Peter Eisenman on unpaid internships

Snarky
Wiktionary - Snarky

In response to the deleted post here at Eikongraphia about the working conditions as an unpaid intern at SANAA, Matthew Allen has send me the following conversation between Peter Eisenman and Jeffrey Kipnis. It’s the fourth of December 2007, GSD Harvard:

Audience: ”I would really appreciate it if you could give us your perspective on the employment of unpaid interns.”

Peter Eisenman: “I think that I want to answer the question clearly because, first of all, it’s a practice that occurs in journalism, it occurs in art, it occurs in film, et cetera. I know more people that are unpaid interns, that want to get experience. First of all, we are not allowed to pay people without work permits and most of our unpaid interns are in fact foreign workers, and the way you get into our office, is - an internship is three months, you can’t do anything for three months anyway - and then we usually hire those people who survive, et cetera, and pay them, and get them working papers, and get them into graduate school, and give them seminars, et cetera. So, I don’t want to even deign to even give that question - because it was meant in a kind of snarky way.”

Jeffrey Kipnis: “No it was not!”

Peter Eisenman: “It was! It was meant snarkily.”

Jeffrey Kipnis: “I don’t think it was.”

Peter Eisenman: “I want to respond to it and say: thank god for people who are unpaid
interns. When I started in architecture, I was an unpaid intern. I think the practice is fabulous. People who move up in the world all start as unpaid inters. Thank you.”

Jeffrey Kipnis, pointing to Jacques Herzog: “They don’t have any unpaid interns.”

Peter Eisenman: “No. They only pay people.”


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