Blacklist/Do Not Hire List


I am in a bit of a debate with a colleague regarding an alleged "Blacklist" or "Do Not Hire List" That all firms withing New York State refers to. I myself have never heard of any such non-sense and would like to prove him wrong. Can anyone speak to the validity of his idiotic claims.


Aug 2, 12 11:14 am

quickest way to end up on this blacklist is to go poking around asking questions.

Aug 2, 12 11:26 am

the first rule of fight club is, don't talk about fight club

Aug 2, 12 11:49 am

When I usta live in New Jersey, we had a rule of thumb - M.Y.O.B - 

Aug 2, 12 12:15 pm

isn't  your forum avatar masonic?  you should probably know some people that know some stuff about secret lists and whatnot....

Aug 2, 12 12:55 pm

I've heard about such things as employer blacklists, but have come to think them as informal habits that companies develop to avoid naughty applicants.


As of late, I'm more interested in the politics of hiring practices, such as firms that hire out of specific schools, or based upon client-related criteria. For example, an architect that gets to design a university campus, may recruit out of that school's architecture program. 

At the senior level though, I think networking and prior experience play a bigger role.

Aug 2, 12 2:44 pm

in a dense architectural community like in San Francisco - all it takes is one bad word when people get together at AIA-SF events and that's it - your'e done

Aug 2, 12 4:37 pm

all it takes is one bad word when people get together at AIA-SF events and that's it - your'e done.


you can get banned from architecture for using curse words at an AIA-SF event?

Aug 2, 12 5:27 pm

No - it's if someone is talking smack about you - Like - so + so spends all their time on archinect, and leaves at 5:30pm to catch BART instead of working to 9pm - or is argumentative.

Aug 2, 12 5:38 pm

Xenakis, right on.

What about offices that monitor your internet use?

Aug 2, 12 8:07 pm

Be afraid. Be very afraid. Everyone else, move along.  You have nothing to fear unless you have a reason to.

Aug 2, 12 8:23 pm

everyone has a reason to, the illiminati is watching us.

Aug 2, 12 8:37 pm

Yes: the Black List and Archinect's registered user list are one and the same.

Aug 2, 12 9:35 pm
w. architect

Black listed,...nah, never to Glenn Small, Architect....

Aug 3, 12 7:14 pm

ah, Glen Small

Orhan's great interview with him

Aug 3, 12 8:45 pm

Hmmm.  NY may be more dog-eat-dog - I wouldn't discount the notion, but I did come across this article today about paranoia in the work place:

Aug 4, 12 12:21 am

blacklist for architecture firms:

Aug 5, 12 1:15 pm

I'm on all the blacklists.

Aug 5, 12 3:12 pm

Better be an Ivy? - Physically attractive?

Aug 6, 12 12:47 pm

Well, I appreciate the input guys and as I stated I personally never heard of such a thing. He is an Architect from another country on the African continent, so it may exist there, but I remain skeptical as to it's existence here. I am thoroughly convinced that he is a mad man. But he is my friend and colleague. Xenakis you link is quite interesting.

Aug 7, 12 10:50 am

While I"m doubtful such a "list" actually exists in a formal manner, it's important to remember that firm principals frequently check references provided by candidates and a bad reference can be fatal to a candidate's hopes. Also, if you list firms where you've worked on your resume, but don't necessarily provide a reference for all of those firms, you ought to assume that someone at the firm where you're applying will -- on his own initiative -- call friends at the listed firms for more information about you.

Aug 7, 12 12:18 pm



i think they do exist - at one university here, on their public website (which is also for their own internal use), they have a list of architects that are "pre-approved" to work on campus. however, on those same lists, there's asterisks out to the side of some (mostly engineers) with notes that say "approved for mechanical only. bad experience with electrical". when we've talked to various campus architects during our introductions, we've been told in unambiguous terms that if we carried certain consultants on our teams, our proposals would be tossed out. one went so far as to say they did have a blacklist that was kept internally. they (in particular) were not a public institution, so i don't see anything illegal in what they're doing.


it's a tough thing - if you've worked with some of these firms, it can make your chances of establishing yourself at that location very, very difficult. so, yeah, very real, although i'd doubt the state itself carries any formal list.

Aug 7, 12 5:39 pm

that's interesting greg, because it seems to me if you put 'bad electrical' in public that would be libelous (whether it's true or not).  the engineer could say they lost work because of that, and that's real money damages, which is when the lawyers get involved.  right or wrong, you don't want those sorts involved...

i've heard similar things have happened and i've been told never say anything bad about anyone because i could get in trouble, at least in the context of telling someone to reject a bid because a certain sub is a cheat.  could just be that i've been listening to paranoid people.

Aug 7, 12 6:00 pm

Wait ... what are we talking about here ... design firms having a blacklist associated with certain individual employees, or clients have a blacklist associated with certain individual design firms ?

I'm confused.

Aug 7, 12 6:49 pm


Please forgive me because I framed my original question too narrow. As this is a much broader issue. It should have also included firms. I have seen two so-called "minority/woman" professionals who have had their professional careers and businesses stifled by nothing more than pure unadulterated prejudice and racism. Other so-called "non-minority" entities as well,  just because they decided to not subscribe to the local cronyism, but instead seek to progress their careers and businesses by pure talent and design philosophy. Now, whether they were listed on a "Blacklist" such as the one Gregory Walker mentioned, I am not sure. but. I seen it with my own two eyes. It was subtle but definitely visible

The sad reality is that curtkram is correct in his analogy of the financial and legal ramifications of such practices whether it be targeted toward a firm or individual. I also agree that there are some people and firms that exist within our professional community that are truly incompetent to say the least and professionally undesirable. No one wants to be party to a lawsuit because of the poor selection of a design team member or employee, but, it just seems a very dastardly way of doing business. Maybe the individual state professional registration boards, AIA and/or NCARB should make better use of monies we pay and put an investigative arm on board to ensure protections against such practices when they are unfairly implemented. Then again if its an internal list in some PM's desk draw or a file in a principals cabinet it maybe hard to combat. 

Anyway, I see from some of the feedback given here that I have been hasty in judging my ole friend a madman. It appears that an apology and beer maybe in order. Damn it!! Don't you hate that.

Aug 28, 12 9:16 am

I'm not sure that the use of the word "blacklist" really helps.  Having said that, there are definitely social pressures that exert themselves, often subtly.  Which is to say that no individual, nor any firm is ever truly independent.   We all exist within a wider community and those communities have values that are often cherished and protected (although those may well be corrupt values).  Stepping away from that may feel like a "blacklist" but it's never that explicit.

I remember this great scene from one of Sidney Lumet's films where an outcast lawyer is trying to fight a corrupt system.  His star witness disappears just before the trial and in desperation he goes to the judge's house the night before the trial begins and ask for an extension.  The judge, in a remarkable moment of transparency said something like "you want to be Mr. Independent, well, be independent now.  I have no sympathy for you."  The movie presents a slightly extreme case, but it does illustrates the choices that many of us make on a routine basis, often barely aware of it.


Aug 28, 12 9:59 am

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