Arch Job Losses

Have you been affected by the job losses in the architecture profession?

No
47
12%
Yes
255
64%
Not yet, but I think there's a good chance
96
24%
 
Total votes : 398

Re: Arch Job Losses

Postby 4arch » Thu Jan 22, 2009 12:29 am

41% of Architects will have lost their jobs by March 2009

I struggled through 6 hard years to get my architecture degree from UCD, only to find myself unemployed less than a year after graduating. I now find myself with absolutely no career prospects, while friends (with far less points) enjoy comfortable lives in engineering and commerce.

The % of architect's unemployed is expected to rise above 40% this year and yet I have seen nothing from the RIAI, who promised free associate membership for recent graduates (not that they offer much support) but have now changed their policy. The construction workers are getting retrained but yet there is nothing for us.

The way I see it now is that an architect is the worst possible profession to go into and i will spend my life making sure nobody i know goes into this industry. What makes it all the more tragic is that the amount of architecture graduates is set to double soon when cork, limerick and waterford start
turning out graduates.

I wonder if they calculated this into their 41% prediction.
4arch
Member
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2007 2:59 pm
Location: dublin

Re: Arch Job Losses

Postby missarchi » Thu Jan 22, 2009 5:42 am

According to this poll 85% of architects/techs will be unemployed sometime this year.
Assuming that say 5% of the positions are in the public sector only 10% of the private sector will remain if all the doom and gloom is to be confirmed? Half of the RIAI practices did not respond? either means they cannot be bothered or they will no longer be in business?

4arch it may be bad but i'm guessing you didn't have to pay much for your degree like some other parts of the globe? Not that it makes it any more easy...

But this is a knowledge nation whirling in the joy of globalisation? co-insiding with the change over of American presidents and Irish and English alike :D

It would be interesting to see how much work is outsourced from Ireland;)
missarchi
Old Master
 
Posts: 1796
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2007 7:53 pm

Re: Arch Job Losses

Postby parka » Thu Jan 22, 2009 4:11 pm

4arch wrote:The % of architect's unemployed is expected to rise above 40% this year and yet I have seen nothing from the RIAI, who promised free associate membership for recent graduates (not that they offer much support) but have now changed their policy. The construction workers are getting retrained but yet there is nothing for us.


I agree with what you're saying, there has been an eerie silence the downturn. Any recommendations made involved spending money and not saving it. :confused:
parka
Member
 
Posts: 150
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2006 10:10 pm

Re: Arch Job Losses

Postby cajual » Thu Jan 22, 2009 6:26 pm

4arch wrote:I struggled through 6 hard years to get my architecture degree from UCD, only to find myself unemployed less than a year after graduating. I now find myself with absolutely no career prospects, while friends (with far less points) enjoy comfortable lives in engineering and commerce.



why didnt you do engineering or commerce if you wanted some kind of cast iron job (not that they exist)? the building industry is always the worst affected by economic decline, it's something we were made aware of from day 1 in architecture. also- the idea that by getting more points than someone you deserve a better job prospect/wage is really just astounding.

as for the retraining, i believe architecture gives you one of the most well rounded educations of any degree, analytical skills, design skills, communication skills etc. architects should build on these skills and branch out. start thinking for themselves instead of for developers.

i guess graduates these days have never experienced the idea of not having 2/3 job offers as soon as they send out their cv- this is not reality most of the time, we were living in a bubble. unfortunately the reality check has hit us all harder than we could have imagined...
cajual
Member
 
Posts: 69
Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2001 12:00 am

Re: Arch Job Losses

Postby hutton » Sat Jan 24, 2009 2:31 am

From the Irish Times, Friday, January 23, 2009 - Róisín Ingle accompanies an out-of-work architect on her first outing to the dole office.


Getting to grips with life on the dole

At dole offices, unlike almost anywhere else at present, queues are lengthening and extra staff are being taken on. And for those who have never signed on before, the experience can be a daunting one, reports Róisín Ingle

THE QUEUE OUTSIDE the dole office on Cumberland Street in Dublin’s north inner city stretched right down to the end of the road when Laura Kenneally arrived this week to make a claim for unemployment benefit for the first time. When she turned up two weeks ago to arrange the appointment, she almost cycled past the grim building with its high windows covered in wire mesh.

“It looks like a prison, it’s not the most welcoming of buildings,” she says, sitting in a cafe round the corner. “The most daunting thing is that when you go in, you don’t know where to line up or where you are meant to be going. You walk in a bit doe-eyed, but being there brings you down to reality. You are part of something else now, something you never imagined yourself being a part of.”

Thousands of people around the country will relate to the first impressions of life on the dole offered by Kenneally, a 27-year-old architect who was let go from the job she loved just before Christmas. The Minister for Family and Social Affairs, Mary Hanafin, said this week that jobless figures have hit the 300,000 mark and that they could rise to 400,000 by the end of the year. Around 23,000 people signed on for the first time last month and, as the recession worsens, job vacancies across all occupations are increasingly scarce.

Kenneally, from Ennis in Co Clare, graduated from UCD three years ago, at a time when everyone in her class got jobs and nobody had to leave the country for employment.

“I had three jobs in that time, so I was really lucky,” she says, adding that, from what she’s heard, most of last year’s graduating class have struggled to find employment. “I feel worse for them, because at least we had a couple of good years. I was able to build up the PRSI credits which mean I am entitled to benefits, but if you’ve just recently left college, it’s a different story.”

She says the tight-knit community of young architects in Dublin began to hear of bigger firms letting people go earlier this year.

“I think the list of jobs on the website of the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland went from a full page to just one listing for a recruitment agency for Dubai,” she says. Yesterday, on the job-search section of that website, the blunt message that “there are no jobs available” could be found.

In her own case, Kenneally guessed her time had come when a job she was hired to work on, a social housing project, didn’t go ahead.

“My boss was really good, he was very open with us, so it wasn’t a shock. I know he didn’t want to let me go, but he had no choice,” she says. “The thing is, you know it’s happening to lots of other people from all sectors and walks of life, so you feel you are part of a bigger picture, which does make it slightly easier. From where I am standing I am not in the worst position – I don’t have a mortgage or children. A few years ago I was thinking I should buy a house, but I’m very relieved now that I didn’t.”

AT CUMBERLAND STREET and other dole offices around the country, more than 100 extra staff are being brought in to deal with growing numbers of “new unemployed”, often highly skilled and educated workers traumatised by sudden job loss and unsure of their welfare entitlements. There have been considerable changes at this office, one of the largest in the country, dealing with the Dublin 1, 3 and 9 postcodes, since local manager Kathleen O’Donnell began working there in 1982. Back then there was a separate floor in the building for women who were signing on.

“I remember when the dole queues became mixed, some people thought it would never work,” she says, smiling.

The customer profile was also different back then, according to O’Donnell, compared to the unemployed coming in now. “At that time it was local Irish people, mainly men, labourers or operatives engaged in manual work who were in shorter-term employment. If an architect came up to the hatch you’d have been very surprised. I remember some pilots near retirement age coming in and us all being shocked by how much they earned,” she says.

At that time, far fewer documents were required for signing on and payments were given out at a pay hatch in the office where clients were obliged to turn up and sign each week. What used to be known as unemployment benefit or allowance is now called jobseekers benefit or allowance, which puts more emphasis on finding a job than on being unemployed.

These days, people receive their money once a week at the post office and only sign on once a month at the dole office. The boom years meant a lull at dole offices, but in the last few months the queues have grown longer, the “local Irish” joined now by foreign nationals seeking benefits or looking to have them transferred to their home country, along with a new wave of unemployed architects, engineers and accountants, many of them casualties of the decimated construction and property sector.

“The type of customer and the complexity of the cases has changed completely,” says O’Donnell. These changes have placed more demands on staff who, despite increased numbers, are doing their best, she says, to process claims quickly. “We are seeing people now who have been in work since they were 16. It’s quite traumatic for them to come in here. You’d have members of staff telling you: ‘God, I was an hour and a half with the last lady, she was in floods of tears.’ In the past, the people we dealt with wouldn’t have had this great tenure of employment and quality of life behind them . . . These new people are in alien territory, it’s a huge loss for them.”

O’Donnell has had some people on the phone reluctant to come in because of the perceived stigma of drawing the dole.

“I encourage them in,” she says. “I say to them: ‘If you are out of work and satisfying the conditions, then come in to us.’ People need to have something on their record, they often don’t realise they should be signing on to keep up their credits. We tell them: ‘Come on in here, we’re not that bad, we’ll look after you.’ ”

Careers coach Jane Downes, of Clearview Coaching Group, says her client base has doubled in recent months and that the self-esteem of the new wave of unemployed, who range from receptionists to company directors, has taken a severe bruising. “They just can’t believe their situation. Many of them say they will do anything rather than go on the dole and are trying for stopgap jobs in posts they never would have considered before,” she says.

ONE OF THESE, Garrett (not his real name), a father of three who lost his job as a mortgage broker three months ago, understands the reluctance of some people to be seen signing on. “I sign on at a dole office that isn’t close to where I live, which I am glad about because I have to admit I would be embarrassed to be seen there. I know I shouldn’t have a sense of shame, because it’s not my fault – but I do,” he says. “When I go to the post office to get my money I can’t even bring myself to say I am collecting my dole. I say I am collecting my benefits; it feels less degrading.”

Garrett has been in full-time employment since he left school almost 30 years ago and says adapting to his current situation has been “a culture shock”. He has sat his children down and explained that “Daddy and Mummy won’t be able to spend as much money any more”.

Another change has been re-evaluating his place in the jobs market. He recently applied for a job as a store manager in a discount supermarket, a job he’d be delighted to secure.

“I’ve had to lower my expectations, you have to, and I spend two or three hours a day looking for jobs. There’s no slouching around the house. It would be hard to stay focused if you went into slouching mode,” he says.

Also adjusting to life on the dole, Laura Kenneally agrees that some people still attach shame to signing on.

“I believe most Irish people have a hard-work ethic and nobody wants to be seen as a lazy so and so, scrounging for money. But the way I look at it is that I worked hard for whatever I get and I am entitled to it,” she says. Her positive attitude in a bleak situation seems to be helping her cope.

“I think it’s important to stay upbeat,” she adds, preparing to cycle off for an afternoon trawling the internet for jobs – Canada and Australia are two emigration possibilities she’s researching, although jobs in her field are scarce everywhere – and filling out forms for rent allowance.

“The days are long, but I try to keep busy, job-searching or going to museums rather than just sitting watching TV all day,” she says. “If I sit down and start crying about it, nothing is going to change. I think people should try and stay positive. It’s a tough time, but hopefully it will all come good again.”

Signing on: a step-by-step guide

1 If you lose your job you are entitled to claim either jobseekers benefit or jobseekers allowance from the Department of Social and Family Affairs.

2 You qualify for jobseekers benefit if you have paid 104 PRSI contributions, or “stamps”, since first starting work. Thirty-nine payments must have been paid in the relevant tax year. This benefit is not means-tested. (If you are unsure about your PRSI record, you can contact the Department of Social and Family Affairs at 01-7043000 and ask for the PRSI section.)

3 If you don’t have enough “stamps” you can apply for jobseekers allowance, which is means-tested.

4 You must make an appointment with your local social welfare office to make a claim. To check where your nearest dole office is, go to http://www.welfare.ie

5 Depending on what part of the country you live in, an appointment can take up to two weeks.

6 You are required to bring a range of documentation (again go to http://www.welfare.ie for the complete list), including a P45, P60, proof of identity and residence, and an RP50 form if you have been made redundant. You will also be expected to provide proof that you are making efforts to seek work.

7 At this meeting your claim will be discussed and forms filled in. According to the department, the average processing time in December was two weeks for jobseekers benefit and five weeks for jobseekers allowance. However, in some parts of the country the processing time for the jobseekers allowance is as long as 15 weeks.

8 While waiting for a decision you can apply for a means-tested supplementary welfare allowance payment. Applications should be made to the Community Welfare Office at your local health centre.

9 Once your claim has been authorised you will be obliged to sign on once a month at your dole office, and to collect your money once a week at the post office.

10 For advice, you can speak in confidence to the welfare-to-work section of the Irish National Organisation for the Unemployed ( http://www.inou.ie ) at 01-8560088, Monday to Friday, between 9.30am and 5pm.

This article appears in the print edition of the Irish Times
hutton
Senior Member
 
Posts: 993
Joined: Tue Dec 28, 2004 10:14 pm
Location: NAMA HQ

Re: Arch Job Losses

Postby wearnicehats » Mon Jan 26, 2009 10:48 am

4arch wrote:41% of Architects will have lost their jobs by March 2009

I struggled through 6 hard years to get my architecture degree from UCD, only to find myself unemployed less than a year after graduating. I now find myself with absolutely no career prospects, while friends (with far less points) enjoy comfortable lives in engineering and commerce.

The % of architect's unemployed is expected to rise above 40% this year and yet I have seen nothing from the RIAI, who promised free associate membership for recent graduates (not that they offer much support) but have now changed their policy. The construction workers are getting retrained but yet there is nothing for us.

The way I see it now is that an architect is the worst possible profession to go into and i will spend my life making sure nobody i know goes into this industry. What makes it all the more tragic is that the amount of architecture graduates is set to double soon when cork, limerick and waterford start
turning out graduates.

I wonder if they calculated this into their 41% prediction.


If this site had been available to me in 1993 I would have written exactly the same thing. Or in 1987 when I went into college. Or in 2001 after 9/11. and probably again in 2016

Times change - it's life. Architecture is, if anything, consistent in it's swings and roundabouts - I didn't have the benefit of the interweb to tell me this in 1987.

deal with it, get over it and adapt.

One thing that's overlooked in all this is the high percentage of architects who are married to architects. That's a double whammy baby
wearnicehats
Senior Member
 
Posts: 822
Joined: Wed Aug 02, 2006 2:38 pm

Re: Arch Job Losses

Postby ctesiphon » Mon Jan 26, 2009 12:09 pm

hutton wrote:From the Irish Times, Friday, January 23, 2009 - Róisín Ingle accompanies an out-of-work architect on her first outing to the dole office.


As if losing the job wasn't bad enough... Roisin Ingle? This must be the definition of 'adding insult to injury'.
User avatar
ctesiphon
Old Master
 
Posts: 1949
Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2005 3:39 pm
Location: Dublin

Re: Arch Job Losses

Postby tommyt » Mon Jan 26, 2009 4:00 pm

ctesiphon wrote:As if losing the job wasn't bad enough... Roisin Ingle? This must be the definition of 'adding insult to injury'.



:eek:Took the words right out of my mouth. Then the final indignity of having to declare your nixer income from Rosey Dingle before the 'ole scratch house will settle up with you :p

I feel a series coming on
tommyt
Member
 
Posts: 455
Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2004 7:39 pm
Location: D5

Re: Arch Job Losses

Postby Paul Clerkin » Mon Jan 26, 2009 4:53 pm

Until it was mentioned above, I never actually thought about the number of architects married to architects - would make for very stressful households right now
User avatar
Paul Clerkin
Old Master
 
Posts: 5427
Joined: Wed Mar 03, 1999 1:00 am
Location: Monaghan

Re: Arch Job Losses

Postby keating » Mon Jan 26, 2009 6:47 pm

So do Architects and their technicians sit whimpering waiting for the axe to fall or the 'bounce' which will apparently hasten a full recovery in 2011? or do something.

Lets look at this Globally. traded services, since the 80's it went from a 20 trillion dollar market to a 200 trillion dollar market, this addition was created by derivitives, or borrowings by another name. It took 20 years to create this artificial wealth. In the 1970's the club of Rome recognised the Malthusian notion that there were limits to growth. The planet being a finite resource. But we are all now shackled to the growth machine. Our education and values have been conditioned to feed this monster. Sweden encountered the same problems we are having now and re-engineered their economy and society to focus on quality of life over growth rates. We were naive enough to associate productivity with success.
Now we must recognise it will take 10 years to correct our economic situation. We need to focus on what your guy Sean O'Laoire calls de-growth.

Celtic Tiger mark II (post 2002) was clearly A latter day Tulip mania

Architecture has lost its role as a leader for the built environment sector, throughout the last 15 years it dropped its standards and critical role to bring out the best in its clients. (Anybody live in a new apartment). Instead it has just become the drawing office of big country house builders. Architectures key responsibilities taken over by QS Project Managers, Fire consultants and best laugh of all the mechanical services engineers are now sustainability consultants, Ha! So no great loss really. Architecture firms have a shelf like of 20-30 years with 3 or 4 exceptions.

I sat in a Peters pub with a builder friend of mine before Christmas, beside us a group of suited up architects were comparing their clients projects, like kids bragging about their daddies. My builder friend laughed to think that architects boast with pride about the cheap blocks of floor space that the architect was allowed wallpaper with timber louvres or stone tiles.

Architecture is viewed as the prince of the arts and an intellectual activity, but it is also an empirical science. But why have the sciences of Architecture and urban design not resulted in better buildings, beauty, and societal improvements, indeed we are moving in the opposite direction. Would a market without Architects produce anything worse than the state of our urban fabric after the boom?

Its time for a new architecture, a socially responsible community focused discipline, with quality of life and comfort as its focus. A scientific discipline able to exclude conventional heating and cooling systems from buildings. Able to design airtight diffusion ope,n natural buildings using ethical and low impact materials. Able to design for society not for the growth machine. Who are the architects who will rise to the challenge and become the new big 5 practices. Forget about architects becoming redundant, the architecture establishment as we know it is now redundant.

But I'm positive about the future, no longer will we tolerate the type of architecture establishment which created Mulhuddart, Gorey, Rathoath, new ballymun, Docklands or Templebarf.
keating
Member
 
Posts: 89
Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2003 11:09 am
Location: Tipperary

Re: Arch Job Losses

Postby Paul Clerkin » Mon Jan 26, 2009 7:16 pm

I subscribe to the idea of recession as time to think. It still can be a time of opportunity which is what I am trying to see it as. Easier for me to say this because I'm not an architect and, touch wood, should keep my job, but I still believe that the right mindset will seee people through, and help them thrive in the bounce. I am contemplating launching new projects during this period.

Sure there has been a personal knock-back in that jobsarchitect.com will be pretty dead for a while, but there's always the chance that the recession and the need to pay wages will remove some of the competitors ;)
User avatar
Paul Clerkin
Old Master
 
Posts: 5427
Joined: Wed Mar 03, 1999 1:00 am
Location: Monaghan

Re: Arch Job Losses

Postby wearnicehats » Mon Jan 26, 2009 9:26 pm

keating wrote:So do Architects and their technicians sit whimpering waiting for the axe to fall or the 'bounce' which will apparently hasten a full recovery in 2011? or do something.

Lets look at this Globally. traded services, since the 80's it went from a 20 trillion dollar market to a 200 trillion dollar market, this addition was created by derivitives, or borrowings by another name. It took 20 years to create this artificial wealth. In the 1970's the club of Rome recognised the Malthusian notion that there were limits to growth. The planet being a finite resource. But we are all now shackled to the growth machine. Our education and values have been conditioned to feed this monster. Sweden encountered the same problems we are having now and re-engineered their economy and society to focus on quality of life over growth rates. We were naive enough to associate productivity with success.
Now we must recognise it will take 10 years to correct our economic situation. We need to focus on what your guy Sean O'Laoire calls de-growth.

Celtic Tiger mark II (post 2002) was clearly A latter day Tulip mania

Architecture has lost its role as a leader for the built environment sector, throughout the last 15 years it dropped its standards and critical role to bring out the best in its clients. (Anybody live in a new apartment). Instead it has just become the drawing office of big country house builders. Architectures key responsibilities taken over by QS Project Managers, Fire consultants and best laugh of all the mechanical services engineers are now sustainability consultants, Ha! So no great loss really. Architecture firms have a shelf like of 20-30 years with 3 or 4 exceptions.

I sat in a Peters pub with a builder friend of mine before Christmas, beside us a group of suited up architects were comparing their clients projects, like kids bragging about their daddies. My builder friend laughed to think that architects boast with pride about the cheap blocks of floor space that the architect was allowed wallpaper with timber louvres or stone tiles.

Architecture is viewed as the prince of the arts and an intellectual activity, but it is also an empirical science. But why have the sciences of Architecture and urban design not resulted in better buildings, beauty, and societal improvements, indeed we are moving in the opposite direction. Would a market without Architects produce anything worse than the state of our urban fabric after the boom?

Its time for a new architecture, a socially responsible community focused discipline, with quality of life and comfort as its focus. A scientific discipline able to exclude conventional heating and cooling systems from buildings. Able to design airtight diffusion ope,n natural buildings using ethical and low impact materials. Able to design for society not for the growth machine. Who are the architects who will rise to the challenge and become the new big 5 practices. Forget about architects becoming redundant, the architecture establishment as we know it is now redundant.

But I'm positive about the future, no longer will we tolerate the type of architecture establishment which created Mulhuddart, Gorey, Rathoath, new ballymun, Docklands or Templebarf.


who do you see as the new clients who will employ the new architects to complete the new architecture?
wearnicehats
Senior Member
 
Posts: 822
Joined: Wed Aug 02, 2006 2:38 pm

Re: Arch Job Losses

Postby missarchi » Mon Jan 26, 2009 11:08 pm

wearnicehats wrote:who do you see as the new clients who will employ the new architects to complete the new architecture?


The new bank of architecture Anglo Irish Bank:p run by wait for it the president of the RIAI;) based in St Stephens Green.

In any case I think there may be a good reason for the arts council to strike out the rule of if an existing proposal is being developed/exists it cannot secure funding within reason/ peer review. It serves the public and bodes for discussion in the media well.

Applications that duplicate an organisation’s existing work programmes or ongoing administration.

Is there any part of Dublin that is not under ongoing administration?
missarchi
Old Master
 
Posts: 1796
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2007 7:53 pm

Re: Arch Job Losses

Postby keating » Mon Jan 26, 2009 11:39 pm

wearnicehats wrote:who do you see as the new clients who will employ the new architects to complete the new architecture?


Me for one, soon as I can find some sucker to take this drafty dark apartment off my hands. .
Energy is the new currency, investing in ways to reduce energy use and even become a supplier of energy makes sense. There are now associations of individuals grouping together to build pasive house schemes. Why do have to rely on Spud Gobblin Fianna Fail card carrying developers to build us houses at 40 times rental yield paying €1k per annum extra on energy for badly designed and built schemes. The Green tech sector will require new buildings. Low impact buildings which contribute to the ecology of the site, buildings which are designed as a machine which adapts to provide comfortable efficient living. Buildings which integrate energy and manage all resources on site.

This will be the only show in town however, there is a huge deficit in skills level in the architecture profession. The recession and collapse of activity in the building sector is a good thing, in that architects can wipe the slate clean and start again. Its going to be survival of the fittest, with the Architects responsible for Neanderthal radiant city urban schemes like the half finished tumbleweed strewn hulks of Sandyford Industrial estate following their drinking buddy builders to retirement in Spain with their staff consigned up to Thomas Street job centre.

Give up the hope that things will return to normal in a few years, the past is a foreign country, the future is even foreigner. But it can be a country full of exciting opportunities for architects who can adapt to new realities. 'Clients' don't drive lexus anymore, they wear sandals and cycle bikes.
keating
Member
 
Posts: 89
Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2003 11:09 am
Location: Tipperary

Re: Arch Job Losses

Postby wearnicehats » Mon Jan 26, 2009 11:52 pm

keating wrote:So do Architects and their technicians sit whimpering waiting for the axe to fall or the 'bounce' which will apparently hasten a full recovery in 2011? or do something.

Lets look at this Globally. traded services, since the 80's it went from a 20 trillion dollar market to a 200 trillion dollar market, this addition was created by derivitives, or borrowings by another name. It took 20 years to create this artificial wealth. In the 1970's the club of Rome recognised the Malthusian notion that there were limits to growth. The planet being a finite resource. But we are all now shackled to the growth machine. Our education and values have been conditioned to feed this monster. Sweden encountered the same problems we are having now and re-engineered their economy and society to focus on quality of life over growth rates. We were naive enough to associate productivity with success.
Now we must recognise it will take 10 years to correct our economic situation. We need to focus on what your guy Sean O'Laoire calls de-growth.

Celtic Tiger mark II (post 2002) was clearly A latter day Tulip mania

Architecture has lost its role as a leader for the built environment sector, throughout the last 15 years it dropped its standards and critical role to bring out the best in its clients. (Anybody live in a new apartment). Instead it has just become the drawing office of big country house builders. Architectures key responsibilities taken over by QS Project Managers, Fire consultants and best laugh of all the mechanical services engineers are now sustainability consultants, Ha! So no great loss really. Architecture firms have a shelf like of 20-30 years with 3 or 4 exceptions.

I sat in a Peters pub with a builder friend of mine before Christmas, beside us a group of suited up architects were comparing their clients projects, like kids bragging about their daddies. My builder friend laughed to think that architects boast with pride about the cheap blocks of floor space that the architect was allowed wallpaper with timber louvres or stone tiles.

Architecture is viewed as the prince of the arts and an intellectual activity, but it is also an empirical science. But why have the sciences of Architecture and urban design not resulted in better buildings, beauty, and societal improvements, indeed we are moving in the opposite direction. Would a market without Architects produce anything worse than the state of our urban fabric after the boom?

Its time for a new architecture, a socially responsible community focused discipline, with quality of life and comfort as its focus. A scientific discipline able to exclude conventional heating and cooling systems from buildings. Able to design airtight diffusion ope,n natural buildings using ethical and low impact materials. Able to design for society not for the growth machine. Who are the architects who will rise to the challenge and become the new big 5 practices. Forget about architects becoming redundant, the architecture establishment as we know it is now redundant.

But I'm positive about the future, no longer will we tolerate the type of architecture establishment which created Mulhuddart, Gorey, Rathoath, new ballymun, Docklands or Templebarf.


the more I read this idealistic utopian gloating diatribe the more pissed off I am. If all the 1500 architects / technicians / support staff laid off were in the one firm it would be front page news, uproar. Whatever your views on the business that is architecture 99% of those people have the ideals that you purport to understand. They have the ability to design and do all that you espouse. They are also tied to leases, mortgages, families, dependants. In the case of architect couples they face all their income cut off. If you're interested there's a six month back-log in the dole at the moment. If you're interested, firms are just closing, full stop.

what most sensible architects and technicians are "doing" is trying to find an exit plan that allows them to avoid losing everything they have. These plans include, as Paul suggests, a change of direction - even if, in my case it will be working in a bar. Deal with it, get over it and adapt. Wherever or whatever that takes it is clear that a large proportion of talented, experienced and principled people may be lost to the profession for good.

Do you believe that the Sean Dunne's of this world will suddenly have an epiphany one night, put on their hair shirt and spread the love? .This isn't the Fountainhead Mr Roark so get off your high horse and apply some reality to your schoolyard mockery - where will the work come from? - perhaps we should all pool our €600 a week and pitch a tent in dartmouth square.
wearnicehats
Senior Member
 
Posts: 822
Joined: Wed Aug 02, 2006 2:38 pm

Re: Arch Job Losses

Postby keating » Tue Jan 27, 2009 9:58 pm

Ya well said 'wear nice hats'. Good luck to you all in the coming decade, your training will stand to you. Farewell and thanks for all the fish.
keating
Member
 
Posts: 89
Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2003 11:09 am
Location: Tipperary

Re: Arch Job Losses

Postby missarchi » Tue Jan 27, 2009 11:13 pm

missarchi
Old Master
 
Posts: 1796
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2007 7:53 pm

Re: Arch Job Losses

Postby parka » Tue Jan 27, 2009 11:37 pm

Is every graduate architect doing a newspaper interview?
parka
Member
 
Posts: 150
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2006 10:10 pm

Re: Arch Job Losses

Postby venividi » Wed Jan 28, 2009 11:45 am

@keating

What you started with was, in my opinion, very interesting and very well put, I mean this:

"Lets look at this Globally. traded services, since the 80's it went from a 20 trillion dollar market to a 200 trillion dollar market, this addition was created by derivitives, or borrowings by another name. It took 20 years to create this artificial wealth. In the 1970's the club of Rome recognised the Malthusian notion that there were limits to growth. The planet being a finite resource. But we are all now shackled to the growth machine. Our education and values have been conditioned to feed this monster. Sweden encountered the same problems we are having now and re-engineered their economy and society to focus on quality of life over growth rates. We were naive enough to associate productivity with success."

And this:

"But why have the sciences of Architecture and urban design not resulted in better buildings, beauty, and societal improvements, indeed we are moving in the opposite direction. Would a market without Architects produce anything worse than the state of our urban fabric after the boom?"

These are very general statements, but I hoped you are really going somewhere with what you say and I was hoping for a discussion. Instead, when asked to be more specific, you got nervous and went way too far, just to finish like that:
" 'Clients' don't drive lexus anymore, they wear sandals and cycle bikes. "

Now, please. Sandals don't make people better - aspecially in this climate. I would be really interested what specific actions would you see suitable right now, for government, for architects, for developers.
venividi
Member
 
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2008 8:54 am
Location: Cork

Re: Arch Job Losses

Postby venividi » Wed Jan 28, 2009 11:52 am

parka wrote:Is every graduate architect doing a newspaper interview?


It's really reassuring to see this level of social solidarity in the young graduates:
"The worst aspect of the slump, says Kennedy, was the feeling of being alone or, worse, being to blame. “Architecture was one of the first areas to be hit and we felt very isolated – why were we the only ones without jobs? Pretty soon other sectors started to slow down and then it didn’t seem so bad anymore. When law and business graduates started to hit the wall, I started to feel better. We’re all in this together, and somehow that’s not as hard to deal with."
venividi
Member
 
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2008 8:54 am
Location: Cork

Re: Arch Job Losses

Postby keating » Thu Jan 29, 2009 2:55 pm

venividi wrote:@keating

I hoped you are really going somewhere with what you say and I was hoping for a discussion. Instead, when asked to be more specific, you got nervous and went way too far.


Venividi,
Thanks for picking the salient points from the vitriol of my post, 2 very able and hardworking architect friends of mine were let go in the last week, I blamed the architectural establishment in Ireland for not pursuing a more sustainable path. I wanted to make the point that we are better to prepare for the paradigm shift to a 21st century economy than wait for the Celtic Tiger economy to return. The successful architectural practices of the future are embryonic now or perhaps they haven't even been born. As we emerge from our archaic epoch to our classical period,the turmoil of the current corrections are a welcome catalyst reorientating our priorities to balance economy, society and environment. During the last depression, (caused by the exact same banking belligerence as today, our most famous Architect was acting his way into friendship with Sean Lemass and Co who developed the 1958 Programme for Economic Expansion which revolutionised this country and dragged a new embryonic Architectural movement along, which quickly made the incumbent architectural practices redundant. Is Eamonn Ryan the new Sean Lemass and is the Green new deal a programme for national expansion. The clients of the future are those that understand that Energy is the new money. we have practically free energy in the west of Ireland. We have new buildings that need 5-25 litres of oil a square meter that could have been designed to use 1. Richard Doubtwaite puts our economic problems down to the fact that 10% of our income leaves the country with no reciprocal transfers in the form of imported fossil fuel. Thats €6 or 7 billion leaving the Irish economy every year, gone. Spending €15 billion on Indigenous energy would yield a better return as the money would stay in circulation and reverberate around the western seaboard. Its a crime that we are 20 years behind Denmark in energy policy, its crime that the Corrib field is not being used to provide peaking plant and voltage control to back up adding large scale renewables to the grid.

Anyway Lets have that other discussion.

What have the disciplines of Architecture and Urban Design contributed to the >35% of our building stock constructed in the last 15 years, that could not have been achieved without them?

There is an argument about these days which states that without the RIAI, which gives the appearance of a regulating board advancing architecture and providing building control, the government would regulate all new works and changes of use through something like a bord Ailtireacht. This would mean less pattern book architecture and a building control similar to the UK. How much of what we have built is Architecture, Look at the AAI awards, They had to give awards to warehouses and sensibly the judges excluded one of houses. People without any aesthetic training design most of the new flloorspace in this country and the daft opinion on substantial compliance is not building control. We'd have better buildings if the RIAI was disbanded in 1995. Touche

(you'd never guess I wasnt offered a place in Architecture after my Leaving, would you.)
keating
Member
 
Posts: 89
Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2003 11:09 am
Location: Tipperary

Re: Arch Job Losses

Postby parka » Thu Jan 29, 2009 3:46 pm

keating wrote:We'd have better buildings if the RIAI was disbanded in 1995.


Not sure about better buildings, but I do question what they do for us
parka
Member
 
Posts: 150
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2006 10:10 pm

Re: Arch Job Losses

Postby massamann » Thu Jan 29, 2009 4:53 pm

My depression on the current financial situation has extended even to my fingers, meaning that even typing has become painful. However, as the economy has gotten worse, I note that my bitterness towards the Celtic Tiger has increased proportionally.

What really galls me was the protection and common-goodliness offered by our so-called regulators and planning departments. It's bad enough that private industry tried to grab every penny they could - hey, isn't that what private industry is meant to do? - but it's the fact that our public servants seemed complicit in this plunder that gets to me.

Take negative equity - whatever way you look at it, it's crap. BUT at least if you were stuck in a decent sized apartment for the next ten years, one that was spacious enough that you could start a family, then while negative equity would be a right ***** you could still progress with your life.

Instead our pathetic standards meant that many (most?) of our recently built apartments are useless for use as anything other than dormitories for mid-twenties workers. Is getting married and having a couple of kids while living in a 600 sq ft two-bed really an option? Especially one with paper thin walls?

Or the number of one-off houses that were built, so that most families are forced to pay for two cars/two sets of petrol/two sets of car tax and insurance, bacause if they don't, it's a long walk to the nearest shop/school/church/job.

And now my head hurts. Sorry for the rant.
massamann
Member
 
Posts: 82
Joined: Tue Apr 25, 2006 6:46 pm

Re: Arch Job Losses

Postby parka » Fri Jan 30, 2009 9:46 am

parka
Member
 
Posts: 150
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2006 10:10 pm

Re: Arch Job Losses

Postby wearnicehats » Fri Jan 30, 2009 12:23 pm

massamann wrote:My depression on the current financial situation has extended even to my fingers, meaning that even typing has become painful. However, as the economy has gotten worse, I note that my bitterness towards the Celtic Tiger has increased proportionally.

What really galls me was the protection and common-goodliness offered by our so-called regulators and planning departments. It's bad enough that private industry tried to grab every penny they could - hey, isn't that what private industry is meant to do? - but it's the fact that our public servants seemed complicit in this plunder that gets to me.

Take negative equity - whatever way you look at it, it's crap. BUT at least if you were stuck in a decent sized apartment for the next ten years, one that was spacious enough that you could start a family, then while negative equity would be a right ***** you could still progress with your life.

Instead our pathetic standards meant that many (most?) of our recently built apartments are useless for use as anything other than dormitories for mid-twenties workers. Is getting married and having a couple of kids while living in a 600 sq ft two-bed really an option? Especially one with paper thin walls?

Or the number of one-off houses that were built, so that most families are forced to pay for two cars/two sets of petrol/two sets of car tax and insurance, bacause if they don't, it's a long walk to the nearest shop/school/church/job.

And now my head hurts. Sorry for the rant.


negative equity - what's your definition of this? It's a phrase bandied about by people whose houses are worth less than they paid for them. But, if you bought before the stamp duty revisions at say 6% stamp duty, your house would have to appreciate by 6% before you "broke even". Negative equity is when your house is worth less than you owe which is a worry if you're a speculator or on a buy to let jaunt. Ironically a speculator would only get an 85% mortgage so they can absorb a notional 15% drop in price without negative equity

The houses being sold now are desperation sales - the market is not a true reflection of market worth. If you bought for the long term then sit back and weather the storm. If you bought in the last 7 years you will, without a doubt, lose money but not as much as you think.

Even more ironically actually is those people who lose their jobs and have to go overseas will have to rent out their houses and end up paying more tax.

it's great the way that, when we're up we're great and when we're down it's someone else's fault

I bought a house 3 years ago. It was built in 1890 and cost me a bit.

It's not built particularly well, there's no isulation in it, it's freezing cold and a howling gale blows through every orifice. The little girl next door doesn't sleep very well around 2-3am and I have to pay to park my car in the street outside. Now, who can I blame?

The architect? - probably dead and his PI will probably have lapsed.
The builder? - similar situation I suppose
The estate agent? - I viewed it didn't I?
The surveyor? - told me all I already knew
The bank? gave me more than they should but I got a very good deal on a tracker that doesn't exist anymore. I took it though didn't I?
The builder I got to tart it up? made it a hundred times better
It has no garden - where will my kids play? - the park with other kids
It has an energy rating of G - who will buy it? - they've sold for 120 years, they'll sell again

so, when you think about - the only person to blame for where and what I live in is "me"
wearnicehats
Senior Member
 
Posts: 822
Joined: Wed Aug 02, 2006 2:38 pm

PreviousNext

Return to Ireland