Dezeen Magazine

Careers guide: Jenn Chang reveals what's it's like to work for co-living brand Common

Jenn Chang heads up the architecture department of New York-based co-living startup Common. In this interview for the Dezeen Jobs careers guide, she explains how she got there.

Chang moved into architecture after initially studying economics. She started her career in the office of Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, but cut her teeth in a five-year stint with New York firm SHoP Architects, working on high-profile projects like the American Copper Buildings.

An interest in the opportunities for innovation in architecture led her to Common.

"Coming from the architecture world, I wasn't really aware of job opportunities outside the firms that I had heard of. I was very pleasantly surprised to find that a cool startup would be looking for someone with my experience," she said.

Chang said the work culture at Common is "fast-paced, engaged and, most of all, interesting".

"Architecture and design regularly interacts with real estate, marketing, cleaning, finance and tech teams," she said.

When asked to give advice for those starting out, Chang stresses how useful it is to proactively network outside of the architecture industry. "Talking to a broader range of people has exposed me to greater possibilities" she revealed.

She suggested people shouldn't be afraid of taking an unusual route to their dream job.

"The modern career path is more like rock-climbing as opposed to a ladder."

Read the interview on Dezeen Jobs ›