 
 · 
rcz1001

In a way, I agree with x-jla and Sneakypete's agreement to x-jla. Honestly, we should ultimately get rid of unpaid internships altoegether and remove all exceptions that exists in any federal or state law. If you do anything for a for-profit entity, you get paid. Volunteering should only exist for non-profit / religious entities (that falls into the non-profit realm like when a congregation member volunteers to usher at worship services or stuff like that which are of very limited time commitment. 

On the other hand, most architectural firms are for-profit entities (even though some or possibly, as some may argue, most runs them like a non-profit because of poor business skills) and therefore should pay for every second that person works for them, fairly. Just because you suck at business does not make it a non-profit. People who are hired (employed to work), should be paid fair compensation. Business owners are not necessarily employees in the legal sense and therefore may or may not be paid a salary in the normal sense as would be an employee. 

I don't necessarily agree that all architectural firms should be required to provide a path to ownership stake in the firm as some have stated somewhere. There are times where opening up path to becoming a firm owner (shareholder, LLC member, etc.) may make sense but I don't think it should be rigidly mandated. Employees are not necessarily entitled profit-sharing nor should it be mandated.... that makes them a shareholder. However, it might be better to pay them better wages or salaries as a baseline and invest more into employees, and adjust fees and business practices as needed but that is something the firm owners needs to discern how best to do it in the competitive environment. 

If the profession decided to work on some plan to systematically increase how much they charge clients without collusion then over time, that may make for more financially sustainable business practice. It's a studio and an office, and a business. It is all of those things. It's not merely a cause even if a cause may be at the heart of your mission statement as a business and why you are an architect and how you want to serve clients.

Apr 3, 22 10:32 pm  · 
 · 

x- jla wrote : 

 “Because I’ve been there several times and have colleagues who went there. Again, you’re not comprehending.” 

My comprehension is just find. You have a reputation here for being dishonest and stating options as facts.  As such I'm not going trust much of what you say.   You should have stated that you have experience with SCI-Arch.   I'm still going need a little more information before I can lend credibility to what you're saying.

 When was the last time you were at SCI-Arc? 

When did you collages attend SCI-Arc? 

When is the last time you spoke with students attending SCI-Arc?

Apr 5, 22 1:01 pm  · 
 · 

x- jla - I do agree with you about there needing be a difference between an intern and an employee. 

 I was fortunate and my college provided me with a lot of practical coursework and design projects. This type of education was able to prepare me to work in an actual firm on actual projects. Just barely though. There was still a lot more to learn and experience before I could be considered 'good' at my profession.  Even after 20 years in this profession I'm still learning.  That will never stop.  

Apr 5, 22 1:10 pm  · 
 · 
accountantthe

Copied from Tom Wiscombe's instagram:


To our Community:
Marrikka and I want to apologize. We have been listening carefully over the past week to students, former employees, and our current team, and we will do better. We know we have an intense, high-pressure office culture at TWA, especially during deadlines, which have been particularly relentless over the past months. This relentlessness is exacerbated by my own drive to always improve our work until the last minute, and also my own fears of failure as we grow and take on the responsibilities of larger, real architectural projects. I know it is exhausting and takes a toll on every single person involved, mentally and physically, and we should have set clear boundaries and asked more questions. I am also sorry for the way that I’ve hurt others by not trusting them. I know I often focus too much on design outcomes and not enough on the environment and community that makes it all possible. I also tend to be hard on myself, and I let that hardness extend to others, which is unfair. People who work with me, especially past students, are here because they believe in what we do and want to both learn and contribute. We’re listening to you, we value you, and we are sorry we let you down.


We want to change at TWA. There has to be a better way for a small office like ours to both survive and thrive. Has to. We are committed to figuring out how we can make a creative environment where our colleagues feel more enfranchised and less micromanaged, which we understand can be demotivating. Another thing that we are aware of and appreciate is the next generation’s amazing ability to collaborate, something our generation and those before it just haven’t been able to pull off well. We think it is a powerful and refreshing attitude that can transform ways of working and our collective creative process.


We have started a series of workshops with our staff at TWA on how to work in a thoughtful, sensitive way that is empowering for everyone. It’s a self-reflective time for us. We are so thankful to our employees for having faith in our ability to change, and also for their frank feedback. When we sat together over the past week, we were amazed and humbled by their insights and accurate critique. We see that open communication like this is a huge part of the work ahead of us, and we commit to following through in a transparent and accountable way in both our professional and academic capacities.

We also want to directly address our SCI-Arc Community. We acknowledge that students are just absolutely tired of being faced with industry-wide failures that reduce access, exhaust workers, and create little outlook. While we can’t answer for the wrongs of our entire field, we can and will be responsible for the things that we do in our small office. We completely understand that as a couple at one school, both with administrative roles, it can seem like we have unfairly consolidated power, and we acknowledge that some faculty and students feel that way. As we move forward, we will set forth a plan of action for how we can ensure greater transparency, fairness, and equity for all involved.

We both love SCI-Arc, our students, and our employees at TWA dearly, and are devastated to have caused them harm. We are determined to make it right.

Tom and Marrikka

Apr 3, 22 9:32 pm  · 
1  · 
sameolddoctor

Homie wants to make sure he doesn't lose his 260k (+ bonuses) yearly salary. What workshops? Didn't many of his staff quit recently?

Apr 4, 22 9:27 am  · 
2  · 
gibbost

He likely forced one of the lowly serfs in his office to draft the manuscript for his apology tour.

Apr 4, 22 9:59 am  · 
4  · 
b3tadine[sutures]

Tommy Wiscombe


Apr 4, 22 11:47 am  · 
2  · 

"We want to change at TWA. There has to be a better way for a small office like ours to both survive and thrive. Has to. We are committed to figuring out how we can make a creative environment where our colleagues feel more enfranchised and less micromanaged, which we understand can be demotivating."

Kudos, Tom and Marrikka, for realizing your business model isn't sustainable. Tell your friends. I wish you and TWA the best of luck in figuring out how to become a profitable and creative business. And if you can't figure it out, I wish you a happy bankruptcy. In the meantime, I wish everyone who attempts to work for/with TWA the ability to stand up for yourself and better working conditions.

Apr 4, 22 12:44 pm  · 
2  · 
sameolddoctor

Its pretty amazing that it took the better part of 20 years for the collective profession to try and out TW. He's been known as a zero-worth d-bag since the early 2000s at least, and all of this just proves that hes gotten much worse.

Apr 4, 22 3:11 pm  · 
 · 
monosierra

They're done for if they lose the academic positions. Insurance, paycheck for the missus, fab facilities, student labor, the aura of being part of a hip school.

Apr 5, 22 12:04 pm  · 
2  · 

I hope this finally gains some traction in changing the culture of architecture school and early employment abuse.  I've thought a lot about writing about my experience at SUNY Buffalo because as a young 18 year old I just thought this was how college worked.  I didn't know that every other major didn't experience the abusive hours, mentally ill professors trying to guide you down their destructive psychological abyss, and the general isolation from the rest of the university community.  Most of the professors were kind to me as they thought I was "smart" and worth keeping in the program, but the verbal abuse I witnessed towards less prepared individuals is horrifying to think about now as a 33 year old.  I didn't finish my undergrad architecture degree at SUNY Buffalo, but did complete my M.Arch at Clemson University which had a culture of professionalism and reasonable expectations (which I think prepares you much better for the profession).   Maybe SUNY Buffalo has changed their culture since that time, but what a terrible way to spend your undergrad years.  Trauma bonding with your fellow students while experiencing this abuse should not be considered a positive of these small and intense programs.  Yes, I made very good friends during this time, but it was not under normal circumstances.  Anyhow, when you set this expectation of abuse during your education, you expect the same in your employment and accept it.  This is how people like Tom Wiscombe have offices and exist off of exploited labor.  

I'm not going to call our every individual abuse that I witnessed during my time there, but one especially terrible verbal assault of a student I witnessed involved Mehrdad Hadighi - the female student left the Crit room crying and I was the only person to go check on her.  These type of people can be as charming as they can be abusive.  It just depended on the student/day.    

I think people should start documenting this and calling it out, as I'm doing now.        

Apr 4, 22 2:56 pm  · 
1  · 

I tried to tackle some of the underlying issues of some of these themes in a short essay: Debunking Architecture's Mythological Work Culture.

Apr 4, 22 3:57 pm  · 
10  · 
accountantthe

But wait...there's more: https://drive.google.com/drive...



Testimony of student abuse by instructor Alexis Rochas (https://www.sciarc.edu/people/...) 12yrs back from @artistrichnam's instagram.

Apr 5, 22 2:41 pm  · 
1  · 
monosierra

He's STILL at Sci Arc? Man, between these and Richard Meier harassing his employees architecture is going toe to toe with the film business in terms of unholy characters.
I'd wager if the two victims had been the size of football players, this Alexis chap would not have dared assaulted them.

Apr 5, 22 2:48 pm  · 
 · 
accountantthe

Heh it's funny you mentioned the film industry since the same phenomenon is reflected in the gaming industry as well (Blizzard employee sexual assault anyone?)

Apr 5, 22 3:06 pm  · 
1  · 
monosierra

Man, the cultural businesses are all warped. Entertainment, gaming, sports, design ... power asymmetry galore meets passion industries where one's sense of worth is much more defined by one's work than in other professions.

Apr 5, 22 3:48 pm  · 
1  · 
sameolddoctor

What's amazing about most Sciarc instructors (including the Head) is that they probably couldn't get jobs stocking shelves at Costco. This is where they will all stay till they retire.

Apr 5, 22 5:07 pm  · 
 · 
monosierra

Once you're in ... you're in for life - unless you eff up monumentally like TW did, which now threatens all their livelihood.

Apr 5, 22 5:37 pm  · 
1  · 
Anonymous Alum

“We completely understand that as a couple at one school, both with administrative roles, it can seem like we have unfairly consolidated power, and we acknowledge that some faculty and students feel that way.“


This looks like avoiding responsibility and taking ownership that they misused their power in their administrative role for their personal (professional office’s) gain. 

Apr 5, 22 2:46 pm  · 
1  · 
monosierra

"I'm sorry you feel that way" vibes.

Apr 5, 22 3:49 pm  · 
1  · 
natematt

That's probably the smarter direction legally...

Apr 6, 22 3:42 am  · 
1  · 
SneakyPete

I love that we all live in fear of litigation. It really makes things more human.

Apr 6, 22 11:33 am  · 
1  · 
geezertect

"We didn't do anything wrong and we'll never do it again."

Apr 15, 22 5:50 pm  · 
 · 
haruki

I'm sorry (truly)  but I looked at Margaret Griffin's website and her office's work is just not as good as her attitude suggests it should be. I don't think any of her buildings will leave a mark in history and I even question if they *really* make life better for their users. I could be wrong but it appears that apart from their own office remodel in Silver Lake Dwayne Oyler's office produces renderings not real buildings so it is hard for me to assess the work.

Apr 5, 22 4:23 pm  · 
1  · 

I agree. The things is that most architecture will not leave a lasting mark in history or make life better for their users. The architects that do accomplish this don't have to tell people that their work dose this.

Apr 5, 22 4:33 pm  · 
 · 
natematt

Having buildings is generally better than not. I'd argue not making life better for users, but I'll give you the mark in history.

Apr 6, 22 3:36 am  · 
 · 
haruki

Yes, perhaps I am being a little harsh when I say Griffin's buildings don't make life better but she sure talked her creative credentials up and when I look at her buildings I see a lot of Southern California buildings with all white interiors, huge skylights, and oversized window walls with no roof overhang. That translates to users having to either wear sunglasses inside or suffer from eyestrain, not to mention faded furnishings, art, and books. But as you said at least she has real buildings and I tip my hat to her for that.

Apr 7, 22 2:30 pm  · 
 · 

natematt wrote:

 "Having buildings is generally better than not."

I disagree. 

I know plenty of buildings that actually made the users lives worse. Look to any failed public housing project for numerous examples.  

 That's not including the buildings that didn't meet the users needs and were demolished. Then there are the short life buildings that serve a temporary niche market. The resources wasted and pollution created in these types of 'disposable' projects have made people lives worse as a whole.

Apr 7, 22 2:53 pm  · 
 ·  1
Greybeard

As an architect who employs other architects and interns, and who has observed the intern programs at firms like TWA, I can say with a fair amount of confidence that none of their intern "programs" would pass the smell test with the California Department of Industrial Relations.  If the interns are doing work that is required to run the business (replacing a paid worker), then you need to treat them (payment-wise) as a real employee, with minimum wages (including overtime laws).  The amount of back wages alone would be devastating to most of these offices.  

Also keep in mind that the AIA requires participants in any of their awards programs to declare that they do not employ unpaid labor of any kind.  This has been true since 1994.  It seems that they have to regularly remind their members of the ethical standards to which they agreed:

https://aiacalifornia.org/brea...

Apr 5, 22 6:58 pm  · 
6  · 
b3tadine[sutures]

He'll drop the AIA designation.

Apr 5, 22 8:03 pm  · 
 · 

Mmmmm - not sure about since 1994. This is the exact language I wrote to be incorporate for the national awards programs. It was passed in 2015, sponsored by AIA Georgia, and was the closest vote ever to having a true unanimous, unopposed resolution up to that point (one delegate voted against solely because he didn't like the retroactive tracking). The language (verbatim as here or with small modifications) has since been incorporated into many of the state and local awards. The previous language was more vague, had no time limit on it, and had no teeth to enforce it.

Apr 6, 22 5:11 pm  · 
 · 
Volunteer

At University of Cincinnati, which has a co-op program where the student works full time for one semester and attends class the next semester, lists an average salary of $16.47 an hour for undergraduate architecture students. That is a rate of about $2,600 a month or $33,000 a year. (of course they will be working only six months a year. Submitted here for what it is worth. 

Apr 5, 22 7:53 pm  · 
 · 
reallynotmyname

Wow. That seems kind of low. Some retail and fast food places here in flyover country USA are offering more than that at the moment.

Apr 6, 22 12:26 pm  · 
2  · 

During the Great Recession I would have taken this in a heartbeat. The truth is I took much less than this right out of school at firms ($13-14/hr), and worked for less than this during the summers to help pay for college (usually around $10-12/hr) ... at that time these weren't great paying gigs, but they were good enough to not feel exploited.

I think entry level wages in architecture are lagging behind other industries at the moment and they'll need to catch up or we'll find ourselves in an industry where no one from lesser means will ever be able to make it. Those competitive wages in retail and fast food are probably leading indicators of wage growth because the companies are run profitably enough they can manage the increase. I'm not sure architecture can manage it when firms are still relying on side hustles like teaching at SCI-Arc to keep the lights on. We need a restructuring of the business model to keep young architects paid well enough to stay in the profession.

I don't know if it's going to be convincing owners to pay us more based on value added, or we need to chase down other revenue streams, or something else entirely. But, in my opinion, if you're leading a firm or thinking of going out on your own you need to be thinking of this. If not, you might as well find someone to buy you out now or expect to be bankrupt sometime in the next 10 years.

Apr 6, 22 12:54 pm  · 
1  · 

reallynotmyname - Fast food and retail workers make more because they are valued more than architect. It's that simple.

It's the hard truth of our industry that people don't talk about.  

Apr 6, 22 12:55 pm  · 
 · 
Volunteer

The University of Cincinnati salaries are averaged over all levels from Freshman to Seniors. The students farther along in their schooling are paid more as are the really talented students. What is the hourly rate at SCI-Arc?

Apr 6, 22 3:23 pm  · 
1  · 
sameolddoctor

The change in the system need to happen all the way from the top - from the clients' side. As much as I hate the way Mayne etc behave, the truth is that a well-designed project will always take up more time and money than Joe Shmoe Architect down the street will take up. BUT an firm that wants to do decent work gets paid the same as Joe Shmoe architects. Hence the firm owners squeeze the employees, so on and so forth.

That said, firms like TWA do not really fit in the "good work" category, they are just parasites that keep sucking off of their students and collect bullshit AIA awards in return.

Apr 6, 22 6:21 pm  · 
1  · 
Greybeard

If he does, he wouldn’t be able to gain the recognition he so clearly craves (in lieu of actually building much).  AIA awards make up a large part of his resume.  

https://tomwiscombe.com/RECOGNITION

If the AIA were serious about this requirement, they would revoke the awards.

Apr 6, 22 10:22 am  · 
3  · 

I'll gladly eat these words if proven false, but the AIA would never open that can of worms. They'd have to revoke so many awards over the years they'd never know where to stop.

Apr 6, 22 11:40 am  · 
5  · 

There is a retroactive component you're certifying to when you apply. Realistically, it was almost impossible to claw back a 15 year old award if it wasn't part of the criteria then. But, yes, I have seen someone challenge a firm who won locally on the grounds that they were using unpaid labor. 


Apr 6, 22 5:11 pm  · 
 · 
Greybeard

I don't disagree. I was simply making a point about why TWA values the AIA membership. BTW, the requirement has been in place since 1994, so it's been part of the criteria for a long, long time. Also, it sounds like, from the Town Hall recordings, that TWA believes that he does pay his interns--$3k/month. However, when you require 13hrs/day and 7 days/week, it drops well below minimum wage. There is no way that interns would be categorized as "exempt" employees, so the time and half rules kick in as well.

Apr 7, 22 3:41 pm  · 
1  · 

Getting the feeling that this thread might be attracting newer and younger Archinect users and newbies (welcome!). I made a thread a while back about money in hopes that it could be a place of inspiration and encouragement for people starting out (in education or in practice) or otherwise planning the trajectory of their careers at any point along the way. Common topics getting discussion have been student loans, retirement saving, salaries, etc. Check it out at Money Central and add to the discussion.

Apr 6, 22 12:58 pm  · 
1  · 
proto

in academia... [apologies for paywall link]

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/0...

"The job posting for an assistant adjunct professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, set high expectations for candidates: A Ph.D. in chemistry or biochemistry, a strong teaching record at the college level, and three to five letters of recommendation.

But there was a catch: The job would be on a “without salary basis,” as the posting phrased it. Just to be clear, it hammered home the point: “Applicants must understand there will be no compensation for this position.”

The posting last month caused an immediate uproar among academics across the country, who accused the university of exploiting already undervalued adjunct professors, and suggested this would never happen in other occupations. Under pressure, U.C.L.A. apologized and withdrew the posting.

But the unspoken secret had been fleetingly exposed: Free labor is a fact of academic life.

“These arrangements are common in academia,” Bill Kisliuk, a spokesman for U.C.L.A., told Inside Higher Ed when at first defending the job posting."

“If your theory is that association with U.C.L.A. is itself compensation, then it makes sense,” said Trent McDonald, a Ph.D. candidate in English and American literature and union organizer at Washington University in St. Louis. “I think there is the belief that you can eat prestige.” "

Apr 6, 22 3:30 pm  · 
 · 
monosierra

There was an article some time ago about the awful working conditions of adjunct faculty across the country - even as they spend even more time on the job as professors who should be teaching classes are busy doing research or lecture tours.

Apr 6, 22 5:57 pm  · 
 · 
midlander

oh i just posted this too, on Sean's editorial. The staggering thing which the article doesn't emphasize enough is that this isn't some shady business or greedy owner, this is a public institution 'offering' unpaid jobs to qualified candidates! even in non-profit organizations, the notion of 'purpose' is exploitative.

Apr 6, 22 11:18 pm  · 
 · 
Volunteer

Here is the co-op salary survey mentioned above from the University of Cincinnati for several fields of study. Seems pretty much the same across many of the study areas. It is a couple of years old. 

https://www.uc.edu/content/dam... 

Apr 6, 22 7:14 pm  · 
 · 
Smalbert

It is kind of ironic how students are made believe that they learn relevant skills in practices that are mostly academic and have not yet figured out how to run as profitable businesses or earn wider success through their designs outside of the walls of the institutions they are so dependent on. It’s a terrible system that speaks to the disconnect in the US between the practice of architecture and architecture academia which is a problem for both.

 

This observation was posted in response to the Archinect report on the recent faculty contretemps at Sci-Arc.

It could have been written 50 or 70 years ago.

Nothing has changed and I ought to know. I graduated with my Bachelor of Architecture degree from Carnegie Mellon (‘Carnegie Tech’) in 1966 and, with a Master’s in Architecture from U.C. Berkeley, in 1967. Architectural education has always had a fragile relationship to Architectural practice.

I taught design at U.C. Colorado through the late ‘60’s, then returned to California and Los Angeles in 1974. I started my own practice in 1977 and taught ‘Office and Practice Management’ at Sci-Arc through the ‘80’s and 90’s.

At Carnegie, the head of the Architecture Department was Paul Schweikher, a contemporary and friend of Lou Kahn, who was a visiting critic to my sophomore class and even stronger friend of Walter Gropius and the group of practitioners who fled Nazi Germany, some of whom wound up at Carnegie after WWII.

Schweikher had one piece of advice for us in his Senior class seminar:

 

Architecture is a serious business.

 

Our profession is based on contracts. The California Architectural Practices Act requires that a contract be the basis for the delivery of services.  It must contain the legal name of the client, the legal description of the property where the project is to be located and the compensation for the specific tasks or deliverables to be provided by the Architect. The responsibilities of the client are equally spelled out. The A.I.A, General Conditions of the Contract is an excruciatingly complex and detailed document that ties all of these responsibilities to those of the Contractor who is selected to build what the Architect has designed and what the client is willing to pay for. Failure to understand this document is at the root of the majority of lawsuits against architects.

 

Schweikher had another bit of wisdom. His stated mission was to

 

have a program that trained the competition, not the help.

 

The point is understanding what skills are needed to be the competition.

And, beyond that, who has the ability to teach those skills?

In that respect, the ills at Sci-Arc are no different than most all the current schools of Architecture.

 

That the business of Architecture is beyond the understanding of administration and faculty, from top to bottom at Sci-Arc and most educators in Architecture is no surprise. To understand the central importance of contracts an emphasis on business law is needed. The contracts stipulate specific services for defined payments.

Knowledge of accounting procedures focused on pricing services, relating the distribution of fees for each of the A.I.A. Basic Services to the cost of labor, and managing fees set aside the consultants is essential to understanding Architecture as a for profit business

 

Call it understanding ‘Source of Funds and Use of Funds’.

 

Instruction in the business of Architecture must have equal status to the design studio for any school to bridge the yawning gap between academia and the ‘office’.

The lesson of the Sci-Arc debacle, to me, at least, was the total inability of the faculty to understand the skills needed to prosper in a for profit business Like most Architectural faculty they tried to cover their lack of business and office management skills and outright hostility to the fundamental fact that Architecture is A Serious Business by retreating behind discussions of office cultural values.

 

I took a deep dive into the website of the two suspended faculty members.

Putting aside questions of constructability, the impressive amount of modelling, and graphics on the website suggested  an enormous number of hours was needed to create the imagery.

The amount of labor needed for the excess of eye candy in the exhibits could not possibly have been covered by the fee available. That is, if there were fees, or contracts in place meeting the standards of the Architectural Practices Act, A,I.A. standard agreements or, any reasonable standard, in the first place.

The website demonstrated the characteristics and values of an art studio under the guise of an architectural firm.

It takes an endless supply of cheap labor to fuel and document the  paths of an art studio.

The only way to fund cheap to zero cost labor is through a system of indentured servitude. Unpaid interns or co-opted students are easy prey. Ignoring the fact that it is illegal, indentured servitude was justified by the head of the art studio incredulous  statement about Architecture being a ‘noble’ calling.

The website reveals an un-serious business run by people with neither the skills nor interest in training the competition.

Sci-arc with the complicity of the board and director provided a platform for aspirations of leaders of an art studio.

The art studio has no interest in engaging students with the skills needed to run a profitable business in a highly competitive world market for architectural services.

 

The 2 faculty leaders of their art studio were suspended for ‘misconduct.

Using the equivalent of slave labor a to fuel atheir enterprise is bad enough.

But the real misconduct starts with the Board of Directors and goes through members of the faculty who have little interest in basing the education of Architects on the serious business that it is, and their lack of understanding, let alone the ability to teach the skills needed to run ‘a profitable business’ or ‘earn wider success outside the walls of academia’, as expressed in the initial post.

A routine Monday night discussion on what to expect when graduating from the institution

was characterized as exploring the: ‘highly problematic issues of labor and equitable working conditions. It was far more ‘problematic’ than that.

 

Paul Sehnert was the facilities director at the University of Pennsylvania until his untimely death, a few years ago. He would walk me through the renovations to Lou Kahn’s Richards Medical Center and dissect the contracts the University used to engage very talented Architectural firms.

The extraordinary buildings on campus are his legacy. Paul was constantly astonished, though, that, without exception firms signed Architectural services contracts that were intentionally biased towards the University. He said he would never sign them.

Paul tried his best to be a serious proponent of the business of architecture by teaching a class on contracts and client relations at the Wharton School of Management at Penn.

While pursuing a master’s in architecture at Penn, my son Todd, took Paul’s class along with offerings in business law and accounting that earned him a certificate in real estate development along with a Masters. To Todd, they were obviously essentially, and, not being your typical math challenged architectural student, the courses were a piece of cake.

So much so, that Paul let me know that local practitioners, looking for talent, heard about Todd and were offering well paying positions to the ‘gentleman from L.A.’ I offered him more money and you can contact Todd at [email protected].

Architects who treat the business seriously and, who, are in the competitive arena knew the value of real talent.

 

Since they have limited chances of being the competition, much of the faculty at Sci-Arc has no business teaching the competition.

Paul Schweikher and Paul Sehnert could come back from the dead to lead Sci-Arc and just about every other misbegotten school of Architecture out of the wilderness.

OR:

The current Director and some faculty, could get busy, and learn some new skills.

Since both these options have roughly equal chances of happening, students can and will figure it out. UCLA, USC and SMCC have excellent schools of management and real estate development offering business law, management, and accounting. Reduce the time spent in the studio on theory.

Tell the studio head the same thing the Ukranian soldier told the Russian warship threatening to bombard the little Ukranian island.

The following statement by the replacements to the disgraced duo does NOT offer much hope for change, though:

“Our appointment allows for a moment of experimentation in a time of transformation: to test received hierarchies of organization by working together through shared consensus, and afford extra openness to student involvement in shaping what ‘history’ and ‘theory’ include. The practice of architecture is stratified both by glaring inequalities of power, and by radical acts of creativity that bring completely new kinds of collective life into existence. So now is a good time to work together to rethink what History + Theory can do at SCI-Arc—and to do this collectively.”

“We would like to acknowledge the appointment process and thank the students and faculty for trusting us to collaborate with them during this time of reflection and transformation. SCI-Arc, as an institution, has the power to shape a new generation of bright minds capable of changing a culture that for decades often valued quantity of work versus quality of life,”

Still misguided. The practice of architecture is stratified both by glaring inequalities of power, and by radical acts of creativity that bring completely new kinds of collective life into existence.

To me, stratified is a coded justification for the art studio as having a place as a legitimate business model. It most assuredly does not.

 

The school should replace much of the studio/theory faculty with grizzly practitioners possessing  a decent portfolio of built work of significant scale, experience with institutional and private clients backed by A.I.A. contracts. Who rely on a staff of full-time licensed employees, have 40 hour work week, meet a payroll twice a month and make a healthy profit. In other words, worthy role models.

The two suspended faculty should meet their fates at the hands of the California Architectural Registration Board and the State Attorney General’s office so that medieval work weeks and indentured servitude are no longer acceptable business models.

 

Meanwhile, the current graduating class can get out there and dazzle befuddled practitioners with their intimate knowledge of the A.I.A. General Conditions.

I know, to a certainty, that there are plenty of Architectural firms that do great design work, are run like a serious business, and relish the competition.

You will fit right in, be fairly paid, earn retirement benefits, work a standard 40 hours a week. And, every day will be a great day to be an Architect.

Apr 10, 22 12:40 pm  · 
15  · 
bowling_ball

I love everything you said. Please please please stick around to contribute to this and other discussions. Your voice is a refreshing one. Thank you so much for your insight

Apr 10, 22 3:37 pm  · 
6  · 
b3tadine[sutures]

Exactly. It's great content, without being a wall of impenetrability.

Apr 10, 22 4:46 pm  · 
1  · 
archanonymous

Well said. 

Hard to respond to any one of your well made points individually, but I will say that among them all, I would relish seeing more practitioners teaching.

Apr 11, 22 8:35 am  · 
1  · 
square.

though i don't disagree with any of this, and think it's incredibly perceptive, it still paints a bleak picture of not only academia, but particularly the profession. seems to me the profession has lost many of its aspirational qualities, and every year more and more attention has to be paid to increasingly complex issues of money and technology, along with a faster pace of work, client demands, etc.

while i'm not condoning it by any means, i understand the impulse of the "art studios," attempting to hold onto any of the humanities side of architecture. unfortunately, i think it's gone, and i'm pessimistic that it will ever return. the decline started with cad and is all but assured with bim. now, as this post says, it's exclusively a business that has to manage increasingly complex demands; perhaps both sides would be better off if they accepted reality.

Apr 11, 22 9:54 am  · 
1  · 
SlammingMiruvor

Agree with everything you're saying, but I take issue about the Paul Sehnert contract favored towards the University story. 


You either play by their rules, or you aren't awarded the work. 


In my short career so far no series institutional client negotiates their contracts. That is, the actual agreement, not necessarily the proposal and it's terms.

Apr 11, 22 12:45 pm  · 
1  · 
SneakyPete

When you capitulate to the degree the profession has, there's only so much ground you can retake.

Apr 11, 22 1:09 pm  · 
2  · 
square.

exactly- like i said, incredibly pessimistic over here.. feels like the last few years have been a grieving process, recently moving into acceptance, which means moving on.

Apr 11, 22 2:53 pm  · 
 · 
,,,,

What you seem to be suggesting is a technical education instead of a college education. If that is what you mean,
I couldn't disagree more.

Apr 11, 22 10:46 pm  · 
1  · 
square.

i'm not sure i have the solution here - but there is a huge ontological disconnect between what one does in order to prepare through education for an almost unrecognizable profession. i'm torn because on the one hand i absolutely loved my architecture education, especially the unique studio model, but on the other, 90% of the values of the environment is rejected by practice, and i don't see it getting any better.

maybe it's too cynical, but in my mind the two are growing too far apart to reconcile. perhaps the quality of the experience in education is enough to justify it, but i absolutely reject the notion that an aspirational model of education is going to be able to amend what is lacking in practice; the forces there are too strong.

Apr 12, 22 9:00 am  · 
1  · 
torr

Starting salary as a WalMart truck driver average 85k.  No higher ed required.

https://www.agweb.com/news/bus...

Apr 11, 22 4:29 pm  · 
1  · 

Too bad the working conditions, benefits,  and job security for that line of work are worse than architecture.  

Apr 11, 22 4:59 pm  · 
5  · 
SneakyPete

Last Week Tonight had a good episode on that recently.

Apr 11, 22 5:59 pm  · 
1  · 
b3tadine[sutures]

Yeah, and if you hit Tracey Morgan again, we gon have problems.

Apr 11, 22 6:10 pm  · 
 · 

I thought that was the only perk of being a Walmart truck driver . . .

Apr 12, 22 12:54 pm  · 
 · 
haruki

With the news that Wolf Prix is sticking by his decision to continue work in Russia despite the horrors being conducted by Russia and with the knowledge that Tom Wiscombe got his professional start designing for Wolf Prix one has to wonder if we shouldn't consider cutting Tom some slack here. Tom might very well have picked up the wrong lessons from Prix when he was an impressionable young person and until now simple hadn't given thought to what he learned as a young man. 

Apr 13, 22 3:04 pm  · 
1  · 
b3tadine[sutures]

He's a fully functional, adult white man, he'll be fine to take a hit here.

Apr 13, 22 3:47 pm  · 
3  · 

Up until this Sci Arch thing I'd never heard of Wiscombe or Prix and had never seen any of their work.

Apr 13, 22 4:54 pm  · 
1  ·  2
sameolddoctor

Chad, I am surprised you never heard of Wolf Prix - Coop Himmelbau was all the rage in the 90s. I wont lie, I used to like photos of their stuff but started hating them when I got to visit one of their buildings. Total garbage. And hearing the stories of abuse that Wolf used to subject his students to, I am convinced they are pure, unfiltered shit. So you didn't miss anything by not knowing them. Tom Wiscombe is another level of shit - at least Wolf has some built work to show.

Apr 13, 22 8:18 pm  · 
2  · 
archanonymous

High School #9 is a great building, regardless of how terrible of people designed it.

Apr 13, 22 11:48 pm  · 
 · 
square.

...is it?

Apr 14, 22 9:40 am  · 
1  · 

Sameold - well I graduated arch school in 2002 so Prix would of been popular when I was in high school . . . .

Apr 14, 22 10:34 am  · 
 · 

Armed architecture, Wolf Prix 
Central Los Angeles Area High School #9 for the Visual and Performing Arts as seen from Moneo's Cathedral of Our Lady of The Angel. Photo: OA, 2018

Apr 14, 22 12:01 am  · 
5  · 
e_zam

Sadly, architecture has been reduced to an expensive art degree except  with ALL the limitations of a highly complex and competitive profession. When you account for cost of education, time spent in school, licensing process, cost of exams, fees, memberships and required experience hours, you're left in a deficit, both in practice, time and finance. It has an obscenely high cost of entry without the ROI for your time and commitment. At least not until you have looked well beyond your youth and have raised children - IF you're lucky. Architects are notorious for working the hardest for the least. A starting salary of 35k-45k is pathetic in retrospect to all the requirements we face.  

All we have is a further exacerbation of an elitist dogma really only enjoyed by those who are in no need of any financial lifeline. Why is this impressive? Architecture as a hobby - a "lifestyle" - seems more attractive. lol  

"Yeah, just you know, pick up some SIDE HUSSSTLE" "Multiple side HUSSSTLES" why is it that architecture champions "hard work" at the detriment of your life and all the things that come with it? Why sacrifice so much for a practice that will not support you financially or professionally? What a terrible way to live! Its not really a sport to be enjoyed by all, but very few. The industry has done a great job at gatekeeping, exploiting youth for cheap labor, and failing to advocate its value to the world. 

Hey I get it. These age old antiquated boomer politics have plagued our profession for a very long time. Maybe there is just something inherently BAD about architecture's business model. How do you scale when you're limited by the number of buildings you can do? How do you profit when proposals are done free of charge? How do you land a commission when the next guy's fee undercuts yours?...By running painfully tight deadlines and underpaying your staff. Architects have done a terrible job in running business and we are left to take the crumbs and feel "empowered" by the role of design. 

I appreciate the question at the end of the panel where it was asked "why does architecture fall behind?" and really the only answer here was Dwayne Oyler's comment on how the AIA has done a poor job at advocating our worth. The rest of the panel was of course defensive... Clients take advantage. Firms undercut each other. Youth is exploited and everyone is overworked. It's a mess.

Apr 14, 22 12:16 am  · 
6  · 
SneakyPete

I like the way you think.

Apr 14, 22 11:45 am  · 
 · 
geezertect

I absolutely agree with everything you said, but don't lay it all at the feet of the hated boomers. As a boomer myself, I can tell you that this suffer-for-your-art mentality was firmly established when we embarked on our own career journeys. We pulled the same all-nighters and got the same hard-ons reading the Fountainhead as you. FLW was running the same students-as-free-labor scam at Taliesin in the thirties. It is a very old story in this profession. The difference is that while a stint at Taliesin might have genuinely been a worthwhile career investment, these days every hack firm grinding out strip centers and masonite condominiums thinks it is a creative atelier worthy of slavering dedication. And they get away with it because the supply of architects and near-architects vastly exceeds the available worthwhile opportunities. The only answer is a reduction in supply, but I don't see a realistic scenario for it.

Apr 14, 22 8:21 pm  · 
 · 
e_zam

@geezertect I agree this culture of exhaustion and exploitation has been handed down the generational pipeline - but it needs to stop. It's antiquated and out of touch with the real world. It paints architecture as a luxury further alienating those who may contribute significantly but cannot due to age old politics that hold the profession back. Architecture has been falling behind. The problem is also leadership. Our mentors, teachers, employers, and professional organizations have been complicit in carrying this outdated mindset forward. I'm glad sci-arc is actively and openly looking into these issues, but without our leaders stepping in and listening, we will get nowhere.

Apr 15, 22 3:43 pm  · 
 · 
geezertect

I agree.  The problem is that those who might be in a position to fix things don't perceive a personal advantage in doing  so.

Apr 16, 22 5:41 pm  · 
1  · 
e_zam

Yup! And what you said about strip mall firms demanding expensive degrees is absolutely true and comical. Its always these bottom tier bullshit "offices" 1-8 employees with the most egregious "qualifications"... lol

Apr 21, 22 3:37 pm  · 
 · 
archinet

50k a year in tuition (plus the need to study for at least 7 years) is just plain wrong and nobody from a low or middle income background will have a fighting chance to have an office or be able to work in a boutique office. Such high tuition is partly killing the profession, when graduating with hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt one has no other choice but to work for a developer or a large corporate office. 

Apr 14, 22 3:54 am  · 
1  · 

Even if you work for a developer or large corporate office it will take you 30 years to pay off $350K in student loan debt. The average pay for a fresh grad is around $41K a year. Keep in mind those numbers are skewed from the higher pay in large costal metropolitan areas.

Apr 14, 22 10:33 am  · 
1  · 
Janosh

SCI-Arc has been (at best) a vertical marketing scheme since EOM's crew deposed Neil Denari.

Apr 14, 22 11:55 am  · 
2  · 
archinet

It should be a criminal offence to charge 50k (tuition alone) for 7 years to study architecture. The first thing that should have been addressed by the panel was how on earth can they justify working for a school that charges 50k a year (for seven years in order to get the M.Arch to get licensed) knowing that graduates will be earning circa 40k (if they are lucky) a year. It makes zero financial sense and its plain wrong. Charging that kind of tuition is killing the profession and future basic life opportunities (i.e. having a family) for aspiring architects.

Apr 14, 22 4:36 pm  · 
 · 
geezertect

Yeah, 50k for the privilege of working for free! But, one has to seriously ask what the students (and maybe their parents) are thinking. If they are intelligent enough to complete such a program, then they should have enough common sense to know bullshit when they smell it.

Apr 14, 22 8:34 pm  · 
 · 
sameolddoctor

They need to charge such amounts of tuition so that Hernan can make half a mil per year, and TW can make 300k

Apr 14, 22 9:22 pm  · 
 · 
square.

there's a lot of cultural/societal/economic forces pressuring people to pursue expensive degrees - this is a common enough problem across not only this industry, but many others, that blaming individuals for bad decisions isn't getting at the heart of the issue.

'm sure when you weren't a geezer it wasn't even remotely possible to take a degree for 50k a year, in which case, you have no credibility in assessing the validity of such a decision.

Apr 14, 22 9:29 pm  · 
 · 

@ Chad - I can assure you recent grads in Atlanta are getting a lot more than 41k. Also, 5 years is the max anyone needs to do a degree. If you want a Masters... I think you'd want to go somewhere where the tuition/fees are much lower. SCI-Arc - like any private school IMHO - needs to demonstrate a significant increase in long term value to justify the expense now (and I've got degrees from a public school and private school).

Apr 15, 22 10:25 am  · 
 · 

Gregory Walker - I'm aware of that. 

I should of been more clear in my post - it's the national average pay for a first year intern.  $41K is the national average.  Some places will pay much more, some much less. Hence an average.

The average first year intern pay in Atlanta is $52K. If you remove the top and bottom 10% of pay then the average drops to around $44K.  

Apr 15, 22 11:42 am  · 
 · 
rcz1001

The irony is the state where Sci-Arc is located, you don't need a degree to get licensed as an architect. Perhaps a community college education and maybe a 4 year BA/BS in architecture from a public university/state college is maybe enough if architecture firms in California calibrate the pay appropriate. Sure, maybe the first couple years pay might be $31K to $41K, then those with 3-5 years experience gets paid between $40K and $50K. Those with between 5 to 10 years of experience would be about $60K to $70K. This initial lower level of pay might be reflected in the work that may be needed for in-office training practicum. Once licensed, the starting pay being $75K a year and is then calibrated based on number of years of Post-licensure experience. I know firms may vary as they are able but this is something that is a ballpark figure that I would think would be somewhat fair and may need adjustments for specific local cost of living adjustments because cost varies wildly in California. In higher cost of living areas, I might say the figures be bumped up say 50% to doubling the above figures. That depends on where you are.

Apr 15, 22 1:31 pm  · 
 · 
rcz1001

I would encourage firms to figure out ways to build into their practice some form of curriculum training that maybe a step above just logging hours for AXP but furthering the education and training of new employees. In which case, an initial pay might be lower like closer to minimum wage for those without an NAAB accredited degree. However, the pay rate increases with a PAID structured internship period where employees are paid but guided. AXP provides elements to it but helping new employees in this period of their career as emerging professionals to develop while they are working with you on projects is important. Sure, if they had all this properly taught to them at the architecture school level then they would be coming into the firm at a higher initial pay rate. Firms should encourage a "mentor-supervisor" to mentor, guide, and supervise these individuals. This is particularly important if you hire people without NAAB accredited degrees but I think we can argue that is true in many cases for even those with NAAB accredited degrees.

Apr 15, 22 1:40 pm  · 
 · 
e_zam

I would be inclined to agree that having better preparation to be profitable out of school would serve as a benefit. Maybe we should have a more well-rounded curriculum in practice and theory.

Apr 15, 22 4:18 pm  · 
 · 
e_zam

@rcz1001 NAAB accredited degrees are not as significantly more valuable as you would expect. A 4-year BS/BA architecture degree will do the same work a 5-year Bachelors or Masters will out of school. You will be paid the same. You are no more important to their business than others if there is no experience. This is clearly shown in the compensation model all new graduates are employed under.

Apr 15, 22 4:35 pm  · 
 · 
e_zam

I would be inclined to agree that having better preparation to be profitable out of school would serve as a benefit. Maybe we should have a more well-rounded curriculum in practice and theory. However, firms would not be in business. They profit immensely from "cheap labor". Why would they be incentivized to hire graduates if they are now costing them twice as much? Will they up their fees? How will clients react? What about competition in business and landing commissions? Sadly, I think firms profit more from margins on staff vs margins on commissions. Its in their best interest to underpay supporting help as they desperately need it to be profitable. 

Apr 15, 22 4:40 pm  · 
 · 
rcz1001

Every year we cost more... inflation. Additionally, if all firms moved towards increasing the cost... it becomes a new norm which clients would be forced (more or less) to these new norms because we charge what we value our worth and don't budge below acceptable minimum. The race to the bottom only hurts us.

Apr 16, 22 12:33 am  · 
 · 
e_zam

Well, inflation doesn't quite work like that. Everything else costs more. The fed just hiked interest rates for the first time since 2018 and will continue to go through a cycle of steady increases through 2023 to fight inflation. That means if firms are not adjusting accordingly, they will be in a deficit. Inflation does not mean you are worth more, it means your dollar is fractionally cut until you adjust. Its a zero-sum result at best, unless you skim from the top and intentionally pay your staff less than the true rate. Unfortunately, firms are not incentivized to hire more profitable staff/graduates as they cannot afford them in a market where fees and business practices are a "race" to the bottom as you say. Maybe the profession can advocate for itself but we are dealing with decades and decades of compound interest.

Apr 21, 22 3:53 pm  · 
 · 
rcz1001

Inflation is driven by pay rate increase. Since much of everything is manufactured on an assembly line which mean when workers get an increase in pay, the cost of items go up in cost because they don't produce more per unit of labor per person. In a sense, the institution of the minimum income system has been a contributor of the rapid increase because all the attempts to get more pay is only going to result in the cost of all the things we buy goes up because that is how the business owners recoup the increase in cost and frequently also profit on top of it. It is a viscious repeating cycle because as you know, minimum wage increases and other pay level increases don't all go up at the same time so in reality we rarely ever see an being worth more but then you aren't worth more because of the supply vs demand ratio. If there is others willing to charge less and live on less, this race to the bottom occurs but to combat it means we all have to collectively agree to charge more and raise our prices but we don't make an agreement on the exact amount of increase because that would trigger the "price fixing" issue that gets the US DOJ involved. We decide our prices not the clients. The clients can decide to either contract with us or go with someone else. Sometimes, there's wiggle room to negotiate and that you proceed with such negotiation within what you are willing to go down to. Surely, there will always be competition but the competition would also rather make more money than they do now if they can. If we all decided we would raise prices anywhere from 20% to 250% (depending on where we are in our pricing and the market ceiling)... we are raising the price ceiling. Ultimately, the clients are going to end up paying more for architectural services. The point isn't merely to increase by rate of inflation but of course when we raise ourselves up to decent pay levels for the work we do, we make inflation adjustments but if you are under paid at a substandard level of pay, you increase your price up in increments until you are more or less with the statistical pack and not stray too far because you analyze what you charge from what it would need to charge to be a financially sustainable business where you and your employees are making decent family wage income. What do you need to make to raise a family on a decent level, and have money put away for retirement and so forth. There are people who simply don't even think about that and even charge what they were making as an employee or worse. That can be said and concerning. It hurts the profession. The race to the bottom by succumbing to the idea of charging less to get the job mentality is what is hurting the profession. Surely, if we cut the number of architecture schools by 75%, and reduce the number of students in the architecture schools that are admitted by 10-25% then we would have some reduction in supply and that would help. Also, if the bottom feeders simply give up on the profession and move on to something else, that may help, too.

Apr 21, 22 4:21 pm  · 
 · 
e_zam

Architecture has to produce profits and adjust for inflation or they will not be in business. However, its a matter of how they do it. Do they simply up their fees to keep up with higher expenses? What exactly are those higher expenses? Unless people en masse are receiving significant salary adjustments, they are not costing them more. If 15% was the bump trend, you should now receive 20-22% to adjust for inflation with your raise. The reported inflation rate for 2021 was 7%. As of march 2022 its 8.5% - the highest since 1981. I am not seeing higher salaries in architecture. They are more-so the same as pre-pandemic levels. Wages are stagnant. So if firms are adjusting, and you are not seeing at LEAST a 7-8.5% raise on your bottom line, then this is an undeniable question of ethics. There is a business model where you are the product. What they pay you vs. what you cost them vs. what they bill for you. I just don't see how firms are incentivized to have graduates come out of school profitable. Yes it costs them to train, but then again they are hiring you dirt cheap. There's profit there. 

Apr 21, 22 5:52 pm  · 
 · 
Anonymous Alum

Dear SCI-Arc Community, 
 


The SCI-Arc Board of Trustees has established this Special Task Force to oversee an investigation regarding the various concerns that have been raised recently. To ensure that the investigation is impartial, the Board of Trustees has retained the services of an independent investigation firm, Nicole Miller & Associates. Specifically, the investigators will look into issues of misconduct and unfairness related to treatment of students as interns and related to the awarding of scholarships and prizes to students by members of the SCI-Arc faculty and leadership. The investigators are expected to issue their preliminary findings within the next two to three months along with any recommendations for revisions to SCI-Arc policies. Updates will be provided on a regular basis to the extent possible, and the scope and timing of the investigation may be expanded to include other issues based upon input obtained during the investigation.  
 


Individuals with information to share are being provided direct access to the independent investigator via a secured email. To provide information to this investigation contact Tim Bernstein of Nicole Miller & Associates at [email protected]
 


The Special Task Force wishes to thank the entire SCI-Arc community, in advance, for your patience, cooperation, and understanding during this time.
 


Sincerely,


SCI-Arc Board of Trustees
Ad Hoc Comittee

Apr 14, 22 4:30 pm  · 
3  · 
haruki

I had a disturbing conversation the other day that has me worried that once this blows over everything at SCI-arc will go back to the way things have been. I could not convince the person I was talking to that for many perhaps most who teach architecture these days TEACHING IS THE SIDE HUSTLE. I also failed to convince them that Hernan Diaz is all cigar smoke and mirrors. There is no triumph, little challenge, and little value in only producing renderings not real buildings. 

Apr 28, 22 6:29 pm  · 
5  · 
sameolddoctor

Of course it will all go back to being the way it is right now. There are too many trust fund babies who will get attracted to the DTLA lifestyle without much regard for the future

Apr 28, 22 9:22 pm  · 
 · 
square.

he also makes 400k a year - what a joke. the real huckster here making a salary he never would in private practice.

Apr 28, 22 9:41 pm  · 
 · 
haruki

Seeing Tom Wiscombe in the news yesterday (New York Times) made me wonder if there is any news on where he stands with SCI-arc. I noticed the article made no mention of him having an affiliation with SCI-arc.....   https://www.nytimes.com/2022/0...

Aug 20, 22 7:38 pm  · 
 · 
natematt

Initially it did.

While I have conflicting feelings about them, I don't think you can be up to date on current controversies in architecture with out following @dank.lloyd.wright on Instagram. They skewered NYT over the article, and were at the very least a documenter of the article being changed to not reference his affiliation.


https://www.instagram.com/p/Ch...

Aug 23, 22 1:15 pm  · 
1  · 
Anonymous Alum

The timing of the article seems like a PR move… “if you don’t like what’s being said, change the conversation ”

Aug 26, 22 12:58 am  · 
 · 
haruki

The photograph of Tom in the NY Times article makes it look like he might have put on some weight.  

Aug 20, 22 7:41 pm  · 
 · 

According to your social media pics it looks like you've put on some weight. 

See how creepy and rude that is?  Tom may be a  #@* but have some decency.  

Aug 22, 22 10:24 am  · 
1  · 
haruki

Hi Chad, I truly didn't intend to be rude! Tom has always cut such a dashing and glamorous figure. While he doesn't literally wear a Frank Lloyd Wright-esque cape he sweeps into a room as though he is wearing one. I thought his aging would be a worthwhile topic of conversation because now that he is visibly aging I don't think he will still be talked about as the most important emerging (read young) voice in architecture. Fortunately after many fallow seasons he finally has some built work to his name so the mystique of "Tom Wiscombe the personage" might be less important to his trajectory now. Of course those of us who live long enough to lose our youthful figure are the lucky ones.

Aug 22, 22 8:13 pm  · 
 · 

Everyone is aging. It's not a worthwhile topic when Tom's BEHAVIOR is abhorrent. 

Aug 23, 22 1:50 pm  · 
1  · 
square.

I don't think he will still be talked about as the most important emerging (read young) voice in architecture.

was this ever true (i'm skeptical..)? sad if so

Aug 23, 22 2:48 pm  · 
 · 
thisisnotmyname

I don't think it's true so far. There are several LA and east coast practices currently eclipsing TWA at this moment. TWA needs to get some artsy condo complex and museum building projects to really compete and move forward.  Maybe the NYT article will help with that.  It is a very prominent placement in a media outlet important to the USA elite establishment.

Aug 23, 22 3:05 pm  · 
 · 
monosierra

Outside SciArc, I don't see Wiscombe being studied or emulated. His style seems right out of the '90s/'00s - far from the synth revival or millennial pastels that's in vogue on campuses. His whole design approach is also passe.

Look at the young faculty getting exhibitions around town or mid-career stars getting projects built around the world - the H&Ys and SO-ILs. TWA is not in that league.

Aug 23, 22 4:13 pm  · 
3  · 

Before the SciArc debacle I'd never heard of Wiscombe or SciArc.

Aug 26, 22 12:38 pm  · 
3  ·  1
Appleseed

^ That says more about you, than anything else. SCIarc is a regular, sponsored-content darling on the main page - and has been for years.

Aug 26, 22 3:32 pm  · 
1  · 

It means that I don't spend much time on the site . . .

Apr 5, 23 10:09 am  · 
 ·  1
msparchitect

bumping an old thread…. Tom Wiscombe is hiring. I wonder the pay?

https://archinect.com/jobs/entry/150344081/project-architect-designer

Apr 4, 23 9:21 pm  · 
 · 

Why would anyone with knowledge of their unethical business practices ever want to work for (not with) TWA?

Apr 5, 23 10:10 am  · 
1  · 
natematt

I wonder how many employees they have, more than 15 I think requires them to list a pay range in their advert in LA :)

Probably don't have that many to be real.

Apr 5, 23 1:49 pm  · 
 · 
sameolddoctor

The pay range is also wonky - the pay may seem comparable but not so when he makes you pull 90 hours a week

Apr 5, 23 2:08 pm  · 
 · 

I didn't see a pay range on the posting.

Apr 5, 23 2:48 pm  · 
 · 

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