Archinect
anchor

unemployed grad's who want a place to complain about things!

123
x-jla

Totally agree!  I noticed the same thing among peers.  every once in a while someone will update thier FB account with a line like "my luck is changing" followed by everyone asking if they found a job and then they never answer hahaha.  No one wants to tell you where the last bit of food is...

Sep 14, 11 4:01 pm  · 
 · 
junior

well, @juan moment, sometimes, like what you have done, and i hope it has worked, your venting may have alleviated some pressure which can only then make room for some creative solutions. perhaps this thread needs a part II: "unemployed grads who want a place to complain about things...'and do something about it'.

this forum idea needs another added feature; something that can bring us more together, rather than share information/gripe anonymously. some place where we can have collaborative productivity...is this translating to anyone well?

hang in there fresh grads/unemployed/employed mid-career crisis folks. it's up to us to get out of this rut ourselves. We can use Archinect to start something new.

Sep 14, 11 5:36 pm  · 
 · 
junior

@j.arleo, im glad you started this thread.

Sep 14, 11 5:38 pm  · 
 · 
jesslai

It's great, I suppose, to know that I am not alone in this dark hole of recent grad = unemployed. Everyone seems to voice very similar frustrations about schools not preparing us enough, and the profession not providing a channel to invest in the younger generation.

Asking this question may seem a little irresponsible, (seeing how I don't really have an answer) however do you think with this many of us, sharing the same frustrations, can do something together? Like getting together to raise our voices, figure out somethings to design or do, or flashing our concerns/anger to the design community/profession and tell them that this matters? (and don't blow us off because it's "just always been like this")

I mean we are at least trained to solve problems creatively, right?......do you think with all of our heads together, we can at least make an attempt at this huge problem?

Sep 22, 11 1:02 am  · 
 · 
BE

I have gone through this myself since I graduated during the end of 2009. It was immensely frustrating but the process led me to a few thoughts and I thought I should share--and end that cycle of self-preservation. 

Fact 1: the US economy, along with most the developed world, is in a very deep crisis. Harvey once suggests that the world needs 3% annual growth to stay afloat; that means the world economy has to double itself in about 30 years, which is alot of absolute dollars in the trillions. Can the world invent that much productive outlets for investment? Those fund managers and banks turned into casinos knew for a long time intimately that the M-C-M has hit a bad dead-end. From now on it is M-M, which is why we don't see job creation but in contrast, lots of betting and speculation. By the way, they love volatility--it is very profitable if you are in the business of betting; at least M-C-M required some modicum of stability for investment and manufacturing. To cut a long story short, architecture requires capital as capital requires productive outlets. Take capital and productive outlets away and architecture sinks. No one ever know if architecture is able to come back in a big way again, since the years 2003-2007 were fueled on easy credit and illusory money at least on two sides of the Atlantic. A more realistic picture of a normative climate is the kind of slow steady growth of the early 1990s. 

Fact 2: you have the knowledge to become specialists in the building technology sectors. Sustainable urban development is booming elsewhere in the world. Go and look at a sub-field that may appeal to your interest; be a specialist there; do applied research. The industry still needs architectural specialists, just not the design architect--not because designers are useless, but because the requirement of knowledge has changed drastically over these few years. This is something every architectural graduate can do--positively--if one is to remain connected to this trade in some indirect way. Create new products for the building industry; get a NSF grant! 

Fact 3: Don't escape to graduate schools (M.Arch or PhD). This has become the usual outlets. Your competition is immense and the prospect for productive employment has correspondingly dimmed. Try something else related: sustainable management; planning; landscape; mechanical engineering or industrial design. Engage your skills and talents and interests positively and productively. 

Good luck: light is at the end of the tunnel. But to know which route to take towards the light, you got to stop digging deeper into the ground. 

Sep 28, 11 2:00 am  · 
 · 
aldous

Really annoyed by this frequent comment in job postings:

"Must be a current resident of New York City - applicants currently residing out of New York City and surrounding areas will not be considered"

You might as well just say " we refuse to consider anyone who isn't a trustafarian or already employed."  If I weren't ready to relocate as soon as I received a job offer I wouldn't be applying.

Oct 8, 11 2:52 am  · 
 · 
mhea09

sad to hear your stories...good thing im still emplyed...well lucky me...

Oct 9, 11 1:29 am  · 
 · 
junior

that's excellent @mhea09! nice to hear good news without rubbing it in others' faces though, you know? since you so emphatically had to mention your employment status, any suggestions, insights, or inspiration you can offer those here among the unemployed [in the 99 percent?]

kthxbai

Oct 9, 11 1:54 pm  · 
 · 
LayingOutTheDots*

Jessial

 

It's great, I suppose, to know that I am not alone in this dark hole of recent grad = unemployed. Everyone seems to voice very similar frustrations about schools not preparing us enough, and the profession not providing a channel to invest in the younger generation.

Asking this question may seem a little irresponsible, (seeing how I don't really have an answer) however do you think with this many of us, sharing the same frustrations, can do something together? Like getting together to raise our voices, figure out somethings to design or do, or flashing our concerns/anger to the design community/profession and tell them that this matters? (and don't blow us off because it's "just always been like this")

I mean we are at least trained to solve problems creatively, right?......do you think with all of our heads together, we can at least make an attempt at this huge problem?

 

You are definitely not alone in this.

 

Like you, I am trying to stay productive through these difficult times. Working on projects and anything that takes my interest. It's very hard to stay motivated though when you don't have a school structure or deadline to work to. There are quite a lot of competitions still around. Even if you don't end up submitting or developing the designs, they are worth a look to occupy your mind. I find it helps a little. Otherwise I just get lost in a deep depression (psychological not financial! at least for the time being!!!).

 

Personally I'm trying to develop skills in other areas for the time being with a view to moving into an alternative career (still connected to architecture and design though).

 

Are you participating in Occupy Wall Street? (or whatever the movement in your town is called) Personally I'm supporting it. I guess that's the most direct action we can take right now. Maybe there should be an architecture grad community within this movement?

Oct 13, 11 11:30 am  · 
 · 
x-jla

"Maybe there should be an architecture grad community within this movement?"

YES, we need to have a voice in politics.  It is a good chance to step up to the plate and address architectural issues in our communities.  Many of the problems that we face are due to the corporatization of our urban landscapes.  The car oriented consumer capitalist cities many of us live in make it nearly impossible for small businesses to take root.  The wal-martization of the city is one of the most overlooked problems in our economy.  When was the last time you saw a local hardware store that was not a big corporate franchise?  I remember a few as a kid, but they are long gone.  And many types of businesses have become homogenious benefiting from the car oriented city, and destroying the identity of place.  The urban design of our cities is structured for the benefit of the big business strip mall, gas station, fast food joint, etc.... This is being paid for by our tax money, and people on the right are talking about socialism wtf.  We need to make these issues part of the debate!  Subsidize local agriculture not Big agriculture!  Subsidize localization and decentralization of energy production not Big oil!   Stop sprawl!  make our neighborhoods for people not to move people to Mcdonalds so we can spend money on toxic shit food.  We may be able to affect change on a local level by demanding what tax money is spent on.  Occupy the planning department.  The suburbanization of America over the last 60 years is a huge reason for our social and economic problems, as Kunstler has said, "it is the worst allocation of resources in human history, and we have squandered our nations wealth on a living arrangement that has no future."  We need to get out there and raise these issues.  Work to raise awareness and fight against development that furthers the problem and lobby for something that can benefit the neighborhood (a market, a small farm, a park, mixed use and mixed income housing, walkable communities, etc...)  This is a great time to re-define the role of architect in the community.  It may be a new nitch for the profession, the doctors of the built environment, rather than the whores of the rich.   

Oct 14, 11 3:08 am  · 
 · 
LayingOutTheDots*

YES, we need to have a voice in politics.  It is a good chance to step up to the plate and address architectural issues in our communities.  Many of the problems that we face are due to the corporatization of our urban landscapes.  The car oriented consumer capitalist cities many of us live in make it nearly impossible for small businesses to take root.  The wal-martization of the city is one of the most overlooked problems in our economy.  When was the last time you saw a local hardware store that was not a big corporate franchise?  I remember a few as a kid, but they are long gone.  And many types of businesses have become homogenious benefiting from the car oriented city, and destroying the identity of place.  The urban design of our cities is structured for the benefit of the big business strip mall, gas station, fast food joint, etc.... This is being paid for by our tax money, and people on the right are talking about socialism wtf.  We need to make these issues part of the debate!  Subsidize local agriculture not Big agriculture!  Subsidize localization and decentralization of energy production not Big oil!   Stop sprawl!  make our neighborhoods for people not to move people to Mcdonalds so we can spend money on toxic shit food.  We may be able to affect change on a local level by demanding what tax money is spent on.  Occupy the planning department.  The suburbanization of America over the last 60 years is a huge reason for our social and economic problems, as Kunstler has said, "it is the worst allocation of resources in human history, and we have squandered our nations wealth on a living arrangement that has no future."  We need to get out there and raise these issues.  Work to raise awareness and fight against development that furthers the problem and lobby for something that can benefit the neighborhood (a market, a small farm, a park, mixed use and mixed income housing, walkable communities, etc...)  This is a great time to re-define the role of architect in the community.  It may be a new nitch for the profession, the doctors of the built environment, rather than the whores of the rich.  

I agree with what you say. Particularly the 'corporatisation' of our cities. I live in London and if you could see some of the buildings currently going up around the 2012 Olympic Park you would be horrified. There are some interesting architectural designs for the park itself (Zaha Hadid, Hopkins etc), but the residential, hotels and shopping malls etc that are being built around the park have little concern for place, community and the user in general (purely corporate). The vast majority of these buildings are designed, specified and built by large corporations (contractors) and there is minimal (if any at all) input from an architect at any stage. The buildings are generic, bland and have no relation to place, purpose or use. Sadly this is becoming the norm. The architects role is becoming increasingly reduced in the construction process here. Once again, corporations dominate. Corporations now 'design' these buildings themselves. Awful.

There is an exhibition set up by the Sheffield School of Architecture addressing problems in the profession. Take a look:

http://pavilionofprotest.tumblr.com/

 

Personally, I am fed up with people saying 'well the economy is in a bad shape at the moment' and 'you need to look harder for work'. Then I walk down any London street and see building projects all around but no architect involved. Then a few months later see another soulless corporate landscape, hotel, residential tower with apartments starting from £500k!

I like your idea of 'doctors for the built environment'. I'm not sure how things are in your city but in London there are so many delapidated Victorian buildings left sitting in every street. There is no appreciation for their value by the corporate giants who come in and demolish them only to replace them with another bland 'mixed use building'. It takes skill and care to restore old buildings. Something which architects could easily do if only they were given a chance.

End the Corporate rule!

Oct 14, 11 7:40 am  · 
 · 
small

I thought this was a clever way some graphic designers addressed the Occupy Wall Street movement:

http://occupygeorge.com/

Also, in London there's a group of architects that is trying to make something of unemployment:

http://www.r-a-r-a.com/

Oct 18, 11 2:43 am  · 
 · 
x-jla

occupygeorge is awesome!!! 

I was driving around today and just sickened by the failure of our society.  The city I live in (Phoenix) is so depressing.  I was thinking about the puzzled look on the faces of the archeologists that dig this crap up in 10,000 years.  Try to make sense of this shit, good luck, because it is completely irrational how an advanced society with a great understanding of history, art, and science produced such a horrible and artificial place.  I guess they will eventually figure out that they are looking at a landscape of greed.   What else could be responsible for a grocery store across the street from a grocery store, and a Mcdonalds adjacent to a Jack in the Box with both drive through lines full of overworked and underpaid people getting toxic dinner for their over stimulated and under educated kids.  What the fuck is going on?  I am so dissapointed in everything....the economy, politics, people, etc...

Oct 19, 11 1:19 am  · 
 · 
Rusty!

j.arleo, that was an awesome rant! thanks. Going to sleep with a smile on my face.

The archaeologists luckily won't find nothing. Our cardboard architecture will decompose in decades. Maybe some steel will remain, which will lead to geologist to conclude that they found first natural occurring steel deposits in never inhabited part of the world before.

Oct 19, 11 1:45 am  · 
 · 
x-jla

thanks rusty,  just when I got that off my chest I started watching the GOP (Greedy Old Prick) debate and now I'm getting heated again.....

Oct 19, 11 2:24 am  · 
 · 

I love "doctors of the built environment".  Excellent title for an unregistered architect to use.

j.arleo this is why I hate to visit my relatives in Phoenix ( I love seeing my family, just not in that city).  Especially soul-crushing as the open desert where I used to ride my horse has long since become crap subdivision after crap strip mall.  Archaeologists in 10,000 years will find lots of styrofoam insulation and plastic laminate in the ground, yes?  That shit never goes away.

Oct 19, 11 8:42 am  · 
 · 
LayingOutTheDots*

We could always join the military....

(jump to 5.00 for the unemployed architecture grad)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OLlrn3_G1ZQ&feature=related

Oct 23, 11 4:23 pm  · 
 · 
michaelgron

Hello all, I am working on an online portfolio for employment as an architectural intern. I would appreciate any comments or improvements you think I may need for it.
Thanks

michaelgron.com

Oct 24, 11 1:32 pm  · 
 · 
Stephanie

Hello,

The story is not much better in Europe. My boyfriend and I just graduated from the master of architecture program at Kunstakadamiets Arkitektskole in Copenhagen and after more than 100 applications we've heard approximately zip.

Oh, well, there was one interview my boyfriend was asked to, which turned out to be one of those 'we'd like to interview you! We really like your work! PS, we have no positions available or upcoming work. Let's meet anyways!' interviews. 

The good news is, that with a degree from KA we are given the title 'architect' straight away and allowed to practice anywhere in the EU. Not that this does us much good without experience, but, it seems slightly brighter then being referred to as an intern for all eternity...

If someone tells you that Europe is looking for North American architects, laugh in their face. Most of the Europeans I've met are quite rightfully in doubt that North America could do anything but blight the world with resource-sucking crap.

I have appropriate business attire, experience in engineering and construction, and the ability to dissemble and reassemble a toy race car in 30 seconds. Hire me?

Oct 24, 11 4:12 pm  · 
 · 
x-jla

"If someone tells you that Europe is looking for North American architects, laugh in their face. Most of the Europeans I've met are quite rightfully in doubt that North America could do anything but blight the world with resource-sucking crap"

Most of the resource sucking crap is the result of our economic system and culture, as well as the fact that much of our environment is built by developers who only care about profits.  The architecture community is highly critical of this stuff.  There are many skilled architects and theorists in the US.  I am critical of your comment because I think it exposes an ignorance regarding the city, not because I am from the US.   The city is a result of many complex factors that overcome the will of the architect.  To think that cities in europe are better because the architects are better is silly.  Rather, Europe is blessed with scarcity of space that forces the appreciation and well planned use of space.  This creates an awareness and culture among the citizens that favors "good design."  Also, you need to remember the fact that land ownership in the US, as a result of the Land Ordinance Act of 1786, created a system where a comprehensive over-arching urban vision is very difficult.  The idea that firms in Europe won't hire US architects because of our blight is dumb, because we are living in the heart of the problem and therefore understand it better than most.  The argument you make is similar to saying that people from Uganda suck at agriculture because they have no food.  The problems are deep, and we must try to learn from each other rather than claim superiority based upon little more than the blessings of circumstance. 

Oct 25, 11 2:04 pm  · 
 · 
Stephanie

Apologies if my comment sounded hostile, I was in a black mood after contemplating my status as unemployed graduate....

I am critical of your comment because I think it exposes an ignorance regarding the city, not because I am from the US.

Point well taken, but no matter how much you or I know this (I'm from Canada, it's not that much different in our cities than in the US, and maybe worse in some places...), it doesn't change the fact that this is the prevailing view. I mentioned it because I read somewhere on this thread earlier about Europe looking for North American architects. 

What you mention actually supports the reason for this: the fact that NA cities have been conceived of and developed in a totally different context means those who live there understand architecture in a different way. The projects we undertake in architectural education quite simply just don't have much meaning here.

This was never more apparent for me then when I first came to Copenhagen and met all the other international students, mostly from other places in Europe. My portfolio contained projects like 'the cube' and 'the house' and 'community center' all developed on huge plots of land. My weak attempts at sustainable design (which, in my undergraduate school, was brushed aside as 'something we could learn on our own later') looked pathetic. Their portfolios contained public architecture, outdoor public spaces, and a well-developed understanding between landscape and the city. Sustainability wasn't just something tacked on at the end to bring the project to 0 carbon. It was built into their mindset because that's they way things have to be done here. 

To think that cities in europe are better because the architects are better is silly.

It is, and I didn't imply that. I don't think European architects are better or that North American architects are stupid. I think that good architects work within the context of a project as best they can wherever they are, but North America will always want what Europe already has in terms of density and cohesion, and not the other way round. 

Hope that clarifies what I meant.

Oct 26, 11 10:06 am  · 
 · 
jamesr

I'm reading THINK AND GROW RICH by Napolean Hill. I even downloaded the audio tapes for on the go. Have written down (on golden think and grow rich paper) the amount of money and when i intend to posses this amount.  I'm an inexperienced, unemployed grad. But its gonna be ok, as long as I have that golden piece of paper.    

Mar 5, 12 5:12 pm  · 
 · 

Excellent read, I might read it again, for the third time!

Mar 5, 12 5:48 pm  · 
 · 

Block this user


Are you sure you want to block this user and hide all related comments throughout the site?

  • ×Search in: