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Why China is the perfect place for an Architecture Internship?

Why China is the perfect place for an Architecture Internship?

The Chinese government has recently decided that it time to end the era of outlandish international architecture that has invaded China’s skyline. This threatens the Western architecture companies that have been fighting over projects in China. Until now there were no rules so everyone could bring their fantasies to real life. Even in big cities, like New York, their desires were put in place because of the zoning codes, cautious lenders, vigilant preservationists and resistant neighbors. But in China, everybody was allowed to do almost anything. Because of this, we have sinuous towers, ovate concert halls, woozy museums and all sorts of organic-looking structures designed by Western architects for Chinese patrons. And if you want to do an architecture internship, this is the main reason why China is the perfect place for it.

China is the perfect combination between New and Old

This is visible just by visiting China, not to mention studying here. You will find here a lot of old traditional buildings, build with wood and pointy roofs. But aside from this, in the larger cities, you will be able to find the latest architecture innovations, such as the Taipei World Financial Center (or Taipei 101) in Taiwan.

And if you are fascinated by the beautiful new structures and their intricate design, why not come here and see them with your own eyes, while learning from those who design it? One of the best ways of learning about new architectural ideas and trends is to travel in a country that is developing faster than any other, such as China. It is estimated that in 2016 China will build more than 600 square kilometers of towers and skyscrapers. This means more than the surface of the city of Chicago. Imagine that. 

An internship while still in school can get you the job

It is estimated that architects may face fierce competition for a position at a prestigious firm. To increase your chances of getting this job, having an internship under your belt is a great thing. You should gain real-life experience in an architectural firm before you graduate. Students who know CAD technology have a significant advantage. 

Participation in an internship usually means working at an architecture firm, constructions, or even at planning companies. You could work as an assistant project manager alongside qualified professionals on the landscape, residential, urban and commercial projects. Or your internship could compose of all design activity from the macro-level (landscape, urban design).

Architecture internships are increasing in China

China is developing very fast, so there is a high demand for good architects for the new projects. And how do you get good architects? By preparing the young ones that have the vision of the future, using the experience of the old ones. (And by old you don’t have to think about a 90-year-old architect)

In 2013, US architecture firms earned in China more than $370 million. This is more than 22% of all the international work. Here even small architecture firms can obtain their own projects. For example, Steven Holl, an architect from New York, is struggling for a year now to build a public library in Long Island City. But in China, he has managed to build the equivalent of two Rockefeller Centers (Linked Hybrid –Beijing and Sliced Porosity Block – Chengdu). 

The Western architecture companies are offering internships in China to prepare for the future and develop even further, and it is a perfect time to join in.

Creativity meets weirdness

This is the definition of the big cities in China - even the State Council’s Directive is warning against the “oversized, xenocentric, and weird” designs. If you come to China, you will feel a little bit uncomfortable at first, but then appreciate the freedom and wild sophistication of the buildings. You will find buildings in the shape of gods, coins, and even the U.S. Capitol. There are so many strange buildings in China that you will feel amazed when you see something you consider normal.

You have many things to learn, and here you will learn from the best and experience what it means to build big. Come to China for your architecture internship - you will not regret it! 

Photo credit: 準建築人手札網站 Forgemind ArchiMedia, Ryk,,

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