The book Backstage. L’architettura come lavoro concreto has the objective to analyze what means being an architect today and what are the challenges that new practitioners face. My chapter, entitled “La professione dell’architettura tra lavoro dipendente e libera professione”, deals with the dilemma of self-employment and what it implies for workers.

Statistical data about practitioners shows how in Italy architects are increasingly exposed to economic insecurity, given to the contraction of housing market and the steady increase in the number of students. Part of the growth has been determined by the progressive feminization of the professions: as it usually occurs, women are usually segregated in the most vulnerable working positions. The analysis of interviews collected in 2010 also shows as associations and organizations among practitioners might constitute a protection against the shortcomings that derive from being a freelance in the context of the financial crisis.