In the past two weeks, the topics of discussion in the ArchDaily comments section have been incredibly diverse: from a debate over a light-hearted approach to getting the architectural job of your dreams, to a serious argument over the exploitation of young workers in the industry; and from criticism of a Zaha-like “melted yellow cheese” design to a favorable analysis of an intellectual postmodernist landmark. Read on to find out what our readers had to say.
One of our most talked-about posts from this week has been our interview with Étienne Duval about his unconventional video application for a job at BIG. The video divided opinion, with some criticizing the concept, others praising the ingenuity, and still others praising the idea but criticizing the execution:
High marks for the concept, but in my opinion not the best execution. I like the idea of a video CV, but with so little specificity regarding your previous work the tone comes off as gimmicky and superficial. Come to think of it though that's probably a good fit for BIG! - Heywood Floyd
Funny video, but just that. The music sounded exactly like it came from someone who hasn't the ability or training to appreciate hip-hop, or discern between real hip-hop and an ego trip. Full marks for creative effort though. - Domingo
Reacting to the most negative comments, though, one commenter came down strongly on the side of light-hearted fun:
Some of the comments here are interesting to say the least... The guy took a very creative approach to his job application, and someone is even criticizing the font of the text in his video? Get over it already. Obviously from the video, he has the experience of working in different offices, in different countries, has a passion for design, and has shown a playful creative side. Some people are so uptight. Relax, get over yourselves and learn something from it. We all can, and should. - com_on
At ArchDaily we think com_on’s comment sums the situation up well. And, for the record, that’s not Comic Sans in the video.
UNStudio’s Le Toison d’Or
The latest project by UNStudio caused a lot of criticism in the comments, but it wasn’t until commenter Rob Scott called on some readers to justify their comments that a discussion was born:
The ugliest thing in this project is the shape of balconies which remind me the ugliest projects of Hadid, I mean her “melted yellow cheese” style. It's very difficult to design a nice building in this style, most of the buildings are just kitschy, like this one. - Małgorzata
Personally, I like the balconies because they give it a functional uniqueness. In a sense you do get the Zaha forms, but in a way that is pragmatic and looks to enhance the overall programmatic functions of the building.
1. You have cool balconies which look on to a lively avenue.
2. These balconies create distinct frames for the Retail stores.
After looking at other buildings on Avenue de Toison, I would have preferred to see the balconies in another color. Either go all the way and give me a glossier shiner gold color, or simply dial it down and go grey or perhaps a light-sky blue. - Rob Scott
We’re interested to know what other readers think - especially those who left negative comments on the original post. What caused such a strong reaction, and is there a slight adjustment to the design that could have prevented it? Or is the entire concept doomed to failure?
NCARB Rebrands the Intern
The news that NCARB is rebranding the Intern Development Program (IDP) to the Architectural Experience Program (AXP) and retiring the term “Intern” in favor of “exam candidate” or “aspiring architect” caused almost universal uproar, with readers questioning whether it really solves any issues surrounding internships:
Problem: Architectural Interns are paid poorly. Solution: Call them "aspiring architects." - bdollarsign
Others also questioned the new terminology:
They want me to use 'exam candidate' as a professional title on my business card? This industry is embarrassing - exploitedyoungprofessional
Exam Candidate is terrible and non-descript, and a 4 year old is an aspiring architect. Come on NCARB, this is the best of your years worth of research? - Jim Sarratori
One reader, however, pointed out that NCARB would be better served to look to existing precedents for the correct terminology:
They are called "Architectural Graduates" in my neck of the woods. Makes sense really. They have graduated from uni with the required piece of paper, now they are working towards registration. - Brendan Laurence
All of this, though, perhaps distracts from the original problems alluded to by bdollarsign: is the NCARB doing enough to tackle the exploitation of young “aspiring architects”? We’d like to know our readers’ thoughts on this.
Aldo Rossi Resurfaces in MONADNOCK’s Landmark Nieuw Bergen
Finally, one reader saw something special in the Landmark Nieuw Bergen by MONADNOCK:
Breaking news: Aldo Rossi is not dead. This project seems like an elegant revival of the San Gimignano brick towers. It reminds me also of the Staatsarchiv in Duisburg by Ortner & Ortner. My post is not a critique; this project is a good enforcement of Aldo Rossi's theory. And more than this, of course… - Tumtumtree
We couldn’t agree with you more - in fact one of our senior Projects Editors said Aldo Rossi’s name almost immediately after first seeing it. And, if the comments left on our Facebook post about the project are anything to go by, some readers could benefit from this kind of understanding of a project’s lineage.
Keep the debate flowing! Please post any responses to these topics in the comments below.
Image for NCARB story via Shutterstock.com