Unpaid Internship Posting, stillll?

Maybe I'm jumping to conclusions, but I know someone who did this internship and it was definitely unpaid. Nothing like working full time in Manhattan for nothing.....

Oct 13, 12 3:27 pm

At least they don't unabashedly promote it like this studio:

• Interest and enthusiasm for working for FREE.



Oct 14, 12 8:29 pm

To be fair, FREE is the name of the firm. A friend of mine works in the New York office.

Oct 14, 12 9:05 pm

Lets post the names and create a shame list.

Oct 18, 12 12:42 pm

Let us name names because this is illegal, shameful and has to be stopped!

Ronald Vari, Vari Architects LaGrange IL

He wanted a 16 week internship for free before considering hiring.  This was posted on craigslist.

NCARB are you listening because he explicitly offered to sign off on IDP experience even thought this is an unpaid internship.

Oct 18, 12 12:42 pm

I once worked at an office where there were 4 of us unpaid interns - the principal told us he would be hiring only one of us - that was the carrot - at another place, I would be paid once the client got paid - they never did - The person I worked for is still bugging about working for free as an "investment"

Oct 18, 12 12:48 pm


these dirt bags should be shut down

Oct 18, 12 12:51 pm

Free internships are legal provided you're doing them in exchange for coursework. Ideally though, the practice isn't going away anytime soon. What we should do, though, is lobby the government to make "internship development" a tax-free practice.

If we ignore the tax cost, it is far cheaper to pay the housing and food costs of an intern, even in New York, than it is to pay a minimum "living wage." In this situation, an intern's general health and well-being isn't at risk and a business gets a tax break on a heavily discounted employee.

Oct 18, 12 1:41 pm


Yet another one, and this one I find particularly appalling. They are specifically seeking a "Revit Master" with at least 1-2 years exp; the first line of the ad clearly states that this is unpaid. It also states near the bottom that the require someone with a completed degree in architecture. If we think about this logically, it seems that they are looking for someone who is no longer in school and is able to put together a model/CD set. I would absolutely consider the employer to be benefiting from this significantly. Thoughts? This is the 3rd unpaid internship ad I've seen from this firm.

Feb 20, 13 9:41 am

I just took care of it, maybe they'll call me back. Thanks for the heads up.

Feb 20, 13 9:49 am

Why stop at this company? C6, Ray Kappe and Kiernan Timberlake bear some responsibility here as well.

Feb 20, 13 9:58 am

what a bunch of jerks. I sent them an email telling them what I thought. 

Feb 20, 13 9:59 am

• Interest and enthusiasm for working for FREE."

Requirements from me:

- Interest and enthusiasm in sucking my balls.

Feb 20, 13 11:51 am

WOW.  I would think Archinect would take down these ridiculous ads and not give in to scumbags like these.

Funny that in the end of the day the poor little dipshit that actually gets hoodwinked into taking this job is esentially setting up REVIT models and doing renderings for rich clients who want multi-million dollar mansions.

Feb 20, 13 11:57 am

Seems they covered the above concerns in the requirements section of the posting:

A sense of humor

Feb 20, 13 11:58 am

To Whom It May Concern,

I love to work for free.  I live under the bridge and hunt squirils for food so money is no object to me.  As long as you don't mind the smell of urine, I'm your guy!   I have attached a pic so that you can easily recognise me when I come in for my interview.  I greatly appreciate this chance to be your loyal intern.

Hope to here from you soon,

Feb 20, 13 12:03 pm

lol @ the above

Feb 20, 13 12:23 pm

I would think Archinect would take down these ridiculous ads and not give in to scumbags like these.

Archinect charges a fee for advertisers. They could apparently care less what is being advertised.

Feb 20, 13 12:28 pm

at the bottom:

This internship has  compensation based on skill level of applicant. Benefits including the opportunity to work with great architects, to create homes that improve the quality of living for people and the planet, and to surf during lunch (our office is blocks from the ocean).

pretty loose use of the term "compensation," but that's fine.  we'll say that being in the presence of Steve Glenn is the same as money.  of course if you can't afford a peanut butter and jelly sandwich that's fine, because you can surf instead of eating during lunch.  it would appear the "skill level" of being proficient in revit with a couple years experience doesn't warrant enough money to pay for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  either he's narcissistic to the point he should be involuntarily committed into a mental health program, or he's too dumb to post a help wanted ad.

i looked through their website and it looks like ray kappe and  Kiernan Timberlake don't actually work there.  they just threw up a couple resume's of architects they had worked with previously.  not only is steve glenn an idiot, he appears to be a con-man.

from the 'about' section:

As a kid, I had books on Frank Lloyd Wright and built cities out of Legos.  I wanted to be an architect.   Sadly, I discovered in college that I had neither the talent nor temperament to pursue this demanding career.

dumbass learned that architecture is more than just playing with legos and staring at picture books.  if someone is going to work as an intern architect for free, i really hope it isn't someone as useless as this guy.  if anyone here lives in the neighborhood and sees this guy at the grocery store or whatever, kick him in the nuts once for me.

Feb 20, 13 12:37 pm

Now, this is exactly what the old farts at the AIA should be looking at, and preventing this kind of malpractice in the profession. Oh wait, what do they care, seeing their friends are probably the ones propogating this bullshit.

Feb 20, 13 3:57 pm

wtf! unpaid internship in America? this should be unheard of

Feb 20, 13 4:37 pm

The AIA is too busy playing clubhouse.   

Feb 20, 13 4:38 pm


Feb 20, 13 4:44 pm

Funny, I left a voice message at 9:44 am est and have yet to have anyone call me back. It's a shame, I would've loved to talk with them....

Feb 20, 13 6:01 pm

Curtm and krm, they changed their post, no doubt based on my voicemail and potential feedback from the Big Green Head.

Feb 20, 13 6:05 pm

I just noticed that too.  They took that "unpaid internship" bullshit off.

I don't know who in their right mind (who has all that knowledge and experience) would want to work for shitty people at some shitty firm.


They should consider revising this garbage too:

"Benefits including the opportunity to work with great architects, to create homes that improve the quality of living for people and the planet, and to surf during lunch (our office is blocks from the ocean)."

Most human being I know have bigger 'benefits' to seek (health, dental, vision, life-insurance, long-term disability, etc) and could give a tuppeny-fuck less about surfing and working with such clowns who consider themselves "great" architects.

Feb 20, 13 6:08 pm

Anyone with this experience and skill-set should expect to be well-paid and compensated for benefits.  This is an absolute - sorry but fact is fact.  And if any of you clowns working at this shitty firm are reading this - you need a surf-board up your ass - you are a part of the problem.

Good written and verbal communication skills.
• Ability to complete projects with minimal supervision, self-directed, resourceful, and goal oriented.
• An eye for detail and a desire to perform at a high level.
• A sense of humor.
• Proficiency with Revit, Acad and Sketchup
• Experience with Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop.
• Experience with 3D Studio, VRay and any other rendering programs a plus.
• Experience and comfort level with Microsoft Excel.


Feb 20, 13 6:17 pm
vado retro

surf's up, bitches!

Feb 20, 13 6:24 pm

I love me some Vado!

Feb 20, 13 7:17 pm
"Tuppenny-fuck" is my new favorite phrase.
Feb 20, 13 8:03 pm

agreed.  we need t-shirts.

Feb 20, 13 8:06 pm

They may have removed the wording from their ad on Archinect, but the posting on their own website still specifies this as an unpaid internship. If you look at the other internship postings on there (about 6?) they only offer unpaid internships in their office...

Feb 21, 13 1:12 am

Just wanted to give REX Architects a shout out.

From their website: 

"REX does not accept offers for unpaid internships. This practice devalues our profession and provides lawbreakers an unfair market advantage."

Previously they had jokingly stated that they would post anyone who did on a wall of shame. That would be a great idea. 

Feb 21, 13 1:41 am

mad props to REX!

Feb 21, 13 10:43 am

I already had massive respect for REX and now I respect them even more.

Feb 21, 13 12:29 pm

JPR gave the first architecture lecture I ever saw, and it still may have been the best. It was at the time he was finishing up the Seattle library, and the theme was taking back control and responsibility as an architect. Too see one of the coolest (especially to a first year) buildings in the context of actually making money was great. 

Feb 22, 13 12:16 pm

As an update to the Living Homes, I sent them an email (A NICE email) and I got a response from their CEO.

He flatly-denied having an ad for a unpaid position and linked me to his edited archinect ad and then a link to the web ad that BLATANTLY said this is an "Unpaid Position"

I corrected him a few times.  Apparently many people confronted them about this - great job to all who participated!  He has now changed the wording on both archinect and his website.

See, we can stop this nonsense!

Feb 22, 13 1:02 pm

Interesting med.

The first time I saw them post an unpaid internship (in late 2011) I emailed him and pointed out that by labour laws, this was illegal as he was clearly exploiting it. He replied that because these were for credit through school they were legal and that he currently had two masters students in his office at that moment working for school credit.

I followed up by asking how he was hiring current students to gain school credit when all of his ads explicitly state that they want someone with a degree (Masters or Bachelors) to take the internship. I think its safe to assume that if someone has also graduated and had their degree conferred on them, they wouldn't be looking for school credit.

I received no reply to this... but I'm not really surprised.

Feb 22, 13 1:51 pm

Ben, it is worth noting that when the CEO was responding to me he sounded like complete buffoon.

Feb 22, 13 2:48 pm
vado retro

Free internship? No way, man. If you want to intern with Vado it will cost you.

Feb 22, 13 8:02 pm
Sarah Hamilton
What are your rates?
Feb 22, 13 8:28 pm

I found this an interesting read

Feb 23, 13 6:01 am

Good job those of you who contacted the firm! I didn't this time because I was reading this thread at work and can't send emails from my job that are meant to be from me personally.  When I was self-employed, I would send those kinds of emails with a link to the Department of Labor rules on what qualifies for an unpaid internship whenever an unpaid ad would pop up here.  

I honestly think a polite, firm email to these people telling them "What you're proposing is illegal." from many, many of us whenever one of these ads goes up, not only on Archinect but anywhere, would be effective.

Feb 23, 13 9:59 am

This thread is interesting and I think the changes, small but still important, are exciting.  Let’s keep at it I think this is part ignorance needing education on the issue and part willful exploitation.  How things split up I have no idea but educating and shaming people on this issue seems to be making a change.


This is as close to unionization the architecture profession has gotten maybe the eradication of exploitive internships can be the first step in that process.


One thing the AIAS has long had a boycott on contracting speakers from firms with unpaid internships, we should all ask our alma matters to do the same, so many of the starchatects make big bucks speaking at colleges and universities and they don’t always pay their interns.  The speaker series that I helped found at Southern Illinois University Carbondale has such a clause in their contracts, we should lobby other schools to do the same.

Over and OUT

Peter N

Feb 23, 13 10:59 am

@ Donna Sink - my email was very polite - very far from the kind bluster I tend to blow off on archinect (pertaining to subjects like these which just make my blood boil). lol

The reason this is such a sensitive subject for many of us is that we are architects in which we are inherently hard workers.  We put a lot of time working early mornings to late nights in our studios which easily carries over to long hours working at firms.  We have an extensive skill-set and knowlege which many people only wish they had and when i look at other professions, it baffles me how little some people work  and what limited skill-sets people have but get paid ridiculous amounts of money.  It makes people crazy.

Feb 25, 13 9:21 am
vado retro

I am amazed at how many programs one must be a master of to design what appear to be prefab shipping containers neatly stacked atop one another.

Feb 25, 13 10:03 am

vado, if it's not a good program with a solid snap function, then the containers wouldn't be stacked very neatly would they?

Feb 25, 13 11:51 am

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