The possibilities for the practice of architecture are endless. What should he/she do immediately after earning a bachelor’s degree in architecture is a question that everyone involved in the profession of architecture can relate to. The work of an architect can be demanding, and in current society, they need to be well compensated. A master’s degree may be premature, given that architecture requires not only academic study but also the examination of every avenue and the pursuit of every opportunity for informal learning. Many legal issues need to be taken into account when starting a business, in addition to the added costs of opening an office and the potential danger of needing more clients to make a profit. In these situations, the freelance architecture enables exploration of the professional architecture environment while not having to go to the offices. Contrary to visiting architecture offices, one may pick who, when, and how to work with. However, working as a freelance architect is not as simple as it may seem since one must find enough clients and manage everything independently. One must become self-taught in the ways of the business world and the practical aspects of design and possess the tact necessary to deal with clients effectively and amicably over the long term. For all new architects and those looking to leave their jobs and pursue their interests, freelance architecture networking is the go-to word to address this issue. In this article, we will explore ways of networking for self-employed architects and provide practical strategies for expanding their network of professional connections.
The power of social media
Social media is being utilised for more than simply communication; it can also be used to share one’s work and talents with the world. Independent architects must effectively utilise social media platforms in order to network and grow their professions. One should pick the social media channel that best suits their objectives and target market. For instance, Linkedin may be a better place to look for professionals relevant to architecture than Facebook or Instagram. To ensure that the widest possible audience sees the postings, one should take into account the social media platform’s maximum user base. One could gain respect from others, build connections with other architects, and get a new project by presenting their work and identifying themselves as conscientious architecture practitioners. Employing the proper plan may improve exposure, establish a reputation, create relationships, showcase business, and stay current (Emre). Social media has the ability to not only present a piece of work quickly but also to cooperate with others, interact with the architectural community, and keep up with the most recent trends in the field.
With the world getting smaller with advanced technologies and social media platforms, the trend of organising and participating in design competitions has been quite common. A design competition is a vehicle to allow entrants to solve a proposed problem and compete against others, oftentimes their peers, to receive an award or building project (Vierra). The design competition helps build relationships and networks with other professionals in the industry and opens the door for collaborative opportunities and exposure to renowned experts. By participating in design competitions, one can expand his/her architectural horizon and at the same time, interact with multidisciplinary teams and participants across the world. Design competition not just opens new doors for collaboration but also gives content to add to the portfolio and helps to be active in social media.
Active participation in the regional architectural organisations
Regional architectural organisations help to provide access to a community of professionals, networking events and social gatherings where architecture can meet not just the professionals but the local community people. The organisations are often found organising conferences, workshops and lectures, which by participating can aid in building a supportive network and also be a support for professional growth.
Volunteering and social work
Social work and volunteering are effective ways for architects to expand their network. The community may access technical people thanks to the symbiotic connection between the architect and the community. In contrast, the architect can interact and establish a network among the community members. Volunteering is a vital practice and a valuable supplement to social projects (Ma and Kingsley). Volunteering also indicates an architect’s social responsibility and enhances their reputation, making them more appealing to customers and business partners who may refer them and boost their careers.
Conferences and architectural talk shows
A freelance architect may learn about new trends and techniques and keep current by attending conferences and architectural talk shows, which frequently involve lectures and talks by specialists. It can help to create networks and have expert discussions in a relaxed atmosphere (“Back JUNG Architecture Talks”). They can contact individuals from other disciplines, such as builders, construction managers, and advertising agencies, and take advantage of networking possibilities, which might result in a joint interdisciplinary relationship.
Hence, freelance architecture networking is a very demanding term in today’s scenario for independent architects’ professional development and success. Architects may create a strong network of connections to support their professional development by actively utilising social media, attending industry events, working with different groups of people, and seeking volunteer opportunities and participation in various regional events. Fostering relationships, exchanging information, and looking into collaboration opportunities can help one grow their professional network and open doors to new and interesting chances, ultimately leading to a successful freelancing career in the competitive world of architecture. By being open to ideas and by taking interesting chances, we all should look forward to having a collaborative approach of using the power of architecture for the well-being of humanity and the planet amidst this competitive world.
“Back JUNG Architecture Talks.” JUNG, https://www.jung.de/en/616/service/architecture-talks/. Accessed 2 July 2023.
Emre, Muaz. “Social Media For Designers – Studio Hamid Hassanzadeh.” Parametric Architecture, https://parametric-architecture.com/social-media-for-designers-studio-hamid-hassanzadeh/. Accessed 2 July 2023.
Ma, Maggie, and Mark Kingsley. “Architects and Social Workers. (Or other ways of doing architecture) | by DOMAT.” Medium, 14 January 2015, https://medium.com/@Domat/architects-and-social-workers-eaa30e9efb46. Accessed 2 July 2023.
Vierra, Stephanie. “Running a Design Competition | WBDG.” Whole Building Design Guide, 28 March 2023, https://www.wbdg.org/resources/running-design-competition. Accessed 2 July 2023.