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Nightmare Double Dip Hits Uk Architects

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RIBA trends survey shows architects’ confidence faltering

23 September, 2009

By Ruth Bloomfield

Optimism among architects is on the wane, with increasing numbers reporting a lack of work and fearing job cuts.

The latest Future Trends survey from the RIBA indicates that confidence within the profession is slipping, despite early signs of recovery over the summer.

The August results of the monthly report, established in January to monitor business and employment trends during the recession, found only one in five firms predict an increase in workload – compared to a third in July. Practices working in the public and commercial sectors were particularly gloomy. The private sector was the most optimistic, with less than 10% predicting a decrease in work.

Six in ten firms expect their work to stay constant, but 30% of the architects questioned admit they are underemployed, compared to 22% in July.


Edited by gruffydd

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where's cashinmattress and what have you done with him ?

Haha, thanks for the thought!

Hey, I have two associates who are sending their kids off to university to become architects. They get a frown and a tsk-tsk from me every time. I tell them to put their maths and design skills into something outside of property, especially something you devote 7 years to and end up with big debts and zero prospects.

I reckon it's a dying trade anyways, just like a lot of the engineering disciplines. There's software and legions of cheap foreign talent to do all the sums for you.

Architecture hasn't been sexy in Britain in ages, and the last few big monstrosities, like the tragic 02 centre and the woefully inept London Eye just show how bad its become.

Putting your brat through university for architecture does make the schools a ton of money, and the societies rip the **** out of it too.

But really, outside of a few entrenched firms, rubber stamping the nations' slave-box blueprints, what demand is there for building design?

Unfortunately for most aspiring architects, the future will be in public sector doing unsatisfying and non-stimulating tick-box bureaucratic paper exercises. The days of the reclusive, eccentric, pipe smoking intellectual designers are done.


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Where's the market niches then?

Commercial - prime London office stuff, oops.

Commerical - Distribution centres - bigger and fewer.

Commerical - Supermarkets

Industrial - that's a laugh

"House Builders" - pre-configured rabbit hutches

"House Builders" - BTL fodder flats

Foreign work - some big projects out there still and likely to be in Asia .

Private - Small scale refurbs/extensions.

Public sector - huge amount recently, unfundable in the medium/longer term.

Considering the lead ties of most of the above, not a double dip more of a rebalancing to requirements - which will be very low compared to before.

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There is actually an upcoming study into architecture during a down turn just after the boom, you get crap built through debt

where they have no outside force stopping them and for a moment can control the flow of money , such as a massive phallic

tower, then you get good stuff when the debt based economy collapses and real people have to decide how to build something.

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I'm curious: what's wrong with the London Eye?

+1 recent stats show it the biggest single tourist ride/attraction in europe, even beating the effiel tower, colliseum, pisa etc.

Was on it 5 weeks ago this is where the stats came from.

edit crap spelling

Edited by Letsdance

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The London Eye is more civil engineering than architecture, surely?

Structural/Mechanical rather than civil maybe but the architectural effect is very good and you can be sure that wasn't the engineers.

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I'm curious: what's wrong with the London Eye?

It's bloody ugly.

Edit: But maybe this big ferris wheel is the reality of the city. Things go up, and they go down.

Edited by cashinmattress

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It's not just the recession. Architecture is a dying profession since there are more and more professionals who design buildings who are not architects, like architectural technicians, civil engineers etc. The only thing an architect is legally allowed to do that other people can't do is to call themself an architect!

I'm curious: what's wrong with the London Eye?
It was only supposed to be there for 5 years. If it was going to be a permanent fixture it would never have got planning permission.

My view is that if putting a giant fairground ride slap bang in the middle of one of the most famous cityscapes in the world can get through planning, anything can!!!

Edited by blankster

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