I was wondering if anyone on here has experience working in transportation design (e.g. rail, aviation).

I understand that this is mainly practised in large multidisciplinary AE companies (e.g. Atkins, Jacobs). I have also heard that the architect’s role in this kind of context usually revolves around technical coordination and production. If the project is noteworthy, then the firm teams up with a starchitect but very little design is executed in house. 

Is this all right? What is your experience with this sector?

The company culture seems appealing, in the sense that public sector projects don’t involve the intense pressure found at design-led offices, however I can’t help but wonder though how good these firms are in the early career years when it comes to gaining the right experience. 

For example, I know people who joined such firms in their late career stages, after first working in architecture first and developing as architects in a well-rounded manner. These people then transitioned in management roles in the said firms.

Provided that this is public sector work, can one safely assume that there is stability in recession times? I have heard that aviation in very stable (Covid era being an exception), however I have seen new stories about large companies making hundreds of people redundant in difficult times.

That being said, how does one transition back to traditional architecture after having worked at such a firm, doing for example transportation design? Or is this type of experience only marketable at firms doing such work, almost restricting you to a sector-specific career path?

I would love to hear all relevant opinions on this.


Feb 27, 21 8:58 am



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