Architecture and construction is cyclical

I do not enjoy linking to articles about economic concerns for our industry every month. Unfortunately, that is our current reality and I think it is important for all of us to understand market forces that affect us and the firms we work for.

I hope those of you who have suffered a layoff are remaining strong as you search for a new position.

Everyone should keep in mind that we have been through this before and we will eventually come out on the other side. It isn’t fun, but it is the reality of our business.

Keep your head up. Stay strong.


September Billings Show Large Drop

There was a very sharp decline in architectural billings in September. This was the biggest decline since the middle of the pandemic. In addition, design contracts also fell, which may forecast a continuing trend for billings in the coming months. The report also indicates that all of the employment gains from January through June were lost in July and August.

The commentary this month covers technology usage in different firms.

September: 44.8, August: 48.1, July: 50.0, June: 50.1, May: 51.0, April: 48.5

ABI September 2023: Architecture firm billings decline sharply

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Inflation and Real Estate Concerns Persist

Construction Dive looks into the ongoing concerns about the construction sector in two recent articles. The real estate market looks to be unstable and Goldman Sachs thinks that interest rates will continue to be high for at least another year.

Fed warns of stability risk from $24T commercial real estate market

Goldman sees high home prices, mortgage rates for next year

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Is Modern Architecture Boring?

The argument resurfaces every couple of decades. Thomas Heatherwick released a new book that claims our modern designs are too boring. Of course, there has been a lot of discourse about this over the past week.

Thomas Heatherwick’s war on boring buildings: ‘I’ve never gone against the whole industry before’

‘Dangerously misguided’: the glaring problem with Thomas Heatherwick’s architectural dreamworld

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Leader? Manager? Both?

The Life of an Architect podcast discusses the difference between leadership and management as it relates to architecture firms. Both and?

Ep 136: Leadership vs. Management

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Stories from the Sydney Opera House Construction

There are some amazing design and construction stories in this article about the iconic Sydney Opera House. It is worth a read.

Impossible made perfect: builders of the Sydney Opera House look back in wonder