This contribution by Lucia Dossin is part of the special issue of the Pervasive Labour Union zine on the Entreprecariat. Read it here and download it for free as PDF or EPUB.
This is the story of a creative worker who needs to find a way to supplement his income. Ricardo is an architect. Some years ago, he and his friend Marcelo –with whom he studied– set up a studio (these names are fictional). Recently, he found himself embedded in a fundamental inversion of his work-life routine: in order to be able to pay the bills, he moved into the studio and rented his home via AirBnb. The perversion of the logic in his story doesn’t only revolve around the precarious condition of the creative worker, but is topped with a layer of bitter-sweet irony made of a mix of the ‘work from home’ model and something of the self-gentrification attitude that reminds me of the horror movie Get Out. I found his gesture quite interesting and was curious to hear some of his considerations about his profession. This text was meant to be a conversation – but he never replied to my email.
Left without the possibility of discussing with him, I believe it still makes sense to write about the inversion in which he got himself involved – even if only through the incompleteness of my own perspective, which is through the questions I intended to ask him. Hopefully you will consider them valuable for understanding the circumstances under which ‘creatives’ currently have to live and work – as much as I do.
1. Do you identify yourself as an architect in the AirBnb ad of your own house?
2. Do you think that the owner’s profession can influence the image (and price) of the space being rented? (Would the house of an architect or a designer be more palatable than the one of, say, a doctor?)
3. Have you changed anything in your home in order to make it more attractive to potential clients? (If so, what?)
4. Have you changed anything in your home in order to preserve your privacy? (‘Yes’, ‘no’or ‘maybe’ is enough.)
5. How would you describe your AirBnb clients? And your architecture clients? (Would you call both ‘clients’, in the first place?)
6. Do you consider yourself a professional or an amateur?
7. Do you think that your clients see you as a professional or as an amateur?
8. Which of the two businesses you run were you thinking of when you replied?
9. Is money a necessary element in a work relationship? Can it be traded with emotional satisfaction? If so, on what exchange rate?
10. And conversely: can emotional satisfaction be substituted with money?
11. Does market competition play any role in this relationship between money and emotional satisfaction? (If so, which?)
12. How do you see the role of schools in approaching the exercise of a creative profession?
13. As I mentioned in my email, there is no budget available for this interview. But you can publish a promotional link to your business. Which one will it be?
Also published on Medium.