Monday, June 15, 2009

What's useful to you? An Intern 101 poll

I have lots of stuff I'm glad to comment and expound upon here, but I'd like to hear from you, the readers.  What do you want to know?  What do your friends working in offices talk about?  What are your concerns, worries, observations?  I can talk for days and weeks about topics, but it's only useful if it helps you.  Feel free to email me directly or post a comment here.  And please don't feel like whatever you're thinking is a dumb question--there are very few dumb questions when it comes to the architectural workplace, especially when you're jumping into it for the first time.


  1. I thought your post about how to interviewing in a down economy was a very timely subject.

    I recently volunteered to review portfolios at my local AIA chapter for portfolio review day. I cannot tell you how many people were there – and from all levels of experience. There were recent graduates and there were people with decades of professional experience who had even been running their own practices for a few years and were now looking for a job. There were even mid-level designers who had jobs with well known firms in the city wanting advice on their portfolios – just in case things slowed down at the firm they were at.

    Being competitive, and being in demand seems to be on everyone’s mind. Although your post on interviewing was very helpful, it would be great to hear your suggestions specifically on how to be conscious of progressing and keeping a portfolio updated while you are at a firm. What do you look for in a portfolio and what helps you understand a candidate’s abilities and design sense. Should a portfolio include sketches of Italy from that year abroad? And it would also be great to encourage interns to see if their local AIA chapter has any portfolio workshops scheduled.

  2. How about a post the describes some of the basic concepts of contracts? The differences between design-build vs. design-bid-build and the relationships between architect & owner & contractor?

  3. This job requires the ability to BS some.

    Can you describe some etiquette for when to BS and when not to? How much BS is too much? When is humility more beneficial?

    And when to call people on their BS, contractors, subs, city staff, consultants, project designers, etc.