The Architecture Lobby


Meet the Architecture Lobby


Architecture has a big problem, and its name is labor. Everyone in the profession knows it, and yet no one wants to talk about it. In a fierce industry where overwork and undervalued labor are elevated as virtues, those architects—particularly younger architects fresh out of school—who are moved to speak up are quickly dissuaded from doing so. The message is simple: forget your social life; make do with your meager wage; pay your dues. If you can't handle all of that, then architecture isn't for you.


But why do things have to be this way? Why should architects sacrifice proper compensation and a better quality of life, not to mention psychological stability, for the dangling carrots of fame and recognition? Why do architects persist in clinging to a romanticized ideal of the profession, a rose-colored view that, by definition, trumpets marginalization and exploitation?

Dec 19, 13 7:59 pm
I wish this was what the AIA was for, instead of sending me come-on offers for fed-ex/kinkos
Dec 19, 13 8:41 pm

Last month I received a cancer thing from the AIA.  Thanks, I guess?  The only benefit that has come from joining the AIA was them giving my name to product companies... Nothing like coming home to relax and read a lighting catalog.  I do love Architect Magazine though,  but not enough to renew my membership after the free 18 months is up. 

Dec 19, 13 9:46 pm

This is a very exciting development and I hope the group has the energy to make an impact, bolstered by the support of those of us established in the industry. Every answer in the interview is full of win.  One excerpt:

One answer is that architecture has fallen between the cracks of art and profession, getting the worst of both. We neither organize our compensation in the manner of other professions nor leverage our creativity like tech industries or artists selling at major galleries. Part of this is the perception the public has of architecture: on the one hand, everyone feels qualified to judge special distribution, there being no mystique about what we do; on the other, our expertise seems only to bring added expense and hubristic, aesthetic strutting. Another part is our own inability to quantify our value, either in terms of cultural gain or in terms of environmental sustainability.

It's one of those articles I read and just nod my head in agreement throughout.  great stuff.

Dec 20, 13 9:06 am
My biggest complaint about the AIA is that they don't function as a trade organization. I'm sure the masonry institute works to improve the status and pay of masons, yet the AIA always wimps out when it comes to money.
Dec 20, 13 9:20 am


Dec 20, 13 10:56 am

Anyone ever think that for the $ they charge for dues the AIA should perform the duties of the NCARB as a courtesy for its members?

Dec 20, 13 1:39 pm

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