Out of Architecture
The Value of Architects Beyond Traditional Practice
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Out of Architecture is both a call to reassess the architecture profession and its education, and a toolkit for graduates and working architects to untangle their skills, passions, and value from traditional architectural practice and consider alternate pathways.
Written by design professionals and expert career consultants, this book is informed by numerous client accounts as well as the authors’ own stories and routes out of architecture. The initial chapters follow the narrative of a typical architecture training in the US, highlighting the many highs and lows, skills honed, and ultimately the huge disconnect that can occur between architectural education and practice. Subsequent chapters explore a disillusionment with the profession, unhealthy work cultures, mentorship, working with lead architects, toxic perfectionism, and the notion of a “calling.” Authors then present the hopeful accounts of many architects who escaped a profession known for its grueling working conditions to find fulfilling, well-paying, creative jobs that better utilize the skills of architecture than the architectural profession itself.
Written in a unique combination of storytelling and analysis, this patchwork of client and author stories makes for an immersive, provocative, and enjoyable read.
A wide range of architecture students, graduates, educators, and professionals will recognize themselves within the pages of this book and find prompts to reassess their working practices, teaching styles, and the profession itself. It will be of particular value to those students skeptical of joining the architecture workforce, as well as those further along and considering a career change.
Table of Contents
Part 1: The Disconnect
1. Love at First Sight
2. An Education
3. The Disconnect
4. When the Dream Becomes a Nightmare
Part 2. Why is it Like This?
5. Welcome to the Family
6. Perfect Gentlemen
7. The Insecure Overachiever
8. Imploding Teams
9. The False Dichotomy of Pay and Passion
Part 3. Your Career is a Design Problem
10. The Newbie
11. The Techie
12. The Fashionistx
13. The Questioner
14. The Associate Principal
Erin Pellegrino and Jake Rudin co-founded Out of Architecture in 2018. Out of Architecture is a career consulting firm helping architects and designers find challenging and creatively fulfilling roles beyond the bounds of traditional architectural practice.
"Out of Architecture does not simply problematize architecture as a profession that devours its young through overwork and underpay because of their passion for design. Drawing on their experiences as students, working designers, and career consultants, the authors give practical advice, moral support, and proven alternatives to conventional practice. They show how to rebalance life and work by reimagining and repurposing design values and skills already learned. Amidst the Great Resignation and stirrings of collective action among architectural workers, Out of Architecture could not be more timely or necessary."
—Mary N. Woods, Professor Emerita, History of Architecture, Cornell University, USA
"Yes, the authors of this book are career consultants and yes, they have MBAs, but do not be deceived - the practicality of their advice is more than matched by the humanity they bring to their narrative and the love they show for architectural sensibilities. Any architectural graduate who is honored to be part of this club, but is dismayed by the tasks they will or do perform in the profession, has to read this book."
—Peggy Deamer, Professor Emerita, Architecture, Yale University, USA
"As a creator who has shifted my practice and career profoundly over the last few years, I found Out of Architecture to be a critical book for any concerned professional in the world of architecture. As our world is changing, disciplines are evolving, and architecture as a practice needs to adapt. This is a precious book for anyone looking to understand the motivations behind the changing tide of the profession."
—Dror Benshetrit, Founder of Supernature Labs