In my case, I am going to talk about my own experience at Young Projects where I’ve been already almost five months in this architecture office in NYC.
From my point of view, the work carried out by each member of the team benefits the whole staff, since that work is, to a certain point, different of course, depending on the projects we are working on and although not all the people have the same degree of responsibility for decision making, of course. But I have to say that from the very first day, I started working in my architecture office in NYC like any other member of the staff, and any opinion given about a project is taken into account.
As it is a small office, I feel like home in my office, my CEOs refers to the employees as a team. We work for the benefit of the firm. My success is visible whereas in a larger firm maybe is not that remarkable. I know all co-workers I’m working with. Direct contact with my CEO. My responsibilities are more varied, in a work week I can be working on different projects and with different programs.
The possibility of collaborating with the rest of the workers of the studio and being able to help them with their tasks, that is to say, the teamwork, is the most enriching part of this experience but also all the visits to construction sites, the meetings with the clients who come to the studio to see how everything is going and, of course, the designing process. Teamwork makes a dream work!
Since I am here I have learned more about architecture and I have become more knowledgeable about general work functions.
This experience is helping me know more about current architecture and how to deal with clients and the whole design process of any project to come alive.
I have experienced stressful days on which a work has to be sent to engineers, clients, or fabrication company of a product, deadlines.. It is true that while working some weeks you can jump from one task to another in the office depending on the projects and their priority degree,
The role of an Architect in the United States is fundamental to carry out a project and is the one who meets with the clients, but without contractors, engineers, etc… would not be possible, they are essential as well.
Timesheets in my architecture office in NYC are important. This is obvious for some projects, as they are billed directly on an hourly basis. However, accurate timesheets are also crucial for YP internally to track how much labor is being directed towards projects so we can better understand our fee structure moving forward.
We all work under a ‘server’ where we can find all the ongoing and outgoing projects. The overarching principle of the server is that people should be able to navigate the files of any project, even if they have not been working on that particular project. In order to ensure that people can transition from project to project without requiring extensive idiosyncratic explanations of the file structure of each project, we have template structures that are followed to create consistency across jobs.
We have one meeting by week (at least) with the whole office to clarify what we are working on and about coming deadlines.
Another point to highlight in an American studio is the vacation. In my case, I have ten paid holidays/year plus one personal day, that if I compare these holidays with the ones in Spain the country I come from is very little holidays but in New York, this amount is ‘the standard’. Hard to believe, but true.
However, I am very happy for being able to be here. The opportunities and the contacts you can find here are not the same as If I had stayed in Spain.