EDAW no more?

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    Heard from a little birdie EDAW will now just be AECOM. Is this the end of an era?


    wow…I didn’t even check the site, just heard rumblings. I know alot of folks were talking about this just after the merger, but I didn’t think many took it very seriously, as I certainly didn’t.



    I didn’t know this was happening with EDAW, but I have heard of the same thing happening with EDSA…It’s bizzaro.

    Gabino Carballo

    Yeap, they are “evolving”.

    They were little but a shell for property development layout creation, and now they have become a branch of what is a technical support provider, AECOM.

    Which means that they sell professionally qualified labour at affordable rates.

    Welcome to the endo of the independent professional, in not a distant future, you will get attorney’s services at the drugstore!


    Law school, eh?

    I’m not sure how the merger effects the higher ups at EDAW. If this trend keeps up I wouldn’t be surprised if we’re all doing landscape architecture as a hobby in the future..


    I’m optimistic, or at least I’m trying to be.

    With so many people potentially leaving the profession, someone’s going to have to do the work. I was reading a similar discussion on the affect of the last big recession on the architecture community at archinect. Evidently, there is a noticable gap from senior to entry level professionals across the board. Apparently, many dropped out of architecture to pursue other careers during the recession in the 90’s. What this means for those who rode it out, I’m not sure.

    Jay Everett


    I think optimism is a powerful ally. There will probably be lots of opportunities for people who are able to hang on through the recession. Personally I think there was already a shortage of “Gen-X”, people roughly between the age of 30 and 45, in the industry before the recession. Graduation rates for LA’s have been much higher in recent years but I’ve witnessed many people leaving the industry for various reasons even before the economic downturn.
    The boomers are retiring and they are taking their professional network connections with them. And as Brian pointed out in the case of EDAW, in many cases there just aren’t enough people within the existing organizations with enough assets to “buy-out” the old guys.

    I recently witnessed a microcosm of this phenomenon at the firm I currently work for. The man who started the firm was ready to retire 5 or 6 years ago, but he just kept working because apparently an agreement couldn’t be reached. It took the existing Jr. partner plus 3 additional senior principals at the firm to come together and buy out one senior partner. All the guys who are now partners are in their mid to late 40’s or Early 50’s. It’s not just economics and credit that complicate things, there’s also the personality issues that go into the equation, you have to ask yourself “Do I really want to take on this much risk collectively with THESE other people…”

    I guess what I’m saying is that I agree with you, the population is going to continue to increase and so that will dictate that there needs to be more housing, infrastructure, places of business and recreation constructed. And you’re right SOMEONE has to design that stuff. The people who will be in a position to do that work are the people who are committed to sticking with this profession through the tough times.

    It was eye-opening and encouraging to me to learn about Michael Van Valkenburgh’s early career experiences in an OP-ED he wrote in the MAY ’09 issue of LAM.

    Stick it out folks, even if you do have to “practice” on someone’s backyard. Many of my friends who have been laid-off are doing just that, residential design-build just so they can stay in the game. These are the people who will be in a position to capitalize on the opportunities that a recovering economy will bring.



    I just wanted to add an update that I will be going back to the basics for a short time this summer. Fresh out of school it seems I’ve forgotten why I got into LA in the first place. There isn’t much work out there just yet, and frankly I’m not really quite ready to commit to office work just yet. I think the last push of senior studios and associated stresses that seem to go hand in hand with office life burned me out a little bit. So, I’ll be planting trees and shoveling rock for a short stint this summer.

    In the meantime, I’m rock climbing, biking, camping, and bc skiing and having a blast. When I’ve fed my soul a bit, I’ll pursue office work once more.

    I hope that along with the opportunity to brush up on software skills and networking, the jobless are out getting inspired when they can. I think this profession could use that healthy dose of inspiration, ambition, and vigor.

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