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How much does a Final Project cost?

How much does a final Project cost?…or better yet  how much should I charge to produce a final project? This is the stirring question various former students who recently earned their degrees have asked me that over the last few months. Paradoxically, a final project is one the most cost-beneficial professional undertakings with a market for new architects in this country.

Without getting into value judgments, the proliferation of websites and individuals offering to partially or completely write a final project is a fact that speaks for itself. Yet another consequence of the degeneration of the final project in architecture in terms of both they way it is envisaged and its methodology.

In addition to the many problems associated with how long it takes on average, the precariousness of directors, evaluation criteria, public expositions and so forth, one can highlight the waste it involves. It is envisaged as an exercise that only very seldom has any chance of materialising, only rarely precedes postgraduate research, and only on a handful of occasions ends up being amortised, not to mention potential visibility for businesses or entrepreneurship.

It is highly significant that at a time when one of students’ greatest worries relates to their future careers, final projects,  that are to ensure an architect is trained, are done wrapped up in oneself, merely going through the motions, are oversized and lacking in timeliness. They have become churned out pictures at the service of marketing, to be evaluated at a glance in no longer than fifteen minutes. Their printing on coated bond paper is the highest aspiration.

In this age of catwalk architecture, our students’ the time and effort has been squandered on haut couture final projects that will end up in the drawer while our cities remain in tatters, or are poorly clad by others.

Yet crisis implies change, and one of the most interesting phenomena is the emergence of restless students whose perspectives are woven by social media and who decide to channel their final project efforts towards new approaches and considerations that have not been included in traditional schools of architecture’s studies.  They are tackling an epic process, swimming against the tide of academia, and fortunately increasingly finding more complicity from their directors.

Final projects cost money. The investment is huge for generations of students, year after year. Hardly can they afford to engage in these ill-conceived, berated undertakings. Elevating final projects to regain their worth, channelling effort, making the most of means and reconsidering ends are priorities both for final projects and for architecture of today.

Vídeo of the A Coruña School of Architecture Festival: Pfc.

Websites offering services for producing a final project: PFCcommons  – Arquitectura pfc  – Academia El Paralex –  PFC arquitectura –  SGH arquitectura –  PFC fácil

Final project websites and blogs in academia: Aula PFC  – Taller PFC USPCEU  – PFC arquitectura CEU

Pedro Hernández Final Project Blog: “La periferia doméstica”.

Text translated by Beth Gelb
Arquitecta desde 2004, ha desarrollado su trabajo como profesional independiente en urbanismo y arquitectura. En 2007 centró su actividad en Ayuda Humanitaria, donde ha trabajado con diferentes organizaciones tanto en desarrollo como en emergencia. Es máster en Proyecto Avanzado de Arquitectura y Ciudad, y se ha especializado en Agua, Saneamiento e Higiene en Cooperación Internacional y Emergencias y en Desarrollo de Asentamientos humanos en el Tercer Mundo. Durante estos años ha compaginado su actividad profesional con la docencia y la investigación. Actualmente imparte clases en máster y cursos de posgrado en diferentes universidades. Ha llevado a cabo diferentes investigaciones sobre asentamientos humanos y campos de refugiados, y escribe su tesis sobre Diseño y Construción de Centros de Ébola. Desde 2004 dirige el Taller CuatroESCALONES junto a Óscar Valero, especializado en el proceso de proyecto. En 2011 funda n´UNDO, junto a Alejandro del Castillo, lo que supone un posicionamiento en la manera de hacer arquitectura.

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