A few months ago I was getting a little frustrated with trying to find side work on my never ending journey towards self-employment and decided to take a dive into the world of freelancing websites. These are websites that essentially offer a portal for clients and contractors to go to and meet up. Think of it as online dating for freelancers. There are several out there and more or less tend to specialize in particular market sectors like web development, programming, creative writing and even a few that offer a place for people to place projects in architecture and interior design. Sites like:
I have been sticking with Freelancer and oDesk. These two seem to offer the most options and opportunities for the AEC profession and there are very few hoops to jump through in order to create an account and begin bidding on jobs.
I was immediately impressed with these sites, mostly because I got two jobs almost immediately. They were not large jobs, nor were they particularly complicated or glamorous. But they were paying jobs and that was just fine with me. The first was to draft existing floor plans of a 2 story residence and provide a basic 3D SketchUp model for the purpose of renovations coming down the road. Again, nothing to write home to mom about. BUT, the exciting part is that the homeowner is in AUSTRALIA! The frustration of working in the metric system aside, this first project was an amazing opportunity to network with a client on another CONTINENT.
And this trend has continued. Since starting with Freelancer I have done two projects in Australia, one in New Jersey and am currently working on one in Wyoming. And that is what it means to have a mobile architecture practice.
Through the power of social media, networking and “the cloud” I am able to practice design anywhere in the world. This is an amazing opportunity for any architect or designer looking to really take a step out of their comfort zone and start something exciting.
This post, and others, are leading up to one thing – a multi-national, multi-continental practice made up of other architects and designers all over the world that pool their collective resources in order to better serve their clients, better serve their business and better serve the profession of architecture. It’s time to step out of the “bunker” mentality of architectural practice and step into a practice that is more sustainable, more rewarding, more lucrative and less stressful in the 21st Century.
There is an entire generation of architects that has the power, the knowledge and the technology to change the face of architecture as an art, a science and a profession. Will you get on board?
Note: while searching for some cool images for this post I came across this article “40 Great Resources for a Complete Roadmap to Freelancing”.