Advice: Don't Work with Government


Consider this a continuation to my last advice in the form of my post Before becoming an Architect, and they would be becoming quiet frequent as my internship in an architecture office continues.

So today (well it was today when I starting writing this but now its yesterday) my boss took me for a site visit to a re adaptation project. Basically what they are doing is that they are converting this old building into a museum. I know by reputation how hard it is to work with bureaucrat’s and government officials but to actually be working for them in some capacity is simply a nightmare.

For one thing they would never follow protocol of any sort, they simply believe in throwing the rule book out of the window, and they make sure that they flung it so far out that no one can ever find it.

So I have been told by the other people in the office that this project has been going on for the last many years, and there is hope that it would be going on long after me.

My experience in this first site visit/weekly meeting was thoroughly an affirmation about all the rumors that exist about the Government. As expected the meeting didn’t start on time. Secondly since most of the people in the bureaucrats and the contractor and the masons working over there were Sindhi, the meeting soon became a Sindhi convention, in which me and my boss simply tried to grasp on to every word we can so we can still have the illusion that it was us that were making all the design decisions.

No one hardly bothered with anything even remotely like taking minutes, and most of them simply displayed one object of irrelevance after the other in front of their boss to flatter him, so basically when we left the meeting absolutely nothing that needed to be discussed had been addressed.

What was thoroughly the most interesting feature of this meeting was the fight that has prevailed in architecture for many centuries – The debate of the Modern and the Classics. Since this is a land of contradictions, finding one more contradiction wasn’t surprising. But how things will go about as far as designing is concerned will be worth seeing. See there was a mason from the corners of Hyderabad who was proud of all that he can contribute to the world, and then there was a Structural Engineer, both believing that it was their craft/knowledge/technology that can resolve the issue of what to do with the historic yet trembling staircase of the building.

But for that… keep waiting for the next post!

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