Snøhetta Workers Say They Want a Union

Clio Chang


May 9, 2023


“SHoP’s campaign ultimately failed, ending just a month after it went public. A group of associate principals at SHoP circulated a petition against the vote and painted a picture of financial blowback with one telling Curbed, “Clients threaten to stop working with us if we unionize.” In the end, “fear of the unknown along with misinformation” overpowered the drive, organizers said. (A SHoP spokesperson told Curbed at the time, “Any allegations of bad-faith campaigning are unfounded.”) Still, the effort at SHoP motivated organizers at Snøhetta. Araceli Lopez, an early-career designer at Snøhetta, says it “made people like me, who were very fearful of going into an industry that might not be interested in change, very hopeful.” There is momentum in the industry, says David DiMaria, an organizer with the machinist union. The union is currently in talks with workers from nearly a dozen different firms who have reached out about unionizing, he says. Within a year of SHoP’s drive, employees at Bernheimer Architecture, a small (22-person) Brooklyn-based firm, successfully became the first to unionize. “It’s just an idea whose time has come,” DiMaria says.”