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5 Unexpected Benefits of Working at a Large Design Firm

09:30 - 10 September, 2017
Courtesy of CannonDesign
Courtesy of CannonDesign

Like most architecture students, I heard the debate about whether it was better to work at a large or small design firm numerous times during my collegiate career. There are undoubtedly benefits offered by firms of each size, and you’ll find tons of people eager to discuss how the resources of a large firm can compare to the creative flexibility of a small firm and similar such discussions during your student journey. Truthfully, there’s no one best option or preferred path, but, with thousands of students set to head back to architecture or design school this fall, I wanted to share my perspective.

It was just a few years ago that I was in my final year of school and faced with a decision: what size firms should I pursue for my first job? There were numerous aspects of small firms that spoke to me, but ultimately, I chose the large-firm experience. Big offices, big projects, job security, the latest tech, modeling and 3D printed resources—this all sounded great to me. Two years in, I’ve found most of those benefits to ring true, but I’ve also uncovered several benefits I didn’t know I should have been looking for in the first place. These unplanned discoveries have made a significant difference in my day-to-day experience and in helping to kickstart my career. I thought it might be helpful to share them so other students can consider them when making their decision in 2018 and beyond.

11 Architect Salary Negotiation Tips

09:30 - 28 August, 2017
11 Architect Salary Negotiation Tips

This article was originally published on Brandon Hubbard's blog, The Architect's Guide.

Many people cringe at the idea of having to negotiate their salary. Often this can result in thousands of lost income opportunity if not handled correctly.

I am not advocating you ask for an outrageous sum, but you should be clear about the value you bring to the table. You need to be aware what your skills and qualifications are worth in the current marketplace. For your reference, I covered those variables in greater detail in a previous article, 5 Factors Affecting Your Architect Salary

Most of the following tips refer to a new job offer but some also apply to renegotiating your current architecture salary.

16 Achievement Stickers To Motivate Freelance Architects

16:00 - 8 August, 2017
16 Achievement Stickers To Motivate Freelance Architects, via The New Yorker
via The New Yorker

Life as an architect can sometimes be trying. These stickers, designed by  for The New Yorker, are designed to pep you up in your work day with a motivational boost, or a celebratory pat-on-the-back. Did you behave well during a Skype call? There's a sticker for that. Did you finish that presentation before 1am? There's a sticker for that, too. There's even a little badge of honor for which you can self-decorate once you've sent that final, final... final draft to your Project Manager for review.

11 Things You Learn at Your First “Real” Architecture Job (Lessons from a Recent Graduate)

09:30 - 17 July, 2017
© Megan Fowler
© Megan Fowler

You did it! You finished those grueling years of architecture school, perfected your portfolio and your interview pitch, and you landed your first job with an architecture firm. Everyone told you that working in a firm would be lightyears different from what you were used to doing in school, but until you get out there yourself, there is really no way to know just what that might entail. Once you’ve tackled life’s bigger questions about surviving outside of architecture school, you still have to learn to function in a day-to-day job. The learning curve is steep and it can certainly be overwhelming, but you’ve made it this far and there are a few lessons and skills you are sure to gain quickly as you start your career.

7 Mistakes That Will Destroy A Successful Architecture Resume/CV

09:30 - 10 July, 2017
7 Mistakes That Will Destroy A Successful Architecture Resume/CV, Alex Rodríguez Santibáñez <a href=''>Via Unsplash</a>
Alex Rodríguez Santibáñez Via Unsplash

This article was originally published on Brandon Hubbard's blog, The Architect's Guide.

According to a new study released by TheLadders, recruiters spend only six seconds on average looking at your resume. This proves the importance of having a concise, well-formatted resume that emphasizes your greatest skills and experience.

I have the "benefit" of reading hundreds, if not thousands, of architecture resumes throughout the year. This gives me a unique opportunity to see a range of good and bad examples. Often the weaker samples come from younger candidates who haven't been in the job market for very long. If you are just starting out in your career the task of creating a resume can be daunting.

Open Jobs at OMA: Work for Pritzker Laureate Rem Koolhaas

16:30 - 13 June, 2017
Open Jobs at OMA: Work for Pritzker Laureate Rem Koolhaas , OMA's mixed-use scheme for Santa Monica. Image © OMA
OMA's mixed-use scheme for Santa Monica. Image © OMA

With a majority of architecture schools in the Northern Hemisphere ending and the official start of summer fast approaching, architects across the globe – whether fresh out of school or with years of experience under their belt – are playing jobs musical chairs. And with the AIA’s Architecture Billings Index continuing to show growth in the profession, firms of all sizes are looking to add valuable members to their teams. 

One of those firms is OMA, whose Jobs site has seen a bounty of positions open up in recent months to keep up with the continued success of their seven offices across the globe. While many of the openings are given ambiguous descriptors, more than a few have titles that can speculatively be connected to projects announced over the past few years:

"Architect with Stadium/ Arena Experience – Rotterdam," for example, likely concerns the recently planning-approved Feyenoord Stadium and Masterplan, while "California Licensed Senior Architect – New York" will probably be involved in either their San Francisco tower or their mixed-use development scheme in Santa Monica, or both. 

What other projects might need some help? Check out the full list of job openings, below. 

The Best Architecture Portfolio Designs

09:30 - 30 May, 2017
The Best Architecture Portfolio Designs

When applying for an architecture job, you need to make sure you have the perfect portfolio. While a clever and attractive business card might help you initially get a firm's attention, and a well-considered résumé or CV might help you prove your value, in most cases it will be your portfolio that makes or breaks your application. It's your portfolio that practices will use to measure your design sensibilities against the office's own style and to judge whether you match up to the talents claimed in your résumé.

That's why in March, we launched a call for our readers to send us their own portfolios so that we could share the best design ideas with the ArchDaily community. Our selection below shows the best of the nearly 200 submissions we received, which were judged not on the quality of the architectural design they showed (though much of it was excellent) but instead the design quality of the portfolio itself. In making the selection, we were looking for attractive graphics, a clear presentation of the work itself, the formulation of a visual identity which permeated both the architectural designs and the portfolio design, and of course that elusive and much-prized attribute: "creativity."

Important Lessons Learned in 25 Years of Architecture Practice

09:30 - 18 May, 2017
Important Lessons Learned in 25 Years of Architecture Practice

This article was originally published by Archipreneur as "The 10 Most Important Lessons Learned in 25 Years of Architecture Practice."

The article is an expansion on one part of Archipreneur's interview with Craig Applegath, Founding Principal of DIALOG’s Toronto Studio. The architect spoke from his experience of running a 150-person practice and listed 10 tips for archipreneurs interested in starting their own business. Archipreneur shares that list here.

When I first started my own practice I thought everyone wanted to run their own practice. It turns out not. Most people just want to work in a great practice run by someone else. But for those who are real archipreneurs – and you know who you are – there is nothing so thrilling and fun as starting your own business; and nothing so scary and anxiety producing as starting your own business! They are the flip side of the same coin. But in terms of general advice for people starting their own practice or business here are ten key lessons I have learned over the past twenty-five years of practice:

US News and World Report's Best Job Ratings Find "Very Solid" Outlook for Architecture

16:05 - 31 March, 2017
US News and World Report's Best Job Ratings Find "Very Solid" Outlook for Architecture, The Offices of ALA Architects. Image © Marc Goodwin
The Offices of ALA Architects. Image © Marc Goodwin

The US News and World Report has released their 2017 list of “Best Jobs,” based on a variety of criteria including salary, employment rate, growth potential, future job prospects, stress level and work-life balance.

Despite describing the job outlook for architects as “very solid,” overall, architecture finished outside out of the top 100, coming in 7th (out of 8) in the “Engineering Jobs” category. Find out the expected salaries for architects and which cities pay their architects the best, after the break.

How To Earn A Six-Figure Salary as an Architect

09:30 - 17 January, 2017
How To Earn A Six-Figure Salary as an Architect, © Skitterphoto via Pixabay (Public domain image)
© Skitterphoto via Pixabay (Public domain image)

This article was originally published by The Architect's Guide as "How To Earn A Six Figure Architecture Salary."

Architecture salary. Perhaps one of the most talked about and passionately debated topics in the design community. I receive more emails on this subject than almost anything else. 

Previously, in 5 Factors Affecting Your Architecture Salary, I covered several variables that contribute to your income. However, for this article I want to highlight the areas that will produce the best return on your investment of time and money. 

While earning six figures doesn't mean what it used to, it is still a very admirable (and achievable) goal. So how do you go about reaching this significant architecture salary milestone? Let's discuss.

Freelancing as an Architect: The Pros, The Cons, and Tips for Success

09:30 - 22 November, 2016
Freelancing as an Architect: The Pros, The Cons, and Tips for Success

This article was originally published by Archipreneur as "The Pros and Cons of Starting out as a Freelance Architect."

Freelancing can be a great option for architects looking for more autonomy and freedom in their work. Although there are drawbacks to this kind of work, there are specific strategies that you can use to overcome the challenges and uncertainties of going solo.

It is easy to look down on freelancing. Those who are employed by a traditional company or firm see freelancing as an inferior work model that automatically implies less financial security and suggests to employers a loose definition of responsibility. People often imagine freelancers as slumming it in their pajamas doing just a few hours of work per day, or as Jacks-of-all-trades, overworked and constantly chasing new commissions. While data from recent studies and surveys show that freelancers do indeed work fewer hours than those in traditional employment, the rising number of freelancers proves that this trend is not waning. In fact, according to recent reports, increasing numbers of US and European workers are choosing to go freelance.

21 Careers You Can Pursue With A Degree in Architecture

08:30 - 7 November, 2016
21 Careers You Can Pursue With A Degree in Architecture, © Ariana Zilliacus
© Ariana Zilliacus

Completing a degree in architecture can be a long and arduous process, but also wonderfully rewarding. Despite this, many freshly graduated architects find themselves unsure about where to begin, or deciding that they actually don’t want to be architects at all. Here is a list of 21 careers you can pursue with a degree in architecture, which may help some overcome the daunting task of beginning to think about and plan for the professional life that awaits.

© Ariana Zilliacus © Ariana Zilliacus © Ariana Zilliacus © Ariana Zilliacus + 9

Opportunity Space

07:00 - 19 October, 2016
Opportunity Space, New arrivals at Malmö Central Station. Photo: Johan Bävman
New arrivals at Malmö Central Station. Photo: Johan Bävman

Europe’s migration crisis has intensified the need for cities to develop new tools and strategies to help people build skills, earn a living, and establish their place in society. To address this challenge, New York-based design nonprofit Van Alen Institute has launched Opportunity Space, a competition inviting multidisciplinary teams to propose a temporary mobile structure in Malmö, Sweden that will support a wide range of social programs.

The winning team will receive a $10,000 prize, a $5,000 travel budget, and up to $25,000 to implement their proposal in and around Malmö’s Enskifteshagen Park for two months in spring 2017.

8 Tips on Becoming Successful as a Sole Practitioner

09:30 - 11 October, 2016
8 Tips on Becoming Successful as a Sole Practitioner, Perhaps the most famous contemporary sole practitioner is Glenn Murcutt, who still works alone in spite of winning the Pritzker Prize in 2002. Image © <a href=''>Flickr user unrosarinoenvietnam</a> licensed under <a href=''>CC BY-NC-SA 2.0</a>
Perhaps the most famous contemporary sole practitioner is Glenn Murcutt, who still works alone in spite of winning the Pritzker Prize in 2002. Image © Flickr user unrosarinoenvietnam licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

This article was originally published on Redshift as "Go Your Own Way: 8 Tips for a Sole-Practitioner Architect to Build Credibility."

If you’re a sole-practitioner architect, you’ve probably already thought long and hard about the pros and cons of working solo, and don’t feel the burning desire to work in a bustling office environment with large-scale projects and constant collaboration. There are plenty of upsides to running your own practice. “I have it pretty good as a sole practitioner,” says Portland, Oregon architect Celeste Lewis. “I love the flexibility it provides with having a child, parents who are ill, and my passion for being involved in the community.”

But along with the benefits come challenges. One of the biggest is proving you’re worth your salt in a competitive marketplace alongside larger, bigger-reputation firms. Here are eight tips to help sole practitioners—who make up nearly 25 percent of AIA-member firms—build credibility.

9 Reasons to Become an Architect

07:00 - 24 August, 2016
9 Reasons to Become an Architect, © Leandro Fuenzalida
© Leandro Fuenzalida

Making the decision to pursue architecture is not easy. Often, young students think that they have to be particularly talented at drawing, or have high marks in math just to even apply for architecture programs. Once they get there, many students are overwhelmed by the mountainous tasks ahead.

While the path to becoming an architect varies from country to country, the average time it takes to receive a Masters in Architecture is between 5 and 7 years, and following that is often the additional burden of licensure which realistically takes another couple of years to undertake. Knowing these numbers, it’s not particularly encouraging to find out that the average architect does not make as much as doctors and lawyers, or that 1 in 4 architecture students in the UK are seeking treatment for mental health issues. These are aspects which architecture needs to work on as an industry. However, beyond these problems, there are still many fulfilling reasons to fall in love with the industry and become an architect. Here are just some of them.

The Top Architecture Résumé/CV Designs

06:00 - 17 August, 2016
The Top Architecture Résumé/CV Designs

A few months ago we put out a call for the best architecture résumé/CV designs. Between ArchDaily and ArchDaily Brasil we received over 450 CVs from nearly every continent. We witnessed the overwhelming variety and cultural customs of the résumé: some include portraits, others do not; some include personal information about gender and marital status; others do not. In the end, however, we based our selection on the CVs that stood out from the hundreds of submissions. We looked for CVs that transmitted the personality of the designer, their ability to communicate visually and verbally, and perhaps, the most intangible criteria for evaluation—the "creativity" of the CV. The documents below represent the diversity of styles and formats that just might land you a job at your dream firm.

What Were Your #FirstSevenJobs?

12:30 - 15 August, 2016

Last week, the latest craze to hit the Twittersphere was #FirstSevenJobs. An interesting mix of nostalgia and self-congratulatory posturing, the hashtag had seemingly everybody on the social media site sharing how they took their first seven steps to where they are now. For architects though, whose path to their ideal job is often long and torturous, the hashtag may have offered a little solace: with notable and successful architects, educators and critics sharing how they took their first tentative steps into the profession, those still working towards their goals can be reassured that, no matter where they are now, success could be on the horizon.

With that in mind, we wanted to extend the hashtag to our users: what were your first seven jobs, and what did you learn while doing them? What was your experience like in getting to where you are now? And do the jobs that many architects have in their early years reveal anything about the architecture profession?

How to Ensure that Your Online Architecture Portfolio is On Point

09:30 - 15 August, 2016
How to Ensure that Your Online Architecture Portfolio is On Point

Why should I even have an online portfolio?

A portion of working in architecture includes having to market yourself and your skills. "One minute networking" is a skill that many architects learn in order to be successful in the creative field, but having the gift of gab requires you to put your money where your mouth is. If you have an online portfolio which is accessible with just an internet internet connection and a digital device capable of viewing it, your work is always conveniently available during your networking conversations. It's also helpful for sharing your work in online conversations: while a pdf of your print portfolio can really only be sent by email, practically every messaging app or direct messaging service built into social networks will allow you to send a link, allowing you to take advantage of an opportunity even when you weren't expecting one to arise. Finally, if you make it right your website can even do some of the advertising and networking for you.

The most important thing to remember is that like your resume or print portfolio, an online portfolio is a tool to help you advance your career, so it must be useful towards your goals. Therefore instead of asking yourself why you should have an online portfolio, you should ask yourself what those goals are, and how your online portfolio can be optimized to help you achieve them.

Now that we've gotten that question out of the way, here are 8 other questions to ask yourself: