Freelancing in architecture has always been a trend. Students pursuing the course aspire to gain as much experience to showcase their skills and start in the industry. The common cultural mentality to start early practice has given birth to a lot of freelancers. The initial projects are obtained through relatives and contacts. Every job has its problems and advantages, and either path can lead to success. There are certain factors that we should consider before deciding which career option is best for us.
With freelancing in architecture, there are a lot of benefits and challenges of its own. Becoming a freelance architect presents challenges similar to those of an entrepreneur when starting a business, it’s not really an easy path and not for everyone. Others choose the freelance path of freelance work which can result in their business having its own architectural practice. It is simply a matter of choice but making an informed and conscious decision is very important as this decision can affect your whole life.
A young architect will always look for channelizing the potentials into a project. The breakthroughs are often the stepping milestones to set a standard of work. Initial projects help them to market their ideas and styles of design. With practice, comes the challenges of working. The working drawings or the drawings to be surrendered to the corporation being the most general problems. The competition to stand out amongst the young practitioners itself proposes a task.
A common thread of freelancing in architecture is the advantage to present something new to the market. A software skill or a design strategy. Freelancers have the freedom or the edge to present themselves equipped with the acquired skill-creating opportunities.
Of the most important things in practice, The most important is to commit to the self-employed practice. That one breakthrough project to start. Simpler hands-on projects to understand the actual process. For instance, to understand the rates of materials, quotations, and contracts. The legal work behind the construction.
Both the images mentioned above show the process of the renovation of a Backyard redesigned for better use. The project was a small-scale project of 100 square meters renovated from dead land to a usable area added with Utility, toilet, and a compound.
The Freedom in practice
It’s easy to look down on the self-employed. Those who work in a traditional company or operation see self-employment as an inferior work model that automatically means less financial security and suggests a vague definition of responsibility to employers. While recent surveys and survey data show that freelancers work fewer hours than in traditional professions, the increasing number of freelancers shows that this trend is not diminishing.
In fact, according to recent reports, an increasing number of American and European workers are choosing to be self-employed.
Setting up the business
When we’re ready to begin our freelance career, make sure we understand the local, state, or national laws and regulations governing working as a freelancer or freelancers. You may also need to review the requirements set by the officer. The organization that regulates architectural practice in your area. The legal part of the practice needs to be sorted.
The basics of marketing like the website and the mail IDs, portfolio, logo, and branding are to be done along with the distribution of business cards to market the freelancing practice on the social platform. Allied parts of freelancing like 3D visualizations or similar expertise in the areas can be highlighted. Practice can be set up within a small circle.
Advantages and Disadvantages
Some of the main benefits of being a freelance architect are greater control over all aspects of your business, more autonomy, and less red tape associated with running or working in a large company, although the financial uncertainty of freelance work is usually related to volatility. In the self-employed-client relationship (as opposed to long-term contracts with a single company), around 53% of self-employed believe that having multiple employers is financially safer than working full-time for a single company. Any post-recession job is relatively unsafe as markets change and companies close or downsize.
Having versatility and freedom also means a lack of employee support, as offered in companies and businesses. Self-employed people can also be quite lonely. Being able to learn from supervisors and talk to coworkers can be an isolating experience that can make freelancers less productive. Managing working hours, calculating tariffs, attracting customers, and protecting work can be difficult obstacles to overcome.
- Handiss.com. (2021). [online] Available at: https://handiss.com/blog/what-it-takes-to-become-a-freelance-architect/ [Accessed 18 Aug. 2021].
- Archipreneur. (2016). The Pros and Cons of Starting out as a Freelance Architect. [online] Available at: https://archipreneur.com/the-pros-and-cons-of-starting-out-as-an-freelancer-architect/?utm_medium=website&utm_source=archdaily.com [Accessed 18 Aug. 2021].
- Onniboni, L. (2016). 14 Ways of making money as a freelance Architect or Designer. [online] Archiobjects. Available at: https://www.archiobjects.org/making-money-as-a-freelance-architect-or-designer/ [Accessed 18 Aug. 2021].