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Debunking Architecture’s Mythological Work Culture


After a recent panel hosted within SCI-Arc, called Basecamp: How to be in an office, sparked protest from students and alumni, a slew of events unfolded within the school that rippled into the architecture community, prompting passionate discourse about ethics within professional practice and academia, especially as it relates to internships and the treatment of students and young professionals. But this isn’t an essay about SCI-Arc, or an account of what is going on at SCI-Arc. The events have already been well documented online and in Archinect’s latest reporting on April 1

Instead, I want to explore the deeper historical and philosophical concepts that I believe underline what we’ll call the conservative view of architecture work culture: that long hours, toil and suffering, and low pay are inevitable realities of pursuing a rigorous design career. I see a disconnect between the traditional professional ethos and the advent of the current zeitgeist that has been born, particula…

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