Sara Kolata

Sara Kolata is an architect and a digital transformation expert. Her mission is to raise the financial well-being of architects. She is a host of an Arch Talk: Tank show which serves as a platform for industry specialists to talk about business, marketing, and profitability in Architecture


The Crypto-Future of Architecture: an Interview with Krista Kim

In preparation for the Disrupt Symposium, as the conference launch planned for the 1st of May approaches I sat down with Krista Kim a contemporary artist and founder of the Techism movement, whose work explores the concept of digital consciousness. Her interest in digital technology and it’s revolutionary effects on human perception, media, social structures, and communication have led her to work in both digital and physical realms.

Build a Resilient Firm by Identifying Opportunities of Remote Collaboration

All businesses, large or small, have faced unprecedented challenges in the last couple of years – but one of the positive outcomes of the global pandemic is the notion that work can be done wherever you are in the world. And while work has changed, expectations have not. Teams need to work with the same speed, efficiency and security as when they were all within the same four walls. It’s now up to IT to rise to this challenge with the right solutions to meet the new demands of the hybrid workforce. Remote working – and remote collaboration – is here to stay. 

Knowledge as a Disrupter in the Networked Practice of UNStudio

After the first years of launching their architectural practice, Ben van Berkel and Caroline Bos renamed their practice to UNStudio. Short for United Network Studio, the change of name stands symbolic to the knowledge based, networked nature of the firm, which has grown to expand to 6 offices worldwide today.

Business Development at Snøhetta: An Inside Look

Snøhetta was founded on the United Nations 1987 Brundtland Commission’s three main pillars of sustainable development: economic growth, environmental protection, and social equality. Their highly value and purpose-driven operations has since then expanded to 330 employees in 7 studios all over the world, from hometown Oslo to Adelaide, HongKong, Paris and Innsbrück, as well as their sister studios in New York and San Fransisco.

Perkins&Will: Research and Innovation at the Forefront of a New Business Opportunity

As the second-largest architecture firm in the world, Perkins&Will, has a responsibility to put people at the center of their design practice as they impact millions of hours of human experience. The focus on sustainability, health and justice are a shared goal for design professionals.  

7 Rare Digital Marketing Tips to Attract the Right Talent to your AEC Firm

Recruitment and talent retention is the number one most challenging issue for architecture firms, so in order to attract good talent that doesn't only fit your brand but also elevates it overtime, you have to invest in marketing efforts, sometimes thinking out of the box.

Strategic Planning and Purpose Driven Leadership in the AEC Industry

What is the purpose of strategic planning? Why should we care as practice owners and what is the function of this effort? Perhaps we can begin to answer this question by defining strategy. Put simply, strategy is a set of goal-directed actions a company can take to gain and sustain a competitive advantage. A competitive advantage, however, is always relative. It defines the best way for a firm to create value for its internal and external stakeholders. Relativity is important. In the practice, profession, and business of Architecture, there are no absolute advantages. To paraphrase Simon Sinek: “Business is an infinite game in which the competitive landscape is always in flux.”

The Metaverse as Opportunity for Architects: An Interview with Patrik Schumacher

As the world of Architecture finds itself on the edge over the recent Metaverse and NFT hype, Zaha Hadid Architects is at the forefront of innovation showing us exactly how to utilize Web 3 and its socio-economic opportunities for architects, globally.

The topic has become especially relevant at the beginning of this year, with more and more platforms publishing about it. All the recent hype forces us to evaluate our role as architects and whether or not we want to consider servicing the digital realm.

The Architecture of Business: Curating an Inclusive Practice Workplace

After my recent interview with Gensler’s Director Harry Ibbs on Leveraging Technological Advancements to Bring Workers Back to Office I decided to cover the topic of a post-covid practice workplace culture from a completely different angle. In search of a more intimate approach, I looked into AL_A, a RIBA 2009 Stirling Prize-winning studio founded by Amanda Levete with directors Ho-Yin Ng, Alice Dietsch and Maximiliano Arrocet. The diversity of the leadership team and their 30+ person workforce brings a richness of thinking and possibility that’s played out in their culture, practice and through their designs.

How to Best Manage Your Architecture Firm’s Finances?

Well managed firm finances can be a raise to glory but if you fail at keeping them under control they quickly turn into a silent assassin. Why? Because, since as architects we don’t get much business education in school one of the common downfalls prove to be mismanaged finances.

Metaverse vs. Sustainability: How can the Metaverse Help us Deliver Better Designs?

With the recent Metaverse hype, let's address the elephant in the room! As more and more people dance around the subject of weather or not it is harmful for sustainably-conscious architecture designers to utilize the Metaverse, I decided to interview Oliver Lowrie, a Director at Ackroyd Lowrie, an award-winning London-based architecture practice dedicated to building the cities of the future, who is already using this technology to enhance Ackroyd Lowrie’s low-energy designs.

If as an Architect You Don´t Know About Business, You Are Out

Architecture education was never designed to prepare you for the entrepreneurial side of running a practice. In the minds of the creators that constructed the system which stands for what you now know to be the path to getting licensed, you were never meant to start a business in architecture prematurely. There is a code, a set of rules that drives you to obey and follow a one-sided vision of success. 

Leveraging Technological Advancements to Bring Workers Back to Office

Office repositioning is one of the biggest struggles global businesses face today. This stands true for both: architecture businesses and the clients you’re servicing with your design solutions. In the last 18 months there have been enormous transformations within the AEC industry and arguably across most industries, many of which have influenced and shaped business decisions made during the pandemic. You could say the pandemic has only sought to accelerate some of the transformation we had started to see. The biggest and most notable is in the area of communication and connectivity. Staying connected and providing employees with the tools and platforms they need to collaborate, innovate and stay productive has been at the forefront for all companies.

Compact Bigness: How Safdie Architects Realize Megaprojects Without a Mega Office

Safdie Architects is a research-oriented architecture and urban design studio active in a wide variety of project types, scales, and sectors. Safdie Architects’ global practice is directed from its headquarters in Boston, Massachusetts, with satellite offices in Jerusalem, Shanghai, and Singapore. Projects are designed, managed, and executed by a global team that hovers around 65 people! The practice is organized as a partnership and operates in the model of an intimate design studio environment. The firm's partners – many of whom joined Safdie shortly after graduation – have been working together for decades.

Competition, Procurement and Bid Strategies for Architects

Architecture is, by vocation, a subjective matter where typically commission decisions are made on design style and ethos. There is rarely a wrong or right solution. Therefore it is important to have a strong understanding of your company values before submitting for projects. At Simone de Gale Architects, work is won through a number of procurement routes and offering a range of services for potential clients. I interviewed Simone to find out more about her client acquisition efforts and business development, as he runs a smaller but very successful practice in one of the most desirable parts of London- Belgravia. Simone will also speak about this particular topic at Disrupt Symposium taking place this spring 1-5th May 19:00 CET virtually. You can purchase your early bird tickets by visiting the event website

So You Want To Be Successful As An Architect?

What is success to you might be different to how the architecture industry views success.

One thing is certain: Everyone wants and deserves more. And to have more, you have to learn how.

I am not here to discuss philosophical concepts behind our drive as architects to be better or have more. I am here to promote a better life for architects. More recognition, more clients, more awards, more money.

Maybe you are happy where you are, maybe you struggle, but either way all of us could benefit from knowing what to do to improve the state of our careers.