Chinese Architects Face Nightmare Working Conditions as Property Industry Crisis Deepens
Architecture professionals in China are reporting nightmare working conditions as the country’s property industry plunges into a severe crisis. Architects based in major cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen have come forward to share stories of layoffs, pay cuts, and wage arrears in the past year.
In exclusive interviews with Dezeen, over 10 architects revealed the appalling working conditions they face on a daily basis. Many architects are working through the night, while their pay is plummeting. Shuchun Yi, a young architect who previously worked for the state-owned firm Shenzhen General Institute of Architecture Design & Research (SZAD), said, “You are having a good day if you leave work before 10:00pm.”
The current state of the property industry has forced many architectural firms to make drastic cuts, resulting in widespread layoffs. Pay cuts and wage arrears have become prevalent, leaving architects struggling to make ends meet. The crisis has led to an alarming increase in work hours and intense pressure on professionals to meet demanding deadlines.
This month’s Dezeen In Depth newsletter sheds light on the harsh reality faced by Chinese architects, providing an in-depth exploration of the issue. In addition to highlighting the architects’ struggles, the newsletter includes an exclusive interview with Muyiwa Oki, the first Black president of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). Oki discusses the challenges faced by architects of color and shares his vision for inclusivity and diversity within the industry.
Furthermore, renowned architect Reinier de Graaf shares his opinion piece on the controversial concept of “placemaking”. De Graaf critiques the conventional approach to urban planning, arguing that it often prioritizes the creation of attractive spaces over addressing more pressing societal issues.
Dezeen In Depth is a monthly newsletter that dives deeper into the major stories shaping the architecture and design industry. Each edition includes a feature article on a key topic, an interview with an industry figure, and an opinion piece from a leading critic. This comprehensive newsletter keeps readers informed and engaged with thought-provoking content.
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