GUEST BLOG / By Katherine Guimapang, Writer for Archinect--There's no denying the events that have taken place in 2020 have shaken the globe socially and economically. From a pandemic to social unrest, not to mention unruly government leadership, it's easy to turn on the fate of the architecture industry.
With several architecture students who have recently experienced their first "virtual commencements," they now enter somewhat uncharted territory as they embark on their careers. In a continued effort to provide a voice for students and emerging professionals, Archinect connected with recently graduated students from six schools to learn about their concerns and perspectives as they begin to navigate professional practice and explore the job market.
The current job market has left young aspiring professionals wondering, "will I find a job?" For over two decades Archinect has provided the leading architecture job board in the US. With our expertise focusing on architectural employment, professional practice, and academia we wanted to dive into these questions of uncertainty and hear from recent graduates.
Question: As a recent graduate, how do you feel about the architecture industry right now and job prospects?
|Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts—Arizona State|
Selenia Martinez, M.Arch graduate of Arizona State University: "I feel the architecture industry must undergo transitions and awareness on a multiplicity of levels regarding how our design work impacts the next generations.
"And how narratives of projects should begin with community and nature in mind to really have timeless meaning. I think it is obvious that we need to uplift diversity in these fields, as a lot of architecture schools are still led by white men and continue to teach 'Bauhaus' design processes that disregard ecological and social justice issues.
Job prospects vary depending on place but it seems clients are still looking for designers to bring life to their ideas. I would suggest that now is the time to take the role of entrepreneurs and put yourself out there for various design jobs not just architectural work.
Diversifying one's skillset can lead to more opportunities and relationship building that may come in handy when you land that dream architectural job or lead you toward something that makes an impact at a different scale."
|John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture—Univ. of Toronto|
Jessica Ying, M.Arch graduate of the University of Toronto: "A part of me feels stuck as all firms are facing similar problems and we are not able to enter into neither small studios nor big corporate firms, but it also got me thinking how our industry should encourage more micro-businesses.
"I would like to see if our industry can move towards a more distributed network rather than a centralized one as it is right now. Not only does this help build a more resilient and diverse system when we face a crisis like the current pandemic, but also helps young architects and recent graduates start their own small businesses to get into the market and access new opportunities."
|Architecture Hall—Univ. of Washington|
Michelle Hook, M.Arch of the University of Washington: "To be honest, I don't know. I am ending a six month internship next month and have no future job currently lined up. As I have started looking at new listings for job openings, I have noticed more are getting posted as the days pass. I plan to use the extra time that I'm sure I'll have to apply for residencies, potential grants for conceptual practice, and maybe even start to study and test for the ARE's.
School of Architecture & Planning—MIT
Alexandre Beaudouin-Mackay & Sarah Wagner, M.Arch graduates of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT): An architectural Masters degree equips us with a wide range of skills that reach industries beyond architecture. This might be an opportunity for graduating students to explore alternative realms of design. Since our thesis we have taken radically different paths.
Sarah is now working at an architectural office and is planning to pursue licensure.
Alex, struggling with job prospects, has taken this opportunity to start his own furniture design and fabrication business. Beyond the architectural and the entrepreneurial we see so many other opportunities for jobs outside of architecture that could be integral in shaping a young architect’s career, like our work with after-school activities at the Margaret Fuller House was an avenue for design exploration. Reaching out beyond the discipline during this difficult time can make your post-COVID return to architecture as an even stronger designer.
School of Architecture—Tulane Univ.
Kate Katz and Ryan Shaaban B.Arch graduates of Tulane University: The ability to build is a costly endeavor, the pandemic, and associated recession have shed light on how architecture is not insulated from social and economic impacts but also how it is a valued resource. We have had different opportunities for work during this time, allowing us to reflect on our interests within the profession. Throughout it all, we have kept our perspectives open to how our careers can develop and how we can best apply our expertise from school to opportunities in the present and future.
Architecture & Urban Design—UCLA
Chunsu Ouyang, Tianyi Song, Xianrui Wang, M.Arch graduates of University of California, Los Angeles Architecture and Urban Design: New eras and new media bring new ways of design. That’s what we explored in this program and what we want to bring to the architectural industry. We think that the architecture industry values expression and seeks for the expression’s quality, intuitive feeling and speed. As real-time rendering comes in sight, the game industry’s pursuit of expression starts to affect the standard of architectural expression. For instance, the game producing software Unreal Engine now has modes for architecture and interior design, and many designers are using it in their professional practice. We believe that the future of architectural expression is to blur the boundary between virtual and reality.
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