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A Stark View From Inside Architecture School


It must be utterly terrifying to be a student in architecture school right now — as opposed to the comfortably-mild terror the rest of us out here in the real world are experiencing. With Frank Gehry losing projects and Norman Foster‘s mass layoffs, to Scotland-based schools telling students to scram, or to the AIA‘s regular troubling reports, going to class every day and spending thousands upon thousands of dollars to be there as you inch forward every day toward a job that won’t be waiting for you has to be a pretty lousy feeling. But that’s just our theory. For the truth, we turn to the Guardian‘s Steve Rose, who put together this great piece wherein he talked to students at the Manchester School of Architecture, Norman Foster’s alma mater. Is it as bleak as we painted it? Unfortunately, yes. Granted, there’s always a lot of that post-university “What am I going to do?!” angst among people of schooling age, but reading through the students comments about what they’re finding out there makes it seem like getting a degree in architecture is a bit like getting a BFA in interpretive dance. Fortunately, before we’re all ready to jump out a window, Rose ends the piece with some optimistic notes, saying the tough will carry on through these trying economic times and firms will replace higher paid architects with fresh faced, cheaper labor — this, of course, isn’t much consolation for anyone (particularly those higher paid architects), but still, it’s nice to try and imagine a silver lining.

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