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:
When you’re talking about a total of 151 million Americans, it’s tricky to make sweeping but accurate generalizations. And yet, that’s how many Americans fit into just two widely-recognized demographic groups: Baby Boomers, the 75 million people born between 1946 and 1964 and Millennials, the 76 million who came along between 1981 and 1997. Just as we can tell an LP record from an iPod, we’ve likely recognized common differences between Boomers and Millennials: How they typically work, communicate, balance job tasks and personal life, and what they expect for mentoring and promotions.
How can Boomers and Millennials work together without driving each other nuts? We recently turned to two New York architects to discuss their experience, proposed solutions, and general observations. This discussion resonates far beyond the design industry as it is applicable to the workforce of today and has implications for the workplace of tomorrow.
The architecture profession is in a perpetual debate concerning the myriad issues that impact how we practice and how that work can and should impact the world around us. As the chair of the AIA’s Young Architects Forum, I am keenly aware of the problems facing the next generation of practice leaders: inefficient practice models that lead to overworked, underpaid, and highly unsatisfied staff. We hear repeatedly that a seismic shift in the way firms operate is necessary to successfully move the profession forward and retain talent.
In October, the AIA held their first ever Practice Innovation Lab, looking to develop new practice models to raise the value of architects and the services that they provide to their clients with the goal of sparking a new debate that could challenge the status quo in firm management.Ten teams of six were formed with the intent of creating 10 new innovative practice models which would be pitched, “Shark Tank” style, after a daylong hackathon. Attendees then voted on the best practice model for the People’s Choice Award. Among the 10 pitches, there were five major themes to come out of the Practice Innovation Lab, which are discussed in more detail below:
Even with tech like virtual reality, augmented reality, 3D printing, computational design and robotics already reshaping architecture practice, the design community is just scratching the surface of the potential of new technologies. Designers who recognize this and invest in building skills and expertise to maximize the use of these tools in the future will inherently become better architects, and position themselves for entirely new career paths as our profession evolves. It is a uniquely exciting moment for architecture to advance through innovative use of technology. Even just a decade ago, designers with interests in both architecture and technology were essentially required to pursue one or the other. Now, with architecture beginning to harness the power of cutting-edge technologies, these fields are no longer mutually exclusive. Rather than choose a preferred path, today’s architects are encouraged to embrace technology to become sought-out talent.
One of the rising conversations in the architecture world in recent years has been the issue of architects' salaries. But how much are you worth? When is it time to ask for that much-needed raise? Two key elements to successful salary negotiation are timing and asking for the right reasons.
First, what do you deserve? Raises are earned, but there is a certain amount of money you deserve. For US salary data, check the AIA Compensation Report, which is updated annually. If you live internationally, see if you can find a similar resource for your country or city. Unless you are performing below average (coming in late, not being productive, or worse, setting back the office’s productivity), you shouldn’t be making a below-average salary.
Once you have an equitable starting salary, how can you tell if you’ve earned a raise from there? You may have earned a raise if...
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.
https://www.archdaily.com/882377/the-6-best-european-cities-to-start-your-architecture-businessLidija Grozdanic for Archipreneur.com
Ah, clients. Sadly, we can't all be paper architects, dreaming up improbable futures (and even the members of Archigram eventually settled down to found studios that actually build stuff). As a result, we're forced to work with people who often think that just because they're paying for our services, they own us like slaves. They come in many different varieties, from the client that thinks that everything is an emergency to the client that obsesses over the design budget. The following infographic produced by "startup studio and accelerator" Coplex will help you diagnose your own clients—and more importantly, offers some tips on how best to deal with them to make your life easier.
https://www.archdaily.com/876803/15-clients-you-will-encounter-as-an-architect-and-how-to-deal-with-themAD Editorial Team
Charles Thornton, one of the world’s preeminent structural engineers, once said that the greatest challenge facing the profession of structural engineering is that “I don’t think we have enough self-esteem and enough confidence in ourselves to believe that what we do is so important... Architects are trained to present, to communicate, to sell, to promote themselves, to promote their industry, and to take credit for what they do.”
As a structural engineer with over a decade of experience, I agree with Mr. Thornton—to an extent.
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:
https://www.archdaily.com/871581/important-lessons-learned-in-25-years-of-architecture-practiceCraig Applegath for Archipreneur.com
Architects are economically bipolar; for us it is either the best or the worst of times. And it’s not just architects. The entire construction industry is tuned to these extremes, but only architects are psychologically validated by booms and crushed by busts. All professions have a larger source of dependency—medicine needs insurance, law needs the justice system—but the construction industry has a starker equation: building requires capital.
Contractors tend to react to market flows in purely transactional ways. Booms mean more work, more workers, more estimates, business expansion. For architects, a boom means life validation. Every architect wants to make a difference, and many want to offer salvation, like the architect Richard Rogers, who once said, “My passion and great enjoyment for architecture, and the reason the older I get the more I enjoy it is because I believe we—architects—can affect the quality of life of the people.” But salvation can only be earned if buildings are created.
When I joined BIG–Bjarke Ingels Group in 2008, we had one office, one partner, and 45 employees. Eight years later we have 12 partners and more than 400 employees in Copenhagen, New York, and London. As we continue to expand our reach, projects, and staff I have awarded myself the luxury of looking back and distilling what has made a difference so far. These are my top eight lessons for having secured the successful growth of BIG over the past eight years.
This is the inaugural column “Practice Values,” a new bi-monthly series by architect and technologist Phil Bernstein. The column will focus on the evolving role of the architect at the intersection of design and construction, including subjects such as alternative delivery systems and value generation. Bernstein was formerly vice president at Autodesk and now teaches at the Yale School of Architecture.
This semester, I’m teaching a course called “Exploring New Value Propositions for Practice” that’s based on the premise that the changing role of architects in the building industry requires us to think critically about our value as designers in that system. After studying the structure and dynamics of practice business models, the supply chain, and other examples of innovative design enterprises, they’ll be asked to create a business plan for a “next generation” architectural practice. I’m agnostic as to what this practice does per se, as long as it operates somewhere in the constellation of things that architects can do, but there is one constraint—your proposed firm can’t be paid fixed or hourly rate fees. It has to create value (and profit) through some other strategy.
The ShiftxDesign Conference at Harvard, this February 19th, is an annual exploration of all things design. Launched in 2012, the conference is a collaborative effort between student groups at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, Harvard Business School, and Harvard College - and the only cross-school event of its kind. The event brings together creative thinkers, design luminaries, experts from a variety of backgrounds, and students to engage in and reinterpret the design process.
Architecture salary. Perhaps one of the most talked about and passionately debated topics in the design community. I receive more emails on this subject than almost anything else.
Previously, in 5 Factors Affecting Your Architecture Salary, I covered several variables that contribute to your income. However, for this article I want to highlight the areas that will produce the best return on your investment of time and money.
While earning six figures doesn't mean what it used to, it is still a very admirable (and achievable) goal. So how do you go about reaching this significant architecture salary milestone? Let's discuss.
“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 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.
https://www.archdaily.com/799876/freelancing-as-an-architect-the-pros-the-cons-and-tips-for-successLidija Grozdanic for Archipreneur.com
Starting an architecture firm may sprout from one’s love for and interest in the discipline, but running a competitive business requires more than just a tendency to enjoy the work. BIM could be the edge a firm needs in order to stand out from the crowd. There are many ways a firm can make use of BIM to become more profitable on their projects and successful in winning those projects in the first place; read on to find out more about six of them.
https://www.archdaily.com/799864/6-ways-bim-can-make-your-architecture-firm-more-competitiveAD Editorial Team
Completing a degree in architecture can be a long and arduous process, but also wonderfully rewarding. Despite this, many freshly graduated architects find themselves unsure about where to begin, or deciding that they actually don’t want to be architects at all. Here is a list of 21 careers you can pursue with a degree in architecture, which may help some overcome the daunting task of beginning to think about and plan for the professional life that awaits.