Archinect needs to ban Unpaid Interships Postings.


She's probably not paying her taxes either. And how does she pay commercial rent in NYC without any commercial activity "in the last 18 months"?

Oct 9, 13 12:58 pm

I guess we now know Archinect's posting policy for unpaid internship ads.  The question remains whether Archinect posts them for free?

Oct 10, 13 10:51 pm

+++ Janosh

Oct 11, 13 12:27 am

(But if they weren't posted here, then we wouldn't be able to publicly shame the "employers" who are offering them.)

Oct 11, 13 9:18 am

Another reason why unpaid internships are crap.

There are a few despicable things in our industry and this is just one of them. Another is that a lot of states have clauses that exempt architects from overtime requirements.

Oct 13, 13 10:57 am

Yes, I agree but some people do love to do some work for free I work at a firm and I'm paid to draft using mostly auto cad and some revit when hired by a specific client. I just landed a chance to do some rendering work for my firm and I'm not taking any more money per hour nor am i getting paid for it and i think this is ok. I know that this is a  chance for me to improve my importance in this profession and increases my skill set.

Oct 15, 13 8:17 am

I had to work for free once, and I had two years exp. it was during the recession and the only way to keep my hand in and gain more experience - you do what you have to until people think you are ready - then then they might pay you - or you can use the experience to get a paying job. 

Oct 15, 13 12:11 pm

Dream, you can believe that last part - or tell yourself that, to calm your anxious mind - but here's what you improve, aside from a skill set; the lengths people will go to tell you anything, to get you, to do something for free, and making it easier to sell you on the "next sure fire project" coming in the door, any day now, so, can i pay you next week meme.

Oct 15, 13 12:43 pm

i sometimes wonder about people who expect me to work for free, or my firm on a broader scale.  people that expect me to work for free seem to me to have a lot more stuff than i do, and by extension it seems they have more opportunity and resources at their disposal to generally make things happen.  people who expect my office to work for free often appear to be doing a fair bit better than the people who own the company i work for.

when you say there are some people who love to work for free, are they working for some little old lady neighbor on a fixed income that can't really afford to pay you?  or do they love working for free for people who technically could pay them, but maybe they don't really want to?

Oct 15, 13 1:08 pm


How true - I once worked for an office that did - pro-bono work taht was basically work for free - we would work on these so called projects when we had nothing else to charge to. and needless to say we never got paid as the owners drove away in their Teslas.

Oct 15, 13 1:37 pm


You just made my day. That Pulp Fiction quote was gold.

Oct 15, 13 7:30 pm

Well, you are not working for "free". When you factor in your daily commuter, lunch, and other expenses you are paying whoever for the "privilege" of working for them! And this example is New York City? If she were serious the first thing she would do is relocate and get financing for her enterprise.

Oct 15, 13 8:12 pm

I've discovered that other people value things at the amount they pay for them. In other words, clients who you work for for free end up being the most demanding and difficult, while the ones you rake over the coals for $$ are sweet and wonderful. 

Oct 16, 13 11:17 am

Here's a solution:

We push the issue to our legislators to make changes in the tax code that allow employer's to provide housing as a tax-free benefit to individuals who meet one out of a number of conditions:

1. Transient workers
2. Unpaid internships, apprenticeships, training programs
3. Short-term and contract workers
4. Individuals enrolled in an educational program at least half-time
5. Wage workers who make below a region's living wage

Think about this— an architecture firm in NYC could buy into a tax-free housing cooperative with other firms co-renting multiple units around a city. With the right financing and cost points, it would be possible for a firm to house an intern in an SRO-like environment for less than $1000 including utilities tax-free. If that firm had to pay taxes on this transaction, it would probably be closer to $1600.

Since businesses in NYC can bulk buy unlimited metrocard passes for around $80 a month, one could feasibly spend less than $1100-1200 on providing an intern with housing, transportation and maybe one hot meal a day.

That leaves the intern with the burden of about $300-400 a month for personal expenses.

Ain't a grand scenario but much more "fair and practical."

Oct 16, 13 11:53 am

^ Hahahahahaha

"Legislators" work for cash. You don't have enough to buy even one.

Oct 16, 13 11:57 am

A friend of mine mentioned this on facebook. Just for the heck of it, I checked on the NY Office of Professions website. Ms. Anna Klingmann is not a licensed architect in NY, yet advertises her firm in NY. Listed as an "architect" on her website, listed as an "architect" on wikipedia, yet, not an architect. Given the amount of time and money I give the great State of New York (as well as several other states) to be an actual architect, it's somewhat offensive that this loser cannot actually even attempt to follow the rules.

Oct 23, 13 10:06 pm


Oct 23, 13 10:29 pm

holy crap james, did you just suggest FEUDALISM?

Oct 23, 13 11:36 pm

She's an architect in Germany.  Which means diddlysquat for American licensing laws.

Oct 24, 13 7:50 am
Exactly Donna. But her office is in NY. Some people circumnavigate this by having a licensed partner but she obviously does not.
Oct 24, 13 9:45 am

maybe she just needs an unpaid intern with a license.  poor lady can't even get an unpaid licensed intern?  i kind of feel sorry for her.

Oct 24, 13 10:48 am
won and done williams

Wealthy and powerful controlling interests are taking their ball and going home because the unwashed masses have the audacity to suggest they might be worth paying for their labor?


A moment of silence, please.

Oct 24, 13 11:39 am

holy crap james, did you just suggest FEUDALISM?

By all intents and purposes you can glean from 19th-century, most people were better paid and generally happier under feudalistic and Ancien Régime societies. And by most people, I obviously mean the 60-80% of the total population that were categorized as paupers and peasants. Even today when we look at societies that considered extremely brutal, oppressive or massively impoverished, happiness and contentedness rates are remarkably higher.

This is predominately the argument behind the concept of "wage slavery." We've invented a society that has the "illusion of choice" because it's easier to place blame on individual choices when a society has massive failures. The problem is not necessarily the blame of the individuals, the society as a whole or its economic functions but rather an interplay on all three.

We have considerably less choices these days when it comes to housing types, living arrangements and even institutionalization. For instance, the United States doesn't even have an orphanage system. In fact, new studies are confirming that orphanages have better outcomes for children than the foster care system.

If you're not familiar with almshouses or the housing first theory, the idea of "housing first" comes from centuries old practices of simply providing few-strings-attached housing options for invalids, the impoverished and the elderly. In England prior to the 19th-century, almshouses were the primary source of public housing. Sometime around 1750-1800, England began institutionalizing the poor and placing them in asylums, prisons, hospitals and, essentially what we would call them now, project housing.

A survey of literature prior to this shows lesser concern about crime and poverty prior to institutionalization. By the mid 1800s, the effects of this newer system became quite apparent as writers like Dickens devoted their entire lifetime on the subject. While England had massive social changes during this time frame— wars, globalization, industrialization—these were changes were also happening prior to institutionalization of England's impoverished.

The fallacy of the Modern era is that we like to assume we've increased living conditions overall across the board. While people are generally healthier, die less and have greater access to food, we've somehow made a society considerably more miserable.

In a strange sense, people were happier being tuberculosis-ridden, starving lepers teetering near death in their free houses.

Oct 24, 13 12:42 pm

unpaid positions while unfair, might be the only way for one to gain experience traction until they are profitable to an office 

Oct 24, 13 3:04 pm

Xenakis.  Listen.

If unpaid internships aren't allowed - which they aren't by DoL standards except under very stringent requirements - then everyone will have equal access to paid internships to gain experience.

Yes employers will take a hit because they'll have to pay people.  This is a good thing. Because if your business can't afford to pay people - Conde Nast certainly can! - then you shouldn't be in business.

Oct 24, 13 3:27 pm

if you're an employer in a race to the bottom, which a lot of firm owners are, and you're building your business around charging less for the same services as you're competitors, which a lot of small architecture firms do, unpaid internships just push the bottom a little lower.

another way to look at it, is that if a business can't afford to pay their staff, they should be charging more for their services (or the ownership are greedy and deserve to fail).  a race to the bottom is stupid and hurts all of us.

Oct 24, 13 3:36 pm

unpaid positions while unfair, might be the only way for one to gain experience traction until they are profitable to an office

This sounds all well and good to me...except we are never talking about pepole who would would not be profitable. They are not picking up high school students and teaching them the trade, they are picking up desperate college students or grads and exploiting them for profit.

Oct 24, 13 4:09 pm

Unpaid internships also stack the deck for those folks who already have extra money. Good luck breaking into architecture through an unpaid internship with a family or a mortgage, but if your daddy's loaded welcome to the club.


The last thing we need is more entitled rich folks getting a leg up.

Oct 24, 13 4:13 pm


Absolutely - and I wish that was the case - It's an unfair world - fairness increases as one becomes more successful and respected - some people need to start off how ever they can and yes there are employers that take advantage of that - I had to work for free until I obtained the chops and reputation - then I was hired for pay - 

Oct 24, 13 4:31 pm

What is it about human beings that causes them to endure the worst conditions and be attacked and held down by those in power and then, the instant they rise above the morass they turn around and defend the shitty situation they endured IN FAVOR OF THE OPPRESSOR?

You see it every day in discussions about the poor, business, architecture, etc. The people on top have somehow created a situation where the folks who get above the bottom become defacto jailers keeping their fellow man down.

You're closer to the shitty unpaid intern and the homeless man on the street than you are to the bosses, CEOs and wealthy, so why act as their thugs?

Oct 24, 13 4:40 pm


who are you trying to fool?  you just want to go back to a time when architects were revered!

Oct 24, 13 6:06 pm

Sneaky Pete's point is exactly right.  The fact that thousands of interns have done unpaid internships doesn't make it a practice thats good for anyone - except for those who get free labor.

Has anyone seen Louis CK's recent stand-up? There's a portion where he discusses that we humans are so awesome that there's nothing we can't accomplish…as long as we don't give a fuck about other people.  It's brilliant social commentary.

Oct 24, 13 6:21 pm

I can't bring myself to reading this  topic. I will just say my piece.  Interns should be paid. I don't care if they are working for  a  single person firm, a small firm , a medium size firm, a large firm, or a star architect firm.  Simple and Sweet!  Now you don't even want to talk to me about Firms who are above paying and Intern  while working in there firm.  They are but the scum of  the Earth, bringing us all down with them.  I would say more but busy paying  taxes, insurance, and all of our  other expenses as a small firm.

Oct 24, 13 7:41 pm

I think people who accept unpaid internships are naturally stupid.

I gained all of my experience through PAID internships.

Oct 30, 13 5:35 pm

Anyone who works as an unpaid intern is probably getting paid what they're worth.

Nov 6, 13 11:13 am

I feel like I need to blog the absolutely EPIC responses I get from employers who advertise such positions after I call them out on it.

Nov 6, 13 12:00 pm

med, please post them.

Nov 6, 13 12:23 pm

^ ^ Agreed. I posted one a while back where the principle pointed out that his posting was entirely legal because it was for academic credit. Meanwhile the ad explicitly stated they were looking for recent graduates from B.Arch or M.Arch programs for an unpaid internship - when I asked how he was applying credit retroactively he strangely never replied back.

Nov 6, 13 12:51 pm

I'll dig em up sometime - another time when i'm fucling off at work.

Nov 6, 13 1:42 pm



I'm sure at some point through all these hoops i'm jumping and going to jump through i will end up getting swooped and swindled just like all the other firm owners through out the world. My solution to the problem is to love what i do and try to avoid such clients when i earn the privilege to call myself an architect.


:).....and i hope to get into real estate development being the architect and gc for my developments one day building homes and selling them, one at a time. 

Nov 6, 13 3:45 pm

Unpaid internships, unless within the realm of a professional degree curriculum where you are getting credit hours in exchange, and during a term in which you are carrying a course load as opposed to a co-op term where that's all you are doing, are UNPROFESSIONAL.  I said UNPROFESSIONAL, and they cheapen the field of architecture.

This site should ban all advertisements for "unpaid anything" which require that a person expends the energy needed in a normal work situation.

Nov 7, 13 12:31 pm


Another posting.. This lady isn't backing down, ya'll.

I also can't help but wonder if BulgarBlogger still works for her, and if she paid him.

Nov 19, 13 7:09 pm

I actually was paid by her... 

Nov 19, 13 10:53 pm

and no- I don't work for her anymore. It was a short term thing. 

Nov 19, 13 10:53 pm

aunttuna, how's philly?

Nov 19, 13 10:57 pm

I realize it is none of my business, but was curious.

Philly is great.

Nov 20, 13 8:04 am

went to school in philly

Nov 20, 13 9:10 am

I am not going to say anything in particular about my work with Anna Klingmann, but what I will say is that I agree that unpaid internships should be banned. When I worked with her, there was someone commuting every day from Philadelphia who was interning for free.

Nov 20, 13 9:20 am

I just poked through that one as well, and it's clearly to help draft a set of construction drawings: "The duration of the internship is 6 weeks. The successful candidate will work directly with principal on the development of a construction set." Now, earlier in this thread someone posted a reply saying that the architect was only offering the unpaid internship because the work was speculative and pay would be given should the project turn out. If the office is now looking for people to help draft a set of CD's, wouldn't it be correct to assume that the project is funded?

As in, money is coming in, but it doesn't seem to be getting paid out - this would directly contradict that previous reply.

Nov 20, 13 1:16 pm

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