Credit: William Anthony
Intellect Over Income
Name: Mark Pasnik
Title: Principal, over,under
Annual Salary: Except for teaching, none so far. "Our accountant tells us we should plan a target salary for principals at approximately $90,000 ... For the moment, we are not there."
If architects are either idea people or tectonic people, Mark Pasnik falls into the former camp. In addition to a 10- year stint at Boston's Machado and Silvetti Associates writing proposals, making presentations, and generally helping out with “the intellectual ends of the office,” as Pasnik puts it, he also published three books, taught, and was on the editorial staff of Assemblage. “I've done all these things that interested me personally but were on the periphery of practicing architecture,” says Pasnik, who received a B.Arch. from Cornell in 1994 and a Master in Design Studies from Harvard in 1995.
Pasnik's decision to leave Machado and Silvetti (where his salary was in the mid-50s) in 2004 and found the multidisciplinary Boston firm over,under with three coworkers suggests he's still following his bliss. (He and coprincipal Chris Grimley have also established a design-focused gallery, Pink Comma, as an “extra component” to over,under.) In 2007, over,under's first year of real practice, half of the firm's billings came from graphic identity work. None of the principals is a licensed architect, but that will change soon: Pasnik is pursuing his license because the Wentworth Institute of Technology, where he teaches, requires it for professors to achieve the equivalent of tenure. But it will also mean that over,under can go after planning and building work stateside.