12+ h. a day, 6/7 days a week
- edit on 21.03.2015 -
we have been asked to remove the screenshot of the outrageous email sent by a prominent Japanese firm because it “punishes the messenger rather than the office who made these rules.”
Although we don’t agree, we complied with the request.
Our attention is not on the project architect who sent the email, he probably used a template and had to apply rules decided by the office management. Our goal, instead, is to trigger a critical debate and raise awareness on the work dynamics of the creative industry. Famous architects can be considered public figures, and more so if they have been awarded the prestigious Pritzker Price. Some even act as transversal intellectuals and cover institutional positions; Because of their public profile, they have great responsibility for what they do — both within and outside the office walls.
We wonder how could anybody perform a creative work under constant physical and psychological pressure? How can we design for the people, if we never meet any? By instilling the idea that work in Architecture should be a 24/7 affair, the very source of the profession is undermined. Adopting this come-work-for-free policy, offices not only abuse the basic civil rights of students and young graduates, but they also take an unfair advantage over their competitors. They influence the market and raise generations of frustrated practitioners.
And this is exactly why the email caused so much emotion. We jump off our socks when reading it, but we also accept that Architecture should be made with unconditional sacrifice. It is time to debate the rules of this market, the ethics and goals of our profession.
It is also important to mention that we, the young, ambitious and underpaid, should be the first to realize the value of our work and the value of our time. The pyramidal structure of the architecture office is outdated, you don’t learn from this masters more than you can learn from your network.
Here you can find the complete On Work