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Archipreneur: The Latest Architecture and News

Interior Design and 3D Printing: Giving Unique Forms to Functional Spaces

This article was originally published by Archipreneur as "3D Printing is Making Its Way into Interior Design."

3D printing – also known as additive manufacturing – turns digital 3D models into solid objects by building them up in layers. The technology was first invented in the 1980s and has since found its way into our everyday life – and in architecture and interior design. Architecture firm DUS has a vast expertise in architectural 3D printing and is now applying its expertise to interiors and retail spaces.

“3D printing is an ideal technique to tailor-produce to a space or a brand,” says Inara Nevskaya, head designer at DUS. “We can link a furniture’s functionality with unique form features to create statement pieces, special focal points that frame new experiences for the consumer in the retail landscape.”

How To Invest in Your Online Presence to Help Grow Your Design Business

We live in a world that spends more time online than outside. And as architects and designers, we invest in creating a more engaging world by means of enhancing life through our buildings. However, through a perhaps unique form of tunnel vision, we are missing an incredible opportunity to leverage alternative mediums to impact more people through our design businesses.

Here are 5 ways to utilize your creativity to produce unique content that will help enhance your impact on the world of design, and in turn, push you and your design business forward:

Laser-Cut Mini Architecture Masterworks As Wall Hooks

Indian design and fabrication studio, MuseLAB creates customized furniture and products. Their 2017 creations include to-scale miniature architectural wall hooks. These functional household items were inspired by the works of Oscar Niemeyer, Le Corbusier, Charles Correa, Michael Graves, and others.

How Drones Can Be Used in Architecture (And How To Use Them Without Breaking the Law)

This article was originally published by Archipreneur as "How Drones Can Be Used in Architecture."

Small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), commonly called drones, are gaining in popularity not only among the general public and consumers, but also among professionals working in the AEC industry. We’ve seen ambitious predictions for the use of drones on construction sites, as transportation vehicles and marketing tools.

While this new technology, like 3D printing and robotic fabrication in general, promises to revolutionize the architectural profession, it is useful to know to what extent its practical application can affect the way archipreneurs work. It seems that, for now, drones have great potentials when it comes to several aspects of the profession.

5 Very Different Ways to Finance the Construction of Tiny Houses

This article originally appeared on Archipreneur as "5 Amazing Tiny Houses and Their Financing Models."

The tiny house movement is taking the housing market by storm, with small homes appearing all over rural and urban areas across the world. They are an affordable and eco-conscious solution to the narrowing housing supply and can offer mobility to an increasing population of young professionals. Tiny houses come in many forms and sizes—from micro-apartments and office spaces, to cabins on wheels and trailers. Similarly, the financing models vary, depending on function, local building codes, size requirements and whether they’re made as commercial products or private housing solutions.

The best option is to design and build the house yourself, using savings instead of worrying about interest rates and debt. Some tiny house manufacturers offer in-house payment solutions to their customers. Other options are RV loans, peer-to-peer lending and crowdfunding. We assembled a list of 5 beautiful tiny houses built for different purposes.

Which Countries Pay the Highest Salaries for Architects?

This article was originally published by Archipreneur as "Architect Salaries by Country: Where Do Architects Earn the Highest Salaries."

While the amount of information about architect salaries in specific countries and cities is abundant, there are many discrepancies between different sourced when it comes to country-to-country comparisons. Having a global overview of architect salaries is also tricky to get because of the many variables that go into the equation. You need to take into consideration the position, experience, size of firm, location, not to mention the relationship between earnings and living costs and various tax, insurance and legal differences among different countries.

The 6 Best European Cities to Start an Architecture Business

This article was originally published by Archpreneur as "Booming Cities: 6 European Startup Hubs for Architects."

Starting a company can be extremely stressful. Fresh graduates, freelancers and directly employed architects looking to create startups face various initial obstacles and need to have a clear view of the operating model for their businesses. They have to choose where to cut costs, which can relate to choice of location, office space and limited living expenses.

Following the guidelines of The Lean Startup method—popularized by author and entrepreneur Eric Ries—can be very beneficial for the early phase of a company’s development. This can mean focusing on budget-friendly setups, and creating businesses on the idea of developing products and productizing design services. Being part of an entrepreneurial community can also influence the way owners grow their businesses, as it provides opportunities to establish valuable contacts and partnerships.

We have compiled a list of 6 startup hubs in Europe, which includes established centers for entrepreneurship as well as cities emerging as exciting new places for experimentation at the intersection of digital technology and architecture.

The Top 5 Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Apps for Architects

This article was originally published by Archipreneur.

Virtual reality and augmented reality tools for the AEC industry are getting increasingly better and more optimized. As prices keep dropping, there are fewer reasons why every architect, engineer, contractor, and owner shouldn’t use some form of VR/AR in bringing their projects to life.

From being a novelty a few years ago, VR/AR solutions are slowly becoming a medium that’s transforming the way professionals in the AEC industry communicate, create and experience content. Offering a more immersive experience of architectural designs, but also products and areas related to space building, VR and AR tools are becoming an industry standard that offers rapid iterations and opportunity to refine designs in collaboration with clients and colleagues.

Important Lessons Learned in 25 Years of Architecture Practice

This article was originally published by Archipreneur as "The 10 Most Important Lessons Learned in 25 Years of Architecture Practice."

The article is an expansion on one part of Archipreneur's interview with Craig Applegath, Founding Principal of DIALOG’s Toronto Studio. The architect spoke from his experience of running a 150-person practice and listed 10 tips for archipreneurs interested in starting their own business. Archipreneur shares that list here.

When I first started my own practice I thought everyone wanted to run their own practice. It turns out not. Most people just want to work in a great practice run by someone else. But for those who are real archipreneurs – and you know who you are – there is nothing so thrilling and fun as starting your own business; and nothing so scary and anxiety producing as starting your own business! They are the flip side of the same coin. But in terms of general advice for people starting their own practice or business here are ten key lessons I have learned over the past twenty-five years of practice:

5 Architects Who Turned to Selling Products, Not Architecture

This article was originally published by Archipreneur as "Turning Ideas into Products: 5 Architects who Successfully Sell their Designs."

The emergence of interconnectivity, smart and sensor-driven designs, home automation, clean energy, shared knowledge, and efficient software have created numerous opportunities for those looking to build their businesses around products. This includes architects who, by design, have a large skill set that allows them to engage with a wide variety of business models.

The idea of automating or productizing architectural design services is a contentious one and it trickles down to the very definition of architecture. But when it comes to the business aspect of the profession, it becomes clear that many among today’s most renowned architects owe their success to the idea of productizing their services.

10 Apps That Can Help You Be More Productive and Make Better Architecture

10 Apps That Can Help You Be More Productive and Make Better Architecture - Featured Image

This article was originally published by Archipreneur as "Top 10 Apps to Help You Achieve Your Goals and Build New Habits."

With the daily distractions of Facebook, emails and calls, it can become difficult to keep your eye on the ball. This is why having an app that tracks habits and helps you stay organized can make a huge impact on your professional and personal success.

There are numerous digital tools dedicated to optimizing workflow, communication and time management, helping business owners and freelancers realize their full potential. This can also apply to goal setting. Goals are closely connected to our daily habits. Whether you’re looking to start a new project, learn to use a new tool or launch a product, your habits will play a crucial role in moving things forward. This is why we have compiled a list of great apps and tools that will help you keep track of your work dynamic and make good habits while breaking bad ones.

Giveaway: 10 Free Copies of "The Archipreneur Concept" Book

“The Archipreneur Concept” is an action-oriented guide about exploring new business models for entrepreneurially minded architects. You have the chance to win 1 out of 10 copies the Archipreneur Team is giving away for free this week.

Freelancing as an Architect: The Pros, The Cons, and Tips for Success

This article was originally published by Archipreneur as "The Pros and Cons of Starting out as a Freelance Architect."

Freelancing can be a great option for architects looking for more autonomy and freedom in their work. Although there are drawbacks to this kind of work, there are specific strategies that you can use to overcome the challenges and uncertainties of going solo.

It is easy to look down on freelancing. Those who are employed by a traditional company or firm see freelancing as an inferior work model that automatically implies less financial security and suggests to employers a loose definition of responsibility. People often imagine freelancers as slumming it in their pajamas doing just a few hours of work per day, or as Jacks-of-all-trades, overworked and constantly chasing new commissions. While data from recent studies and surveys show that freelancers do indeed work fewer hours than those in traditional employment, the rising number of freelancers proves that this trend is not waning. In fact, according to recent reports, increasing numbers of US and European workers are choosing to go freelance.

These Are the World's Most Innovative Architecture Firms

This article was originally published by Archipreneur as "5 of the Most Innovative Architecture Firms."

The AEC industry is notoriously slow to adopt new technologies. Cumbersome organizational structures and high financial stakes make it difficult for AEC professionals to experiment. Due to the limited role of architects in the project development process, innovative design solutions and experimentation with new manufacturing techniques are still confined to academic circles and research institutions.

However, some architecture firms are utilizing their high profiles, international success and the influx of talented, young designers to establish in-house research divisions and incubators that support the development of new ideas in the AEC industry. The following five companies are consistent in pushing the envelope and helping architecture adopt some of the latest technologies:

Architects As Developers: The Pros & Cons

This article was originally published by Archipreneur as "Reasons Why Architects Can Make Great Developers (or not?)."

Today, a majority of architects work solely on the design end of the development process. It is common knowledge that the net value of architectural services in a projects’ total value amounts to a very small percentage (it’s usually in single digits), which puts architects near the bottom of the financial structure in the AEC industry.

Stuck between developers, clients, contractors, and subcontractors, architects are usually in a role that implies great responsibility but proportionally low compensation for it. When we add to that the grievance of not having full control of a project, it becomes clear as to why an increasing number of architects either transition to real estate development or transform their design offices into design-builds.

Though still in its infancy, this transition seems indicative of an emancipatory trend that’s taking place, where architects take matters into their own hands and thus claim their rightful position within the industry.

Architecture Marketing 101: How Basic Concepts Can Help Your Practice

This article was originally published by Archipreneur as "How to Grow Your Architecture Firm Through Marketing."

Marketing is not simply an expense reserved for already established architecture firms. Small businesses in particular can benefit from a smart marketing strategy by aligning their operations with some of marketing’s most basic premises and concepts.

Architects in general have a tendency to underestimate the importance of marketing in creating and running a successful business. Even those who claim to understand the role of marketing in acquiring clients and building relationships often fail to fully utilize its potential. Principals of small architecture firms often get caught up in trying to keep their practices afloat and end up treating marketing as a luxury that they will be able to afford once they achieve stability--thus missing the true role of marketing as being a catalyst for growth. Architects need to apply marketing to their practices from the onset and treat it with the same amount of dedication as they do with their floor plans, sections and 3D models of their building designs.

"The Archipreneur Concept": 3 Obstacles to Avoid on Your Way to Becoming an Architect-Entrepreneur

In The Archipreneur Concept, architect Tobias Maescher explores new business models that architect-entrepreneurs are using to build game-changing, novel enterprises that are enriching the field of architecture. The fundamentals of how to break away from the convention of trading time for profit, create additional income streams to help sustain your practice when times are tough, and build your own projects are explored through real-world examples and actionable techniques. The book is a comprehensive guide to new business models for architects interested in practicing their craft in an entrepreneurial way, with each business model complemented with case studies of exciting new firms and individuals that run their businesses with scalability and efficiency in mind.

You will discover how to avoid common traps in passive income models, and how to take advantage of productizing architectural services through automation, building products, developing your own projects through co-housing initiatives, taking the lead in design builds, contributing to projects on tactical urbanism, and marketing your firm effectively.

The following is an excerpt from the chapter "Archipreneurship as a Solution."

"The Archipreneur Concept": A Business Book That Brings Architecture Practice into the 21st Century

"The Archipreneur Concept": A Business Book That Brings Architecture Practice into the 21st Century  - Image 1 of 4
Selgas Cano's office in Madrid. Image © Iwan Baan

This review of "The Archipreneur Concept" by Tobias Maescher was originally published on Archsmarter as "The Archipreneur Concept: A Review."

When I started my business almost four years ago, I read every business book I could get my hands on. Apart from a paper route in grade school, I didn’t have a business background. I hadn’t even taken any business classes in college. But after seeing many hardworking colleagues get laid off during the 2009 recession, I realized I wanted to call my own shots and be my own boss.

Needless to say, I had some catching up to do.

So I went to the library and the book store and got a stack of books on marketing, sales, and business finance. You name it, I read it. The problem was that I couldn’t always put these books into a context that made sense to me. I didn’t want to run a Fortune 500 business. I didn’t have a marketing team. I didn’t even know if I wanted to hire employees. I just wanted work for myself and build something of my own.