researching the profession

Some points that have come out of a lot of reading during the weekend.
What do you think? Do you agree or disagree with any of the statements?

How to deal with gender?
How to deal with wages?
How to deal with influence?
How to deal with talent?
How to deal with time?
How to deal with facilities?
How to deal with experience?

— We do not construct the architect without constructing the environment in which the architect operates.
— We can speak of “office architecture” as one both in terms of buildings and interiors, and in terms of hierarchy and organisation.
— There are three spaces of architectural production: the school, the office, and the construction site.


— Female architects earn on average 25 per cent less than men in similar roles.
— 13% of practising architects are women, in contrast to 38% of students and 22% of teaching staff.
— Part-time women architectural workers earn 62% of the salary of their part-time male equivalents.
— Childless women still experience slower rates of progress than men.
— There is a dangerous culture of assent when organizations are demographically homogeneous.


— “There are probably more smaller practices out there than the market can sustain. Fees go down and salaries go down as well.”
— “if you aren’t willing to die poor and have no friends you aren’t dedicated. There is no other profession with this mindset. Lawyers, if you could find free time during law school, people praised your time management. Same with doctors in med school. Architecture….you must not be dedicated.”
— Big corporate firms do not pay more than smaller ones.
— “While looking for a job post M.Arch, I was told by one firm that they could not afford me. They literally said, ‘someone else will take the job for less money.'”

— From the AIA Best Practice of the Year Prize: “… a philosophy which promotes design excellence through commitment and leadership, mentoring and guidance and public advocacy and professional involvement.”
— “It is crucial to place them (interns) in positions of responsibility with active team involvement as soon as possible.”
— Dysfunctional staff and low morale can be very destructive.
— Fresh perspectives derive from mavericks with wildly diverse backgrounds and no preconceptions who challenge the status quo, champion their own ideas, and illuminate the metaphorical darkness. (Robert I. Sutton, Professor of Management Science at Stanford)
— Team composition that might lead to the most efficient design process does not necessarily lead to the best design.
— Are competition and collaboration within the same firm culture mutually exclusive?
— Gropius: “to safeguard design coherence and impact, the right of making final decisions must be left exclusively to the one member who happens to be responsible for a specific job, even though his decision should run counter to the opinion of other members.”
— Darwin: “In the long history of humankind, those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.”

Talent / Interns

— “It’s not that bad, the mower is electric so it doesn’t work very well so the grass won’t get on your clothes … just don’t run over the power cord. And it’s going to get hot today so I would get started so you won’t sweat. As much.” (First day of an internship: mowing grass outside the office)
— “The Internship Program is based on a tradition of mentorship. Interns have the opportunity to attend construction site visits, an in-office speaker series, and weekly design critiques where our entire office gathers to review and critique an ongoing design project.” Olson Kundig
— “The training period will require you to learn and be part of a contemporary architecture firm and develop skills that are unknown or new to you.” JDS architects
— “An assigned team member will mentor the Intern throughout the duration of the internship.” Coop Himmelblau
— As long as you maintain positive connections, you should be able to go back to a place if you liked it.
— “You need to suck up to your boss(es). If they don’t like you, they won’t be so willing to let you tag along to things or let you work on things you request.”
— You have to have drafting and design skills, but if you lack real world experience (construction and personal skills) you won’t make it far.
— The growth of a firm is related to the individual development of each employee.
— What do you look for in an employer?

1. Values good design
2. Values their employees
3. Keeps to date with the latest technology

— What job characteristics would keep you at a firm?

1. Project diversity
2. Quality design work
3. Opportunities for advancement


— A good architectural firm knows how long it takes to complete a project and what resources are required. Constant overtime hints at poor management and neglect by the employers.
— “Sleep is for the weak.”
— “If I had to rate what is the most important part of education, I’d say communication and an understanding of time. Graphic ability would obviously come in a close second, but [time is] a lot more critical than a lot of people understand.”
— Giving more time doesn’t necessarily mean that output will be a better design.
— When you notice you’re missing deadlines consistently, you may want to ask yourself if you planned well enough to accomplish this task by the deadline?
— If after all your effort, you are not satisfied with the end result and you keep thinking that a little more time and you could have done a much better job, you need to rethink your time management strategy.
— “The busy man is never wise and the wise man is never busy.” Lin Yutang, Chinese philosopher

Sorry for long post, here’s a potato house:


This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.