Do Unpaid Internships Lower the Bar?

Photo via Flicker CC User Gino.

That’s the claim of Sam Lubell, in his Editorial “The Intern Catch-22” for The Architect’s NewspaperLubell puts it this way:

“[The unpaid internship has] become a staple of architecture. A rite of passage, despite the debt burden from an education that usually costs more than $30,000 a year. And it’s not just small struggling firms. Even top architects get their work done by interns. Never mind that offering unpaid internships excludes those not wealthy enough to go without pay, or just the fact that they are generally not legal. Not offering money lowers the bar all the way down the line. Soon unpaid positions become expected. The value of architecture is lowered even further.”

We agree that unpaid internships tread on murky ethical territory, but Lubell’s ultimate point, that they “lower the bar” for architecture, strikes us as a bit unfounded. It seems to us that it’s far more damaging (financially and psychologically) for those entering the profession than for architecture itself.

What do you think? Do you have unpaid interns at your firm? Have they “lowered the bar” of your work? Are unpaid internships a necessary evil in a post-Recession world? Or just plain wrong? Let us know in the comments below!

Story via The Architect’s Newspaper 

Residence with Sanitary Assistance / IPOSTUDIO Architects

© Pietro Savorelli

Architects: IPOSTUDIO Architects
Location: Torrita di , , Italy
Photographs: Pietro Savorelli

Re-thinking SuZhou Creek Winning Proposal / ohm architekti

Courtesy of

The winning design in the Re-thinking competition for SuZhou Creek by ohm architekti proposes a city that changes in time and place, and is always perceived differently. They have created a new and unique neighborhood that is always changing, where you can set up a shop or a house and still have access to the full spectrum of surroundings. Traditional long-lasting connections are broken and new temporal connections are created – such that form only when they are convenient. A new flexible neighborhood is born with a city structure that is in motion. More images and architects’ description after the break.

How 3D Printing Will Change Our World

The MakerBot Replicator, a personal 3D Printer. Photo via MakerBot.

When the kids at NOTLabs first got their hands on a MakerBot Replicator, the ingenious 3D printer that can make just about anything you want, they quickly got down to business – making LEGO and Kinex connectors, that is. As inconsequential as their decision may seem, it got us thinking: today, building blocks, but tomorrow? Buildings themselves.

The future isn’t as far as you may think. In the next two articles, I’ll introduce you to three visionaries who are already applying technology to revolutionary effect: an engineer hoping to improve the human condition, a robotics expert with the goal of completing the Sagrada Familia (or at least putting a structure on the moon), and an architect at MIT using nature-inspired materials to turn the design world on its head.

If these three examples are anything to go by, 3D Printing will revolutionize the world as we know it. But it begs the question: at what price? Will it offer architects the freedom to design without the pesky limitations of built reality? Or, like the scribes made redundant by Gutenberg’s printing press, will 3D printing make the architect go extinct?

Enbutsu-do / Zai Shirakawa Architects

© Toru Kitamura

Architects: Zai Shirakawa Architects
Location: , Ehime Prefecture,
Project Year: 2012
Photographs: Toru Kitamura, Daichi Ano

Hanoi Museum / gmp Architekten

© Marcus Bredt

Architects: gmp Architekten
Location: Phạm Hùng street, Cầu giấy District, Hà Nội City,
Design Team: Meinhard von Gerkan, Nikolaus Goetze, Klaus Lenz
Project Year: 2010
Project Area: 30,000 sqm
Photographs: Marcus Bredt

Courtesy of AR+TE Architectes
Courtesy of AR+TE Architectes

Vigneux School / AR+TE Architectes

Situated in south of the city of Vigneux-sur-Seine near Paris, the school project by AR+TE Architectes… consists of the restructuring and a future extension in grouping the classrooms of maternal and elementary class in a single entity. The operation includes

Zigzag / mA-style architects

© Kai Nakamura

Architects: mA-style architects
Location: Yaizu, Shizuoka Prefecture,
Design Team: Atsushi Kawamoto, Mayumi Kawamoto
Project Year: 2011
Photographs: Kai Nakamura

Courtesy of modostudio
Courtesy of modostudio

Piazza d’Armi Urban Park / modostudio

Designed by modostudio…, the proposal for the Piazza d’Armi Urban Park aims to create a thematic interaction between the competition area and the adjacent existing urban tissue. The architects accomplish this by means of creating a park for this

House in Azóia / Steven Evans + Ricardo Jacinto

© Daniel Malhão

Architects: +
Location: Sintra, Portugal
Structures: Miguel Villar, Sérgio Mártires – Betar
Project Year: 2008
Photographs: Daniel Malhão

My Cousin’s House / Martin Möstbock

Courtesy of

Architects: Martin Möstbock
Location: , Austria
Architect In Charge: Martin Möstbock
Project Year: 2010
Project Area: 665.0 sqm
Photographs: Martin Möstbock

Urban Shelter / Gabriela Gomes

© João Morgado

Designed by , Shelter ByGG” brings out to public space a sculptural object that can be used as a living space. She proposes the creation of an habitable module, inviting you to rest inside a sculpture installed on a public space. Photographed by Joao Morgado, this project is an artistic manifestation that provides an innovative and unexpected experience as an accommodation space, associated with eco-­‐sustainable solutions and mobility. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Weekend House in Buš / Markéta Cajthamlová

© Ester Havlová

Architects: Markéta Cajthamlová
Location: , Czech Republic
Project Year: 2011
Project Area: 799.0 sqm
Photographs: Ester Havlová

Periscope House / Kuno + Aida

© Tatsuya Noaki

Architects: Kuno + Aida
Location: , Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan
Architect In Charge: Toshimitsu Kuno, Tomoro Aida
Design Team: Toshimitsu Kuno, Tomoro Aida, Yuki Nokura, Kazuki Watanabe, Satoshi Suzuki, Toshiharu Terashima
Project Year: 2010
Photographs: Tatsuya Noaki

Green Square Development Library and Plaza © City of Sydney 2012
Green Square Development Library and Plaza © City of Sydney 2012

Green Square Town Centre Library and Green Square Plaza International Competition

The city of Sydney has launched an international design competition as part of the the Green Square Development Project for a new Library Centre and Plaza at the heart of a 278 hectare area south of the city centre.  The…

Four Pritzker-Prize winners to submit conceptual designs for new office tower in Manhattan

CCTV/OMA Partners-in-charge: Rem Koolhaas and Ole Scheeren, designers, David Gianotten, photographed by Iwan Baan

L&L Holding Company, LLC, today announced that four of the world’s most acclaimed architecture firms – Foster + Partners (Lord Norman Foster), Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (Lord Richard Rogers), OMA (Rem Koolhaas) and Zaha Hadid Architects – are participating this week in the conceptual design phase of its architectural competition for a new office tower to be constructed at 425 Park Avenue in Manhattan.

In April of this year, L&L Holding invited 11 of the world’s most accomplished architects to express their interest in competing for the commission to design a new tower at 425 Park Avenue. Of those invited, nine firms chose to enter the competition. After careful deliberations, L&L Holding narrowed its list to the four selected firms, each of which is led by a Pritzker Prize-winning architect with extensive international experience and proven expertise in office tower design.

The architects and their teams have prepared and are presenting their conceptual designs this week for a 650,000 square foot tower that will be designed to high L.E.E.D. sustainability standards.

See ArchDaily's exclusive coverage of the 2012 Venice Biennale

Correction to Wim Wenders and Peter Zumthor Rumor

© Andrew Meredith

It has been confirmed by Studio and Atelier Peter Zumthor & Partners that the news of Wim Wenders devoting his new 3D documentary film on architecture to Peter Zumthor was in fact a rumor. Although Wenders will be conducting an artistic interview film with Zumthor for the upcoming 2012 Venice Biennale, it has nothing to do with his feature documentary. The Biennale interview film and the 3D documentary on architecture are two separate projects that were mistakenly combined by the source article. We apologize for the confusion.

With that begin said, we look forward to both the Biennale film and the 3D documentary, as the internationally renowned director never seems to disappoint.

Photograph: Andrew Meredith

Park House / Shaun Lockyer Architects

© Scott Burrows

Architects: Shaun Lockyer Architects
Location: QLD, Australia
Project Team: Shaun Lockyer
Design Principal: Shane Marsh
Project Architect: Richard Pain
Architectural Technician: Corinne Bolton – Interiors
Project Year: 2012
Photographs: Scott Burrows