Intern at Alejandro Aravena/ELEMENTAL ?


Im thinking about applying for an internship at Alejandro Aravena's office, ELEMENTAL, in Chile.

Can anyone you recommend it? is it good or bad? or have you have  some rumors going around about the office.


Hope you can help

Jul 14, 12 3:01 pm

I worked at ELEMENTAL for 8 months. I enjoyed the experience, tho I have to say I would never work as an unpaid intern again.

It depends on your luck, for the most part, some people got stuck without work for weeks and others were kept busy the whole time. Chile is fantastic, so the trip alone is worth it.

If you are a hard worker, not afraid to ask for work and be persistent then I'd say it'll be a good experience.Otherwise you'll probably just end up sitting around doing nothing 30% of the time in the office.

Jul 24, 12 6:12 am

I know this is an oId thread, but if there is anyone out there who has been an intern at elemental I would appreciate your help.

I am starting an internship at elemental this summer, and I am just wondering about the living conditions in Santiago. Is it an expensive city to live in? if i want to take a few days off to travel in Chile would elemental be cool with this? internships are unpaid so I cant imagine that they wouldn't let me take 1 or 2 days to travel around the country.

Also, what is the office culture like? are there more interns and is it easy to get a long with staff?

Apr 11, 13 11:31 pm

its fairly reasonably priced. elemental is cool with you traveling.  office culture is amazing, almost like an erasmus experience.

Apr 11, 13 11:35 pm

Thanks for your reply Karimi,

Just wondering  is it possible to get by with groceries/food/transport with 500 dollars? And how far did you leave form the office during your stay in Chile?

Also, I had brief conversation with a girl who was an intern with elemental and her experience seems to have been the opposite than what you describe. she said she had to do very intense and difficult work, as a consequence she only stayed with the firm a few months because first of all it was unpaid and she was working crazy hours. 

Apr 11, 13 11:58 pm

I think so, and my rent was 200 dollars or so a month.  I was at elemental for 8 months, I left maybe a week (tho I quit a month early to travel). 

Craziness may depend on the project you're on, I arrived at a point where it wasn't particularly intense (I arrived at the end of winter, left towards the end of summer), so it was more laid back.

Apr 12, 13 1:22 am

200 dollars a month? that is amazing! in what part of the city where you living? all the apartments I can find are over 500 dollars, and rooms are over 300. How were you able to find such a cheap place?

Apr 12, 13 2:16 pm

check out compartodepto , i lived in barrio italia it was a small room in someone else's houses. absolutely beautiful tho.

Apr 12, 13 2:30 pm

Hey, i am planning to apply at Aravena's office as a junior architect... is it possible to get that post or is everyone just an intern there? and do they have anything against hiring foreigners?
thanks in advance

Jan 25, 17 1:28 am

Did you ever check their website before necroposting?

Jan 25, 17 10:08 am
Non Sequitur

soundharbalamurugan,  enjoy that unpaid salve ship.

Jan 25, 17 10:28 am

slav ship? does it have adidas and squatting slavs?

Jan 25, 17 11:41 am

Always had the impression that Aravena's office would be generally more humane than other starchitects' office...what with him focusing on sustainable projects and not his ego.

Jan 25, 17 12:46 pm

He doesn't pay his interns, so only wealthy interns can learn from him and not his so-called target audience of the underprivileged. The guy is therefore a huge hypocrite, especially someone with his social agenda should set the right example, I mean even Patrick Schumacher pays his interns.

Jan 25, 17 1:11 pm


Wow, dat revelation. 

Jan 25, 17 1:21 pm
wurdan freo

I wonder if his non paid interns live in the affordable housing he designs... seems like a great business model.. design affordable housing, fill with unpaid interns, design more affordable housing... hahahahaha!!! Definitely worthy of a Pritzker...

Jan 25, 17 3:13 pm

sick burn!

Jan 25, 17 4:06 pm

Hi there, can someone help me to the contact details of Architect Aravena as we would like to invite him to speak at our Non-Profit Forum this December. I will greatly appreciate if you could possibly send me his email or phone number. Or his assistant email and phone number. Thanks!

Sep 14, 17 5:58 am

Ah yes, good luck with that...

Non Sequitur

...and I'm sure he'll do the talk for free too.


Thanks for sharing information. There is no mail address or address for communication. Can you share it if you have one?

Apr 16, 19 8:50 am

Los Conquistadores 1700 Piso 29-A, 7520282 Providencia, Chile // Tel: +56 229 637 500

Just to confirm. Everyone is up in arms over Japanese not paying their interns - but this dude wins a Pritzker and does not pay his interns?

Apr 24, 19 11:33 pm

Most of the replies in this thread are taking Aravena to task for not paying his interns, so I'm not sure what you're on about.


They are run as an NGO, thus the (now-discredited) excuse to hire unpaid workers for the greater good.

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