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Layoffs, Disappearing Projects and Bigger RFP Battles Now Par for the Course at NY Architecture Firms

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After a few more weeks of this and we’re going to have to start a new category for posts called “Why Do We Even Bother Getting Out of Bed Anymore?” Such is the financial despair plaguing, or at least briefly mentioned in, nearly every story we’re reading anymore. It’s right there, front and center in this report from the New York chapter of Crain’s, “Architects Struggle for Business in Downturn.” It confirms how bad things sounded when we reported on the AIA‘s Billings Index looking pretty terrible by running through a series of firms who are seeing contracts disappear and having to lay off staffers. And another side of all of this mess mentioned in the story is how, as the business dries up, the bidding on any contract that’s held up for takers is massive, with every shop in town now trying to grab whatever they can, making the competition much more intense. So it’s hard times, if you hadn’t already picked up on that to begin with, and while part of us think that latter problem, the too many fish in the sea and not enough worms to go around, might actually be a good thing, as it will force firms to give everything they have to a project, our cynical side pipes up and reminds us that hard times also tend to result in overly careful clients — so we’re not going to hold our breaths here.

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