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Architect at work
Architectural professions top list of elite occupations in the UK

Commenter says "the public's perception of architects' earnings has no bearing on reality"

In this week's comments update, readers are debating a report that found that architecture is among the most privileged industries in the UK and discussing other top stories.

A report titled Social Mobility in the Creative Economy by the Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre reveals that 73 per cent of workers in the UK architecture industry are classed as privileged.

Architectural careers such as architects, town planning officers, and technicians rank as number one in the study's list of the 25 most elite occupations in the UK.

"Architecture is a tremendous amount of work for a minimal salary"

Commenters aren't convinced. "As an underpaid architect in my late 40s, who held down a part-time job whilst working my way through architecture school, I struggle with my privilege every day," joked Jay Cee.

Alfred Hitchcock continued: "I'm from an underprivileged working-class background and I worked my way through my education and paid for it myself. Public perception of architects' earnings has no bearing on reality."

"You are looking at the problem the wrong way," added Jacapo. "Architecture is a tremendous amount of work for a minimal salary. Only rich kids will be able to deal with the work for free mentality around this profession."

Felix Tannenbaun agreed: "Architecture students need huge blocks of uninterrupted time for thinking and for crafting. The work that is expected of them is intense. This time and work requirement weeds out those who are exhausted from side work. This paired with relatively low wages skews the demographic to those who have a background that allows both."

What do you think? Join the discussion ›

Render of Guggenheim Abu Dhabi by Frank Gehry
Frank Gehry-designed Guggenheim Abu Dhabi announces 2025 opening date

Gehry is "one of a few architects doing anything remotely interesting" claims commenter

Readers are praising Frank Gehry's design for the Guggenheim museum in Abu Dhabi, which is set to open in 2025 – nearly 20 years after plans were unveiled and 14 years after construction began.

"Gehry," said Hosta, "still one of a few architects doing anything remotely interesting."

Siphonophoros agreed: "It's beautiful, grand, imaginative, ambitious, decadent, humorous, provocative, and it irritates the commoners. What's not to like?"

"Anyone could design a massive jumbled sculpture, but not anyone can make it function as a building," concluded BSL. "I'm not a fan of the aesthetics, but I've got to hand to Frank, no one does it like him."

What do you think of the new Guggenheim museum? Join the discussion ›

Co-housing by Productora
Blue co-housing complex by Productora fits eight units onto two Denver lots

Reader thinks Denver housing complex screams "look at me"

Commenters are debating a small housing complex in Denver, Colorado, that provides eight units with shared amenities on a lot that would typically accommodate only two single-family homes.

"It screams 'look at me, I am so minimal'", said Karol B.

Archi was also unsure: "So when one family is eating dinner, and another family is watching a movie, do they just wave at each other between the all-glass wall?"

"I think you're missing the point," replied Eric. "It's not intended to be two distinct, traditional single-family dwellings. Each building contains three units with a shared kitchen/living room. It's supposed to be a communal living arrangement."

Are readers missing the point? Join the discussion ›

Sara Kulturhus and hotel in Skellefteå
White Arkitekter unveils "carbon negative" skyscraper and cultural centre in Sweden

Commenter calls "carbon negative" skyscraper "a huge achievement"

Readers are divided over a timber development in Sweden, which features the world's second-tallest wooden tower. White Arkitekter claims the tower will be carbon negative over its lifetime.

"Call me a grouch but gosh, that's unattractive," said Pixinator. "I do like the sustainability of timber construction but I really dislike the inevitably unfinished-looking aesthetic."

Bunker Mentality agreed: "Looks like a really not well-aged example of a mid-seventies, small-town, power station."

"A carbon-negative building is a huge, huge achievement," replied a less cynical Z-Dog. "Sometimes we see the work of high-tech architects like Grimshaw or Renzo Piano as pointing towards the future of architecture. I think buildings like this may give a snapshot of the ways we will be working in 15-20 years' time."

Are you impressed by the Sara Kulturhus Centre? Join the discussion ›

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Dezeen is the world's most commented architecture and design magazine, receiving thousands of comments each month from readers. Keep up to date on the latest discussions on our comments page.