Showing posts tagged: practice
studiogeneric do you know these guys?
Showing posts tagged: practice
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?
studiogeneric do you know these guys?
The Architecture Lobby is a new organization of American architectural workers (architects, designers, administrators) advocating for the value of architectural design and labor.
We seek to:
Change attitudes toward architecture by advocating for its value among clients, media, and the general public.
Change architectural labor by legislating for higher compensation, equitable policies, and professional networks.
Change architectural practice by fostering alternative approaches to authorship, contracts, and architectural fees.
Architecture is not in good health
Rem Koolhaas’s curation and directorship of this year’s Venice Architecture Biennale (which opens on June 7 and runs to November 23 will research and focus on the last 100 years of architecture.
The approach is in stark contrast to previous biennales that have taken the temperature of contemporary architecture or looked to the future of the practice. Koolhaas said it was, in part, down to his belief that architecture is “not in good health” right now.
Zaha Hadid Says “Not My Duty” to Prevent Migrant Worker Deaths | Via
"It’s not my duty as an architect to look at it … I cannot do anything about it because I have no power to do anything about it. I think it’s a problem anywhere in the world. But, as I said, I think there are discrepancies all over the world.”
- Zaha Hadid
The Guardian revealed last week that more than 500 Indian migrant workers have died in Qatar since January 2012, adding to the 382 Nepalese deaths there in the past two years during construction work connected to the World Cup. After coming under severe pressure from human rights groups across the world, the Qatar 2022 organising committee recently implemented a new charter relating to construction on its stadiums and the ministry of labour highlighted an expanded inspection programme.
Hadid, a prominent London-based Iraqi architect who has designed the Al-Wakrah stadium in Qatar, said the migrant deaths were a serious problem but it was a matter for the Qatari government.
Asked if she was concerned, Hadid added: “Yes, but I’m more concerned about the deaths in Iraq as well, so what do I do about that? I’m not taking it lightly but I think it’s for the government to look to take care of. It’s not my duty as an architect to look at it.
What do you guys think? Do architects have power to do anything about it?
Rejecting the Monotony of the Glass-and-Steel Look | Via
With the price of land and construction ever rising, a vast majority of the numerous residential construction projects in Williamsburg over the past decade have been decidedly risk-averse in terms of design. Most developers have chosen the same loft-like, boxy, glass-and-steel look, creating could-be-anywhere streetscapes on formerly distinctive and gritty blocks.
Yet amid the monotony, there are some owners and designers doing different work. Some of it is driven by the neighborhood’s transformation from unconventional to fashionable, attracting wealthy, artistic types who want private homes that are both luxurious and high-design. Other projects exist as a cascading effect of Williamsburg’s increasing population and wealth, including new styles of public buildings and experiments in sustainability like Mr. Boyle’s, created as antidotes to profit-driven development.
Mr. Boyle, a self-described handyman who built what he said was the first shipping container house in the city, completed his 1,600-square-foot home after three years of construction and struggles with the Buildings Department over matters like the size of the lot (a relatively small 20 feet by 40 feet) and the structure’s fire rating. The house’s materials and its furnishings are nearly all found or recycled. The six steel shipping containers that form the shell of the building cost $1,500 each.
Mr. Boyle: you’re doing it right.
Quotes on Architectural Practice
It has been 10 months since graduating from school. And the most important lesson I have learned through my academic tenure and almost year of working, is that I am involved in a profession I am ashamed of.
There are numerous reasons: labor exploitation, risk and responsibility adverse attitudes, ivory tower mentalities, non-sustainable business models…
How can I sit down to design a structure when there is so much turmoil within the profession itself? Since my M.Arch thesis on practice, I find myself more and more only caring how I can design something that can improve practice conditions and processes for architects. So they can gain back a measure of control of realizing buildings and having a larger say in the conversation of our environments.
I don’t think about form or material, lighting or acoustics, perspectives and procession are so far from my mind its laughable. My only design thoughts are how to design the process of work.
This page has always been a sounding board and place to share my likes/dislikes and thoughts on architecture and design, and will continue to be so. I wish that every post could involve some form of forward moving practice progression, but there seems to be so little movement on this aspect of architecture.
This is what I have been dwelling on for weeks, to think of ways for architects to engage the profession again and in different ways.
I don’t have any answers yet, and it is the kind of study that could take years, but it always good to start by defining the questions.
Architecture firms have often relied on unpaid interns, even if some firms don’t exactly advertise the tradition. But after recent lawsuits brought by former interns in other industries, the custom is starting to come under fire in the design world.
“You’re expected to intern under an architect, so it’s very important that architects compensate interns fairly,” says Kelly McAlonie, president of the New York chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) New York State chapter. To drive home her point, McAlonie, an architect for the University of Buffalo, emailed a letter to members this fall reminding them that it’s unethical, and possibly illegal, to “exploit workers not only in times of financial boom, but also in times of economic hardship.” Downturns are thought to make employers less likely to pay interns.
McAlonie’s letter is believed to be one of the first organized attempts to address an issue that has bedeviled the industry for decades. Still, complaints by interns are rarely publicly leveled. One 26-year-old architecture student who had an unpaid internship in the summer of 2011 agreed to comment for this story, but only if his name wasn’t used. “I don’t want to blacklist myself,” he says. “It’s a very small community, and I don’t want to be known as someone who tattled on these people.”
The student worked at a boutique New York firm, and on several occasions, he pulled all-nighters. He was told he might get paid once projects got off the ground, but he was never compensated. “I will never work for free again,” he says.
This crises of architecture’s responsibility for society sowed the seeds for our marginalised position of today. Could we ever be trusted again to enact change on such a grand scale again? The 1980’s and 1990’s saw architects sheepishly retreat to the self-imposed exile of the drawing board, creating ever more abstract and autonomous visions, but not for society, for each other.
Rory Hyde - Future Practice | Conversations from the Edge of Architecture
So it is not so much Le Corbusier who is to blame, but it is the Le Corbusier in us who is to blame. Because if you say that something is a successful city, meaning that you speak about cities as business plans. If it’s in the red it’s a failure, if it’s in the black it’s good. And this is ridiculous! It’s like talking about people as successes or failures depending on how money they make - which of course we actually do - but we don’t think that it’s a good thing.
The Historian of the Present | Wouter Vanstiphout in conversation with Rory Hyde Future Practice: Conversations from the Edge of Architecture
The diverse geography of architectural and spatial practice today, with the architectural office as shrinking polar ice cap.
The near-collapse of our financial system has had tremendous effects on the architectural profession. The number of unemployed architects worldwide is higher than ever before. This, combined with the fragmentation of the building process into the hands of specialist consultants and the shift from architects being in the service of public to private capital, has made a lot of the work and responsibilities that traditionally belonged to them simply disappear or move to other professional domains. This is why newly graduated architects have difficulties finding jobs that match their education, creative ability or ambition – not to mention the thousands of students facing an increasingly uncertain future.