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Archipreneur: The Latest Architecture and News

How Coworking and Coliving are Redefining Space as a Service

In this article originally published by Archipreneur as "Space as a Service: Business Models that Change How We Live and Work," Lidija Grozdanic looks into the recent proliferation of coworking services - as well as the new kid on the block, coliving - to discuss how the sharing economy is redefining physical space as a highly lucrative part of the service industry.

Some of the most innovative and profitable companies in the world base their business models on commercializing untapped resources. Facebook has relied on its users to generate content and data for years, and organizations are starting to realize the value of gathering, processing, storing and taking action on big data.

In the AEC industry, some companies are discovering the hidden potential of excess energy that is generated by buildings, while others are looking to utilize large roof surfaces of mega-malls and supermarkets for harvesting solar energy. Airbnb has turned underused living units into assets, and allows people to generate additional income by renting out their homes to travelers.

The traditional notions of "private" and "public" space are eroding under the influence of a sharing economy and technological advancement. Space is being recognized as a profitable commodity in itself.

Jakob Lange on Founding BIG Ideas and the Diverse Future of Architectural Practice

Jakob Lange | BIG. Image © Flemming Leitorp
Jakob Lange | BIG. Image © Flemming Leitorp

In an age when companies of all types are seeking diverse and creative ways to achieve their goals, the traditional model of architectural practice appears to be increasingly old-fashioned. Last year, one of the most dramatic changes in the make-up of architectural practice was the foundation of product design firm BIG Ideas, an off-shoot of Bjarke Ingels Group, which is tasked with solving problems that are usually outside the scope of an architect's work. In this interview, originally published by Archipreneur in their "Archipreneur Insights" series as "Making BIG Ideas Happen Through Design With Jakob Lange," the head of BIG Ideas speaks to Tobias Maescher about the foundation of this entrepreneurial company and the value of keeping such close connections between a product design company and its parent architecture firm.

Today’s interview is with Jakob Lange, Partner at BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group) and Head of the BIG Ideas project unit, which was established in 2014. With this unit, BIG is broadening the scope of their architectural practice to a wider field. Combining technology and product design, this remarkable incubator creates prototypes, products and new materials within the building industry.

The Friday Smart Lock, an electronic door lock that pairs with a user’s mobile device, is one great example of an innovative product the team at BIG have helped to produce. They have also utilized creative methods for financing their projects, including a recent Kickstarter campaign for the prototype of a steam ring generator at a BIG-designed power plant in Copenhagen.

We think it is fascinating that one of the world’s most innovative and successful architectural offices is moving into other fields of practice—a very archipreneurial move! However, this is just one of many ways that architects can apply their skillsets to future business innovations. Here are Jakob’s thoughts on architecture, design and product development.

9 Ways to Find More Business for Your Architecture Firm

Managing your own architecture firm is hard, and while pretty much every architect starts with a strong idea of the type of firm they want to be, without constant care it can be easy to get sucked into doing jobs you need to do to keep the lights turned on, rather than the jobs you wanted to do from the start. In this article, originally published by Archipreneur as "9 Creative Business Development Strategies For Architects and Designers," Sabrina Wirth explores the ways you can not only keep work coming in, but make sure it is the right type of work too.

Whether you’re a large architecture firm or a small, boutique design studio, everyone needs a plan for generating new business. The prospect of working on RFPs (Request For Proposals) and RFQs (Request For Qualifications) to win a place on the shortlist, however, is daunting and something very few people look forward to.

Fortunately, it’s not the only path to attracting new projects. In fact, the most effective business development strategies involve more time spent on proactive relationship-building (before the project is made public), and less time on responding to RFPs and RFQs, which are available to anyone.

Below are 9 strategies that can help you define a good business development approach to get you ahead of the competition and win more clients and projects:

9 Entrepreneurial Architects Who Developed Innovative Products and Services

Architects love innovation; they are usually on the lookout for the latest innovation in materials and products which they can incorporate into their inevitably innovative designs. And yet, there's one place where they rarely innovate: their own business. This article, originally posted on Archipreneur as "Branching Out: 9 Architects Who Created Innovative Products," explores the world of architects who are innovating in other ways.

For decades the architectural business model has remained unchanged. While other industries have taken cues from the increasingly popular start-up mentality seen in the technology sector, architects have stuck to the outmoded practice of trading time for dollars. In a competitive global economy, this model is highly susceptible to changes in the real estate market and has limited opportunities for growth. These realities have propelled some architecture graduates to consider alternative career paths in which their unique skillset offers them a competitive advantage.

In contrast to the current business model of most architecture firms, we’ve gathered nine examples of architects who have created innovative products and services. These endeavors offer numerous advantages when it comes to growing a business because unlike the consulting model, product creation is highly scalable and has the potential to provide a continuous passive income stream.