Architects are lower down the pecking order now!

Updated onJanuary 4, 2022inDebates, Ideas and Discussion

Piers Gough Architect

Listen up kids, Uncle Piers Gough from CZWG Architects had a Groovy interview atBuilding.co.uk, according to him, people used to sweep the construction site prior inspection, graduate architects has the same treatment as well, but that was all history. Life as an architect back then must be like a king.

Is architecture a tougher job these days?问题是,现在建筑师的地位较低。你几乎被视为提供图纸的分包商。When we came out of college, people used to sweep the site before we went to visit. However young, spotty and inexperienced you were, you were the architect, so you were important. You can’t really say that anymore. Maybe it is more friendly not having a hierarchy, but I don’t think it quite reflects what architects do. It is a stupendously difficult job.

Every architect seems to be shouting the same thing – ‘Underpaid’, ‘Too Much Work’, ‘It Tough!’ and blah blah blah, and they end it with – ‘I did it because of passion.’ Ironic.

作者既不是CAD专家,也不是网络天才。又一个花太多时间上网的人。The tutorials featured here are meant for basic level understanding.

16 Comments

  1. I think it also has something to do with the way architects carry themselves on the jobsite. I think that someone who is respected (and commands that respect) for the work they are doing, their overall knowledge of not only architecture, but also construction and the building process gets treated differently than someone who says that something should be this way or that way because that´s what they taught us in college. But it could also be that nowadays architects are a dime a dozen and nobody cares anymore.

  2. you know they should have one of those reality shows on us; students and an architect firm too. Like those fashion designer, hair dressers, and chefs…
    borringggg…(rolled eyes)
    they they’ll know WHO’S THEIR DADDY ei..

  3. The question is what really happen that made things change like this. Part of the answer I believe is CAD and 3D modelling: computerization of the way we work made us slaves of the computer instead of slave of the drawing table. If you were to produce a plan, and then changes came and you had to redraw the whole thing, architects where tougher on the work so that their design be respected as drawn. Now that the smallest change can be dealt by a simple re-print, we are stuck in an abuse of perpetual changes. Now with 3D, anyone can look professionnal with a 3D rendering of a project, although it is not always good architecture. Maybe the difference is that 20 years ago, a bad architect would simply not work, now they work against the profession like prostitutes, and get the jobs for the now wll established “lowest bid” competitions.

  4. Etienne, you’ve got a point there. Then again, could it be the modernization of the entire human civilization? Education is important, back then not many people have the luxury of education, whereas today, a degree is nothing, almost every single person from the first world has one.

  5. I’m not an architect/architecture student. I’m a cad monkey. I architecture but i chose building design because the course was only two years, vs 5-6 and a 5 digit HECS debt.
    It wasn’t just that, though.
    我给许多建筑师和建筑设计师打了电话,他们不断地抱怨说:“毕业生建筑师是没用的,他们对建筑和成本一无所知。”此外,建筑设计师(我们是邪恶的、没有灵魂的生物)获得85%的设计工作,而我交谈过的建筑师毕业生一年只赚35-40K。看着招聘广告,我意识到一个有5年经验的建筑设计师的收入和一个有5年经验的建筑师差不多(85-10万美元),而且建筑设计师没有HECS债务。
    From my contact with the building industry so far (very minimal) it seems that architects have gotten a bad rep for often being impractical with actual building and structural specifics.
    Construction is at the heart of building design and architecture. Whichever is better, if you don’t know construction and are dependant on others to provide it you’re wages will reflect this. It’s that sentence, “As per engineers specifications” – everytime you write that, what you’re saying is, “I’m not capable of working this out, I’m referring it to someone who can -” and that engineer will be better paid than you because his skills are more necessary.
    A long time ago architects did all this technical planning themselves. The only modern equiviant is Santiago Calatrava. He says, “As per MY specifications.”
    The more divorced architects become from the origin of their profession the less necessary they will be to it, and they’ll be paid less.

  6. Us programmers do the same thing. Actually, current methods were made in order to serve our clients better and be ready for change in software at any time.
    如果你想在纸上自由地画画,忽略成本或工程问题,你就“只是”一名艺术家,并因此获得与艺术家一样的报酬。

  7. 作为一个唯一的从业者和一个相对年轻的建筑师,(30岁)我很容易记得毕业时的生活。我发现,建筑师与决策过程越密切相关,承包商就越尊重他们。毕业后,我花了一些时间在PPP/PFI学校工作,甚至高级建筑师也从建筑商那里得到了短期的工作,因为我们本质上是他们的雇员。当我开始着手JCT合同时,情况正好相反,承包商经常与我们意见相左,但总是很尊重我们,因为在合同中,我们的承诺是最终的。

  8. I think at one point architects could talk the talk and walk the walk. Today you spend 4 or 6 years in school without truly learning a tangible skill set. The only skills we learn are autocad and photoshop if your lucky! Whatever happened to learning on site…apprenticeship anyone?

  9. I think at one point architects could talk the talk and walk the walk. Today you spend 4 or 6 years in school without truly learning a tangible skill set. The only skills we learn are AutoCAD and Photoshop if you’re lucky! Whatever happened to learning on site… by the time your get your licence you are due for retirement. Apprenticeship anyone?

  10. Actually the more I read the comments of “James” and “Shem” who bring up good points, along with the knowledge I already have (since I have attended architecture school) the more I learn about how the architecture field is becoming exposed. James is right about the statistics stated and the fact that construction is at the heart of building design. The role of architecture is slowly deteriorating into the only source of studying there is left to do in the field…if there is anything to study about it at all…which is art. Shem brings up good points about how all you learn today in architecture is photoshop and autocad… seems like bringing those skills to the work force will you leave you with debt and a hard way to gain any good reputation. Since when have we seen artists rolling in the Benjamins?
    在学校学习建筑,已经让我认真思考这个职业的未来;如果你不考虑现实世界中的设计,你听到建筑师说的所有那些“好主意”都会留在他们的脑海里。

  11. right and what is even more sad is those that have technical degrees such as engineering and are also architects are never hired by architecture firms- gee are they scared or something? i think they made their own beds by constantly hiring incompetent people- as long as those people were their friends and relatives!

  12. Back in reality, modern business has very little interest in paying money to construct pretty buildings adding marginal value to their company.
    They are very much more interested in people that can solve complex technical issues and actually add value rather than wasting time and money on people sketching on a notepad or dragging shapes around on a glorified version of Paint all day.
    I you’re an architect and find yourself with less pay and in lower demand, learn something useful.

  13. PR”

    The role of architecture is slowly deteriorating into the only source of studying there is left to do in the field…if there is anything to study about it at all…which is art”

    Art, or the aesthetics of the building plays a significant role in the value of the building. Without being artistic, then leave architecture alone. This is what separates architecture from other areas within construction.

  14. PR,你又错了!

    “Since when have we seen artists rolling in the Benjamins?”

    Artists are everywhere, think about the leaders in communication design, which is a lucrative area for financial gains. Banks and other institutions fork out millions through time for communication plans done by “artists.” In fact, architecture is a subtle form of visual communication.

  15. “They are very much more interested in people that can solve complex technical issues and actually add value rather than wasting time and money on people sketching on a notepad or dragging shapes around on a glorified version of Paint all day”

    Tell that to those within DUBAI, who work of massive projects and earn a huge income that is all tax free. Us “artists” are valued, and I have lived in Dubai to witness it. My only regret is living within Australia and I will return back to dubai for my amazing career:)

  16. “Back in reality, modern business has very little interest in paying money to construct pretty buildings adding marginal value to their company.”

    你的现实,而不是其他人。现实是主观的。Seems like you live within a poor country, so perhaps move to dubai instead of being a hopeless whinge, my fellow architect =)

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