Unethical business conduct has been a decades-long problem in the field of architecture and has only been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns. In the wake of these events, it is important for those of us in the early stages of our careers to think critically about our own position in the industry. For many architectural assistants, the lack of support and the dearth of opportunity during this pandemic has demonstrated what we have long suspected: the current pathway to qualifying as an architect is dysfunctional and exploitative. As students and young practitioners yourselves, we would encourage you to read and sign the RIBA Open Letter written by the Future Architects Front. This letter calls for RIBA to finally address the exploitative state of the profession and implement change according to five demands which have been formulated through surveying the experiences of 166 architectural assistants and junior staff. Grassroots change is not something we witness often in the field of architecture, but it is certainly something we believe is possible and necessary for a more equitable professional future.
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