In a globalized market, it is increasingly important for design firms to have the human resources, skills and cultural sensitivity to work across borders. The industry is in need of platforms that encourage global dialogues, break down immigration and bureaucracy barriers and promote cross-pollination. Architect-US is one of this platforms, the first Exchange Program specialized in internships and trainings for Architects in the U.S., and is convinced of the huge variety of cross-cultural benefits for the workplaces and stands up for diversity inclusion. Architect-US’ aim is to connect high qualified Architecture and Engineering Professionals with the best US architectural firms. and in that way, change the culture of opportunities.
In the Testimonials section of our blog, you can read what Architect-US supporter Kenneth Drucker, Design Principal at HOK’s NY Office, says about the program:
The Architect-US platform officially launched at the AIA NY Center for Architecture with an exhibition and panel discussion “Emerging Talent Models of International Practice: Flourishing Spanish Architecture”. There, Gustavo Rodriguez, FXFowle Design Principal, explained something that every Architecture Principal has experienced, the difficulty in finding the right candidates in the profession:
“One interesting focus of the Architect-US program is that it helps firms find the right people, both students and professionals. In FXFowle for instance, there is a huge challenge for us to find architects with 6 to 8 years of experience, who know how to design and put drawings together. That’s due to the 2008 recession that left the profession with a big gap”.
Conceived as a liaison between rising global architectural talents and US architectural firms, Architect-US sponsors highly qualified, multi-lingual international architects and engineers to work in the U.S. as part of the U.S. Government’s J-1 Exchange Visitor Program in collaboration with ASSE Int.; officially designated J-1 sponsor in partnership. The program offers US architectural firms a valuable opportunity to connect and strengthen ties with designers in emerging and established markets and provides access to young international professionals that are eager to learn from American techniques and methodologies. The program provides structured and guided on-site training for up to 18 months and sponsors candidates’ J-1 visa. This frees their hosts from costs and paperwork and facilitates a speedy bureaucratic process. Some of the most prestigious U.S. Companies trust Architect-US and the list increases.
Architect-US works closely with US architectural firms by either administering the J-1 visa to employees already selected or matching the most promising international talents based on their needs. In order to ensure a successful match, candidates aged 20 to 35 are selected through an intensive process that evaluates portfolios, communication skills, academic backgrounds, and fundamental compatibility with participating host firms while promoting the value of cross-cultural exchange. Unlike many U.S. college interns, participants in the Architect-US program can stay with hosts beyond the length of a single semester and can start at any time. Interns are eligible to stay for an entire year, while professional trainees can remain at host companies for up to 18 months. In most of the cases, the experience has been very enriching for both participants and Host Companies, like Carol Weisz, FAIA, WXY Principal and Architect-US supporter says:
“We’ve had people working for us from all over the world and we really rely on them to bring their fresh ideas, perspective and their energy.”
But not only that, beyond an educational training service, the Architect-US program offers host companies the ability to promote diversity, expand business opportunities, and test potential workers without the long-term commitment of a working visa. At the Reviews Section, can be found more Host Companies‘s opinions, for instance, Jorge Mastropiero Architect’s Founder and Cetra Ruddy‘s Principal’s satisfactory experiences. So as architectural icon Sir Peter Cook, another Architect-US supporter.
All of them, so as Architect-US, are convinced that people from other cultures bring diversity; not just cultural diversity, but also diversity of education, points of views, and insights. They really enrich the practice product.