Any other comments?

All the spon­ta­neous responses to the last ques­tion of the sur­vey car­ried out in 2012.

  • I really hope that Grad­u­ate stu­dents get treated with respect and with fair pay and hours. This is not healthy and not sus­tain­able for our generation.”
  • The sys­tem in Bel­gium is dif­fer­ent from the one in Hol­land. As a recent grad­u­ate you have to work for 2 years as an intern to become an archi­tect. For that rea­son I am seen as an intern,paid as an intern (a bit bet­ter) but accord­ing Dutch rules I am not. Besides that, almost all archi­tects in Bel­gium work free­lance and get the over­hours paid. So the con­tract I have is the worst: free­lance, so no insur­ance and a fixed income, instead of one that relates to your work­ing hours. But I agreed with it myself and until now i didn’t have a lot of overhours…”
  • no”
  • right now I am lucky I have a good job, BUT in the past I also had to do an intern­ship at an office as a grad­u­ate archi­tect with a mas­ter. This office was in Delft, with approx­i­mately 100 employ­ees where 10% at least is interns and then half of them at least are graduates.”
  • Before hav­ing the year con­tract that I have now, I did 3 post­grad­u­ate intern­ships. In total 1 and half year of intern­ships (in 3 diff erent offi ces in The Nether­lands) with aver­age income 700 euros.”
  • Over­work is to gen­eral. I would make it more spe­cific. Which per­cent­age of your over­work do you get com­pen­sated? Is com­pen­sa­tion gen­er­ally reg­u­lated or depen­dend on indi­vid­u­als (project leader,…)? I would add a ques­tion on the posi­tion? How many years work­ing expe­ri­ence com­pared to the func­tion in the office…”
  • great work! keep it up!”
  • It is a great ini­tia­tive! I was think­ing with a friend of mine to do some­thing sim­i­lar. My work­ing con­di­tion are not that bad, but I know about peo­ple work­ing for big offices 80hours/week (!!!) on 40hours con­tract. Over­hours unpaid. Can not call such offices dif­fer­ent than Archi­tec­ture Sweatshops.”
  • In addi­tion to work­ing under­paid and also work­ing unpaid over­hours, there are issues con­cern­ing for exam­ple health insur­ance and pen­sion con­tri­bu­tions, trans­porta­tion expenses and even lunch and dinners…”
  • The offices I work in are small and flex­i­ble so no con­tracts, no agree­ments on hours, there is a lot of ‘over­time’ but at the same time I am not a pris­oner and can do my own stuff when I want, and the part­ners of the fi rm are friendly and ded­i­cated. What is miss­ing in my opin­ion is higher salary!”
  • It is hor­ri­ble to see how offices exploit young pro­fes­sion­als. Some get a con­tract as an intern, while actu­ally they have grad­u­ated already. Oth­ers with up to 6 years of work expe­ri­ence get a con­tract for ‘work-experience-place’; they can’t name it intern­ship, but in this way they are able to have them work for the office with­out a nor­mal wage. For the rest I saw that offices when faced with the end of the last tem­po­rary con­tract, they didn’t want to give per­ma­nent con­tracts, so they didn’t give them any con­tract. The employee was unem­ployed, but the office already said to them ‘don’t look for a job. We’ll hire you back after three months’. The offices say that this is com­pletely legal, but I have my doubts about this.”
  • Cre­ate your own job!”
  • Because of the poor work­ing con­di­tions I’m cur­rently also work­ing in a bar to com­pen­sate for inse­cu­rity I have. Some­times it is expected (required) to work 60 – 80 hours a week, and the next there are no projects so there is no secu­rity. Sec­ondly I’m (almost) required to reg­is­ter at KvK to be able for them not to pay for social secu­rity, essen­tially I’m work­ing for myself with­out being able to pay for social secu­rity as well, because oth­er­wise I can­not be self supportive”
  • intern­ship sucks”
  • great sur­vey, curi­ous to see the result”
  • in gen­eral, in this office, they pro­pose you a first con­tract of intern­ship for 450 euros per month, then another 6 months of intern­ship for 800 euros per month and if there is still enough work for you then you have a con­tract for one year as an archi­tect with the min­i­mal income.But I have to admit that if you nego­ti­ate you can have bet­ter con­di­tions. I worked the first 6 months as an intern for 600 euros netto, then the next 6 months con­tract I nego­ti­ated 1000 euros netto per month as an intern but because of my appli­ca­tion to the WWIK, I asked for 800 euros bruto that means 672 euros netto, 200euros extra black money the last 3 months, plus 480 euros subsidies.Just to let you know how things go. This office is well organ­ised so you don’t have crazy hours but still you work 50 hours at least per week.”
  • Good ini­tia­tive!!!! I changed jobs this year. The main rea­son was per­sonal, I felt stuck in archi­tec­ture (I am not an archi­tect but an engi­neer…) so I wanted some­thing more tech­ni­cal. But I started to have trou­ble with the office poli­cies as well. One of which is under­pay­ing employ­ees which in my opin­ion is a form of slavery…”
  • I’m only one month work­ing in this office, so I can­not judge work­ing hours. How­ever, I think the office I’m work­ing in is par­tic­u­larly con­sid­er­ate to its employees.”
  • great work!”
  • I only made a design for my par­ents who want to built a new home, this is why it was well payed and with “nor­mal” work­ing hours.”
  • because of the cri­sis tho offices abuse of the con­tract and SALARY, but work­ing is health­ier than to do noth­ing and feel useless.”
  • I cur­rently con­sider myself very for­tu­nate to be work­ing here under my cur­rent cir­cum­stances, not a lot of over­time, no unnec­es­sary over­time (bosses are not pre­ten­tious, just real­is­tic) and a fair enough mon­e­tary remu­ner­a­tion (up to the offices pos­si­bil­ity under cri­sis cir­cum­stances). This is rarely true for other archi­tects my age. I have been offered numer­ous 300 euro intern­ships with no pos­si­bil­ity of a long term con­tract before find­ing this. It is absurd and embar­rass­ing for the profession.”
  • I do not care becom­ing rich as long as I man­age to draw beauty!”
  • In gen­eral another world is possible”
  • The office wasn’t too bad in terms of hours worked, occa­sion­ally we did have to work longer hours although if it ran into a few days we might be com­pen­sated in terms of time off — but we would receive per­haps one hour off for every 4 or 5 we worked extra. Often felt excluded from any decision-making process, not just mak­ing them but even explain­ing the rea­sons behind deci­sions would have been appre­ci­ated rather than sim­ply hav­ing orders passed down the line to us.”
  • Since I am not grad­u­ated yet, I am really doing an intern­ship and it is not con­sid­er­ing as a job! thanks”
  • About the ques­tion of the com­pen­sa­tion for my over­work, I asked I do not receive any com­pen­sa­tion. Actu­ally I have 1 hour every 3 over­work­ing hours. But I could not call this a com­pen­sa­tion. Over all when you can­not even choose when to take those com­pen­sa­tion days off.”
  • over­work is com­pen­sated usu­ally with time off. this office didn’t always have such a high per­cent­age of interns, i would say usu­ally it’s about 20 – 30%. in the first 6 months I was paid 500 euros netto. the salary has been raised from the 7th month on, after I was asked to extend my intern­ship. there’s no per­spec­tive to have a proper con­tract, in fact I ́m gonna have to leave the office by March (in fact they will be 15 months of intern­ship, 9 of which paid as intern “plus” = 800 euros). p.s. this is my 4th intern­ship since I’m grad­u­ated (2 of them were in Italy).”
  • The inten­sive use of interns con­tracts is degrad­ing. The interns are con­sid­ered as raw mate­r­ial, grad­u­ated archi­tects are hired as interns with­out any pos­si­bil­ity of pro­gress­ing in the com­pany. Once these interns meet their 6 month con­tract they are offered to renew his con­tract as intern or they are replaced by new qual­i­fied archi­tects hired as interns again. Only stu­dents of archi­tec­ture should be hired as interns as part of their learn­ing expe­ri­ence, archi­tects with work­ing expe­ri­ence and recent grad­u­ates should be offered, at least, a junior con­tract with an ini­tial trial period, so that peo­ple have expec­ta­tions of work­ing more than 6 months in the company.”
  • free your hands, free your mind”
  • yes, in the office they say that there are not work, but, how is pos­si­ble? I’m WORKING like an architect…”
  • I’m happy to have a real job but, it is a not fair con­tract is only for three months and before I sign it, my boss warned me that work­ing hours will be twice the signed. I know that by law is 30 hours a week, but if I still want to have a job as an archi­tect after this period of 3 month, I have to work 60 hours a week to keep my posi­tion. I have been only study­ing Archi­tec­ture dur­ing 6 years. Because i like, and now, it seems that there are not work… but, there are, because I’m work­ing, and very hard!”
  • none”
  • Mijn com­pli­menten voor de keuze voor dit onder­zoek, ik ben benieuwd naar de uitkom­sten. Zelf heb ik nooit slechte ervarin­gen gehad bij het bureau waar ik werkte, maar ik hoor wel veel slechte ver­halen om me heen. Miss­chien is de enquête daarom voor mij niet hele­maal rel­e­vant. Mede door de vreemde aan­biedin­gen (zoge­naamde leer­plekken, stages etc.) die mij gedaan wer­den bij het zoeken van een nieuwe baan, heb ik ervoor gekozen een andere weg in te slaan. Ik moet eerlijk zeggen dat dit goed bevalt. Meer per­spec­tief hebben en het gevoel hebben dat er energie in gesto­ken wordt om mij din­gen te leren voelt beter dan het idee inwis­sel­baar te zijn.”
  • Momen­tar­ily there are no interns work­ing, but they are actively search­ing for one.”
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Latest Comments


on 12+ h. a day, 6/7 days a week

2017-08-06 12:09:32

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multitude- multitude

on Survey

2015-04-01 13:27:31

[…] the spon­ta­neous responses to the last ques­tion of the sur­vey car­ried out in […]

Conrad Newel

on 12+ h. a day, 6/7 days a week

2015-03-23 18:10:56

@Colt Sievers I will be the first to agree with you on all counts. I would love to read that article. If you ever want to publish it on my blogg please do not hesitate to contact me.

Colt Sievers

on 12+ h. a day, 6/7 days a week

2015-03-23 16:58:10

@Conrad having worked in one of those offices that you mention, I have found your post as much provocative as naive and simplistic. I should make an entire post to explain why... will leave that for later. Thanks, anyway, to keep the discussion alive

Conrad Newel

on 12+ h. a day, 6/7 days a week

2015-03-23 16:45:07

Besides my terrible diction or lack thereof this raises another issue. Should we really feel outrage or sympathy for these interns? After all the ones who can afford to take these kind of jobs are the sons and daughters of the wealthy. What this letter is, is infact symbolic capital and social significance for sale. The rich kid can buy this piece of significance for among other reasons to go to a party and say to his less affluent counterpart, "hey I work for SANAA, or DS+R or whoever. Where do you work again?" Its a status symbol, just like a porsche, or a private jet. Affordable to a selected few that can afford it.