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How to get ahead in architecture, and in Portugal

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Architects were advised on how to get work at two conferences held last Thursday at the riba: one on work opportunities in Portugal, and the other on lottery funding for arts projects.

With some £14 billion of eu money to spend between 1994 and 1999, and with Expo 98 looming, Portugal has a fast-growing economy and, better still, is adopting English as a second language. riba-registered architects do not need to sit additional exams to register with the aap (Association of the Architects of Portugal), although they are strongly advised to collaborate with a local architect.

Portuguese business is heavily reliant on networking - Greg Craig from epr, architect of the Expo 98 administration building, revealed that the practice's success in Portugal stemmed from the fact that a colleague 'met and fell in love with a Portuguese girl, and had to justify the plane fares'.

At the conference on lottery funding, architects were advised by Geoffrey Marsh of the Imperial War Museum to produce concise feasibility studies, on the grounds that 'every detail gives the lottery assessors a reason for slowing down or objecting to it', and to distinguish between feasibility studies and bidding documents.

'The feasibility study should be about whether you need a building at all - you might say that's about losing architects' jobs, but I think it's about getting more interesting buildings,' said Marsh.

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