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Downturn?

edited September 2008 in Q and A
Is the industry starting to slide in Australia and New Zealand?
In my day to day conversations with architects in Melbourne, most seem to be doing better than they were a year ago. The problems seem to be affecting the large end of town, and firms doing business in particular countries. We've had a few residential jobs in New Zealand go on hold indefinitely because of the crunch and its effects on property prices.
Looking about the planet,
Ireland: James Pike, O’Mahony Pike: ‘‘strong anecdotal evidence’’ that firms which were reliant on the Irish housing market were making between one-third and half their staff redundant.
United States: Jack Reigle, design business advisor: Larger firms are insulated by a backlogue of work that should see them through to 2009. Generalist firms on low profits are more vulnerable than specialists.  An AIA survey of billings last month suggests that design business is stable in the Mid West but is soft everywhere else. Government sectors are stable.
Australia: Bloomfield Tremayne's market updates suggest that while job listings have reduced 35-40%, this is after several boom years when market demand was up 50%. They suggest Sepetmber / October will be the litmus test months for finding out which way the architecture economy is moving. As in the States, the institutional sector is strongest. Unlike the States, the domestic sector is still fairly strong due to an undersupply of housing.
Any other views on the crunch? Is your firm hiring or firing?

Comments

  • edited 9:52AM
    The Age reports today that the architectural industry is the "canary in the coalmine" and lists quite a few large practices in Melbourne who have admitted to gassing some of their canaries. Their count adds up to about 100, and excludes smaller firms who make up the bulk of the industry.
    THE AGE
  • edited 9:52AM
    It's like deja vu all over again:

    http://blog.archpaper.com/wordpress/2009/03/11/lessons-from-the-past/
  • edited March 2009
    Well, I just got a Job.
    It's part time and casual, but I got it on the strength of my Sustainability / Passive solar credetials and at least it isn't cab driving. My boss wants to take the whole company in that direction and to that end he wants a driver of that ethos for the rest of his staff (7 of us).
    It's naturally on the proviso that the busy work wont start for another year or so until things pick up, but he wants to be in a position to ramp up that side of his business and make it the main game, because he's already getting questions about it from clients. He wants an expert on board when the upturn comes.
    When oil hit the shit fan in the late seventies people jumped on bicycles and started car pooling. The economy will be a side show in a couple of years compared to the sort of belt tightening that climate change will force on us as designers of efficiancy.
  • edited March 2009
    congratulations simon, a job in the current climate, well done.
    and to be commended for the ethical stance taken.
    to bad though the ship for you sailed a long long time ago.
    sustainability and passive solar nothing more than media hype.
    check out the alhambra,(in detail), when common sense prevaled.
  • edited March 2009
    ^^
    see u at the awards with the proddy hague.
    by the time u get there it won't be about hot air - or lame throwback 70s ideas - it will be a case of show us yer power bill.

    .....as to the end of civilisation. big deal - its happened before. whats so special about this lot?
  • edited 9:52AM
    its better to be a cabbie than a cobbler, hey travis.....
  • edited 9:52AM
    Everyone I talk to here is flat out busy again and rehiring. But is it a coal-fired blip? Everyone I talk to in the land of the long white dole queue is still doing it very tough.
  • b_nb_n
    edited 9:52AM
    Big firm in Melb. let go 40, from across all levels, on Friday last.
  • edited May 2010
    Everyone thinks it's over. I'm still bringing my lunch and I see the surviving Gen Ys have kept their Vespas just in case they need to go into hospitality (pizza delivery).
  • edited 9:52AM
    BEULAH? BEULAH? Anybody?
  • edited 9:52AM
    I know of three smaller practices desparate for project architects and grads with 4 years +. But I too have taken to making my own lunch.
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