Big Boss Man
Big Boss Man
– a replaceable architecture student
Everywhere I’ve been, every place I’ve worked in this architecture world, I seem to always come across the same figure: the Big Boss Man. I’ve heard many tales of the “Boys’ Club” boss; the archetype that everyone says is on its way to extinction. Yet the Big Boss Man I’ve encountered is something different, something fresh and new: he’s a self-proclaimed feminist; he cares about the environment and racial justice. He’s a hip Gen-Xer: he listens to hip-hop or techno and watches John Oliver. He believes architecture can combat the evils of capitalism. A quick reminder that Big Boss Men are not always men—this is 2020 after all!
His trendy office, make-shift fabrication lab, or loft-apartment co-work-space is full of eager students and visa-seekers from all over the world. He’s helping us. Thanks to him we can pad our resumes with high-profile exhibits and big names. Surely it’s worth the endless hours and being paid under the table? By the way, he truly believes in fair compensation, but somehow always has “cash-flow” problems. For the Big Boss Man it’s the thought that counts. Some Big Boss Men are more sympathetic than others, but they are nearly always charismatic.
One Big Boss Man once told me that as a student he had sworn he’d never give into exploitation, but the reality is that budgets and timelines for trendy exhibits are just so tight—besides it’s a great opportunity. Another once made sure to let us know that he is the mind behind the work and we are the hands. We are all extremely lucky and extremely replaceable.