Referring to the article reported in a Singapore news media, related to youth / graduate architects are not earning enough and not able to have a perfect work life balance and the salary is stuck at incredible level that is not enough. With the data and experience I have gather all this while, I have come to realize this doesn’t happen to Architecture field alone, it appeared in almost all professions, today we see doctors are protesting against wages, young lawyers too have raised this issue as well. We have to believe this is not abnormal in today’s employment world.
To look at the core issue, we must refer to history. Architects were then non-existence; Architects role is changing throughout the history, in the past Architects were jack of all trades, Architects were once craftmen of building, which explained the appearance of ornaments on building, In the industrial age, Architects were designer of buildings. In the modern days , Architects is designer and administrator of the construction.
Architects aren’t the perfect administrator of construction when it comes to corporate world, where paperworks are the priority on top of design and efficiency is the priority in a perfect design. In such an environment, tools like Microsoft word & Microsoft Excel became the essential tools in Design. These two tools weren’t in the syllabus in architecture education and history. Youth weren’t expecting this, Architects didn’t want to do this job and passed it onto the fresh graduates, hence the spark started.
To make thing worse, the fee as an Architecture Consultant hasn’t been increasing since the inception of Scale of Minimum Fee. But the task as an Architects to client & authorities is increasing, resulting in piling up of workload in architecture practice, as a resulting in stagnant wages among Architects.
The few sentences above, swap the Architecture words with Doctors, Lawyers, Teachers, Education group, instantly it became an article for all the professions. This is nothing new, but we have to see it as a transition that is hard for us to swallow, and this stagnation could be a wake up call to people to develop solution to patch the messy puzzles.
How do we improvise the situation that happened to everyone.
Automation is the only solution to this, and the industrial must be able to adapt to the change amicably. Using cloud solution to solve data sharing, using encryption to solve data leakages. Adoption of BIM to drawings production backlog and hence better accuracy as well , utilization of project management software to process documents, subscribing to material library to have greater access to accurate material data.
The post-covid era means change and improvement will slowly take over the old system, we should welcome it with open arm. Crystallization of ideas that solve problems within the industry will only elevate the building industry efficiency, and this industry has been contributing 5-8% of Malaysia GDP every year.
Youth leaving the practice is not a problem that everyone should raise alarm. Youth leaving practice to create solutions to the industry should be something that should be given attention to, i have seen people leaving their employment and provide visualization / rendering services to their previous employer, people left their Architecture practice and having their employer as their BIM client.