Jake Rudin and Erin PellegrinoMar 25, 2023
Out of Architecture
The Value of Architects Beyond Traditional Practice
Jake Rudin and Erin Pellegrino's book Out of Architecture: The Value of Architects Beyond Traditional Practice (Routledge, 2022) is both a call to reassess the architecture profession and its education, and a toolkit for graduates and working architects to untangle their skills, passions, and value from traditional architectural practice and consider alternate pathways. Written by design professionals and expert career consultants, this book is informed by numerous client accounts as well as the authors' own stories and routes out of architecture.
The initial chapters follow the narrative of a typical architecture training in the US, highlighting the many highs and lows, skills honed, and ultimately the huge disconnect that can occur between architectural education and practice. Subsequent chapters explore a disillusionment with the profession, unhealthy work cultures, mentorship, working with lead architects, toxic perfectionism, and the notion of a calling. Authors then present the hopeful accounts of many architects who escaped a profession known for its grueling working conditions to find fulfilling, well-paying, creative jobs that better utilize the skills of architecture than the architectural profession itself.
Written in a unique combination of storytelling and analysis, this patchwork of client and author stories makes for an immersive, provocative, and enjoyable listen. A wide range of architecture students, graduates, educators, and professionals will recognize themselves within the chapters of this book and find prompts to reassess their working practices, teaching styles, and the profession itself. It will be of particular value to those students skeptical of joining the architecture workforce, as well as those further along and considering a career change.
Bryan Toepfer, AIA, NCARB, CAPM is the Principal Architect for TOEPFER Architecture, PLLC, an Architecture firm specializing in Residential Architecture and Virtual Reality.