Displaying episodes 1 - 30 of 56 in total

Dattner Architects: How To Build Firm Health And Vitality (w/ Kirsten Sibilia)

Midsize architecture firms face unique threats to their longevity compared to small and large firms. Mega firms seem poised to gobble them up, and it’s hard to compete with extra large firms that offer far more services. There’s also the issue of leadership transition. Many midsize firms that started off small and haven’t given enough thought to how they’ll evolve into the future with new leaders. Without a plan, there is no future. But all is not lost. In this Best Practice episode, Kirsten Sibilia, managing principal of Dattner Architects, discusses how midsize firms can do more than just survive. They can grow with health and vitality.

Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations: How To Manage A $20B Global Design Program (w/ Angel A. Dizon, III)

The idea of a $20 billion budget can make your head spin. But in the right hands, that kind of funding can accomplish a world of good. That’s exactly the mission of Angel Dizon, Managing Director of the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations. While the government may get a bad rap from time to time, there’s a steady revolution happening from within the OBO department. Angel joined us on Best Practice to explain how an embassy is so much more than just a building, how his team goes about solving complex problems, and why working in government leads to more opportunity than meets the eye.

SHoP Architects: How To Re-invent What Practice Is (w/ Gregg Pasquarelli)

You own your career trajectory. Whatever field you’re in, you have the power to make your work stand out, so clients take notice and want more. It takes a little daring and a strong stomach for risks (and the inevitable failure), says Gregg Pasquarelli, founding principal at SHoP architects. In this Best Practice interview, Gregg explains why as long as you pick yourself up and learn something from every project, you’ll keep advancing your business—and your industry—at the same time.

Moody Nolan: How To Design Sustainable Operations (w/ Allen Schaffer)

A growing number of firms are combining two major responsibilities into one role: chief operating officer and sustainability director. It’s a lot to juggle in a small firm, let alone a quickly growing one spread across multiple cities. But Allen Schaffer, COO and Director of Sustainability at Moody Nolan, has handled the two roles for almost two years now as they’ve expanded into new markets. In this Best Practice interview, Allen discusses the ways the two roles overlap and how they differ, how the firm is managing growth, and how success all comes down to having a plan and communicating.

Snohetta: Collective Intuition & Operations (w/ Elaine Molinar, Michelle Delk)

In the workplace, collaboration is the glue that holds a company together. But getting your employees to function as a cohesive unit is a unique challenge, especially in the design and architectural world. So how can you get a bunch of creative individuals to create solutions as a collective force? It begins with your workplace environment. In this Section Cut interview, Elaine Molinar, partner and managing director at Snøhetta, and Partner and Landscape Architect Michelle Delk share the importance of collaboration and how to encourage collective intuition in your business.

Rossmann Architecture Inc: Success Stories (w/ Shane Balcom)

Today’s business landscape calls for new and disruptive ways of doing things. You wouldn’t typically think of placing a software professional at the helm of an architecture firm. But that’s exactly what Rossmann Architecture did when they tapped Shane Balcom for the role of Managing Director. Thanks to new ways of operating from the ground up and the adoption of tech tools like Monograph, the team at Rossmann has grown from 14 employees to 33 in just one year.

Colloqate Design: Success Stories (w/ Bryan C. Lee Jr.)

When the focal point of your work is design justice, your processes look a bit different than the average design firm. For one thing, processes need to be simultaneously more efficient and also more unique. When you’re seeking diverse voices and shaping public spaces, steps like community outreach are complex and time-consuming, making efficiency key. At the same time, conducting radical thinking and seeking to overturn past injustices requires brand new modes of operation. Bryan C. Lee Jr. is the CEO and principal of Colloqate Design, a firm focused on shifting the power dynamics inherent in the built environment. In this Section Cut interview, he described the type of work Colloqate does, and why thinking about processes is so important.

HOPEWORKSDESIGN: The Value of Investing in Performance Marketing for Your Practice (w/ Hope Trory)

Does this sound familiar? You need to bring in more clients to your practice to increase your revenue, but you don’t know if the money and time you spend on marketing will bring the right results. That’s where performance marketing comes in. It’s a measurable, concrete way to drive new business to your practice. Performance marketing is a comprehensive term for marketing and advertising where you only pay when a certain action occurs. You set a budget and know exactly what you’ll get for that price. In this Section Cut interview, Hope Trory, founder of HOPEWORKSDESIGN, outlines the steps you need to take to build a performance marketing strategy and enjoy the benefits.

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM): Operationalizing Business Development (w/ Iben Falconer)

If you’re a doer-seller, you’re probably more comfortable “doing” than “selling.” Nobody goes to school to become an engineer, a designer, or an architect because they want to sell engineering, architecture, or design services. They want to do whatever their skill set is. But in today’s business world, doers need to become sellers—or at least active partners in the business development of the companies they work for. That’s what Iben Falconer has observed in her career. An architectural historian by training, she’s evolved into a marketing and business development leader, currently at SOM. In this Section Cut interview, Iben shares why you have to be organized, active, and focused about getting new work, and why everyone on the team has to play a role.

Lake|Flato Architects: How to Leverage Synergies at the Intersection of Sustainability, Design Technology and IT (w/ Scott Lelieur, Dan Stine)

If you want your business to run efficiently, you have to give your employees access to the proper tools and technology so they can get the job done. But it can be a challenge to find and implement the tools and tech that will best help your company achieve its goals. In this Section Cut interview, Scott Lelieur, director of operations at Lake Flato, and Director of Design Technology Daniel Stine, share how their company implements tools and technology to optimize their work at the intersection of sustainability and design technology.

Slack Technologies / Practice of Architecture: Building & Running a Hybrid Practice (w/ Evelyn Lee)

If your firm is considering going hybrid, it’s a much bigger decision than deciding how many hours per week you’ll ask staff to spend in the office. It also means overhauling processes that may have been in place for years or decades. Careful thought is needed, as is employee buy-in at every level. Evelyn Lee is the founder of Practice of Architecture and currently works at Slack. In this Section Cut interview, she shared the wisdom she’s gathered over the last 10 years as a workplace strategist, including where to focus your energy so you can innovate and thrive.

HKS Architects: JEDI in Practice (w/ Yiselle Santos)

With the surging demand for diversity in the workplace, many companies are scrambling to figure out how to increase—and manage—gender and ethnic diversity within their own firms. To help your people to work well together, you have to learn how to handle a diverse team of employees, which means focusing on four values: justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI). In this Section Cut interview, Yiselle Santos, VP and Director of Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at HSK, Inc., explains what a JEDI mindset looks like in the workplace and how to direct your company toward a more equitable future.

Charrette Venture Group: Financial Management Basics for Small Firms (w/ Rena M. Klein)

Financial management isn’t just standard accounting. It also involves looking at the big picture of your financial performance to make smart business decisions. When you understand what’s going on financially, you can improve and plan for the future. In order to get that understanding, you need to track your time and do some calculations. In this Section Cut interview, Rena Klein, Vice President for Investment Partnerships at Charrette Venture Group, explains why firms need to know things like their utilization rate, break-even rate, and billable ratio in order to understand and enhance their profitability.

KatalystDI: Organizing Work Towards Adaptive Organizations (w/ Libo Li)

The world is changing fast. In order for your practice to survive, you’ll have to change along with it. New technologies and new ways of communicating can be scary, but humans have always evolved and adapted by using new tools. During this Section Cut interview, Libo Li, CTO of KatalystDI, talked to us about how becoming an adaptive organization has to start from the firm culture, how better organization tools can lead to better design, and how experimentation and permission to fail is key to improving.

Talentstar: Marketing for Talent (w/ Marjanne Pearson, Linda Wallack)

Finding and hiring top talent is a challenge for any company, especially in today’s competitive hiring environment. To give your business the best shot at attracting and retaining great employees, you have to know how to market your business to job candidates. In this Section Cut interview, Talentstar’s founder Marjanne Pearson and Principal Connector Linda Wallack share how to attract potential hires by knowing who your brand is, what values you need your employees to share, and how to utilize every company resource.

Workshop/APD: Success Stories (w/ Thomas Julliard Zoli)

How can you finally say goodbye to an unwieldy spreadsheet system and streamline your operation from start to finish? At Workshop/APD, the team develops strategic and custom solutions at scale. When they doubled their team over the course of the pandemic, a smooth project management system became more important than ever. Thankfully, they already had their “secret weapon” in place in the form of Monograph. During this Section Cut interview, principal architect Thomas Zoli shares how the once boutique New York design firm is now bigger and better than ever.

Traverse Landscape Architects: Success Stories (w/ Arthur Eddy, Marie Eddy)

Architects don’t receive a lot of training on business and finance. And staff members with business experience don’t often understand the design side. So, how do these two groups collaborate and run a practice? During this Section Cut interview, Arthur and Marie Eddy of Traverse Landscape Architects shared how they’re using Monograph to speak the same language across groups and get things done faster. From better understanding the project process to determining what’s working and what’s not, Monograph has allowed them to streamline tasks and educate their staff.

Verdant Studio: Success Stories (w/ Jessica Hester, Natasha Brand)

How do you operate a national practice that encompasses art, architecture, historical preservation, and construction documents all under one roof? That’s the task of Verdant Studio, an Arkansas-based firm with incredible breadth and reach. Founder Jessica Hester credits Monograph for keeping the team on schedule and on budget while shaving hours of meeting and accounting time off their plate every week. In this Section Cut interview, Jessica and colleague Natasha Brand shared how Verdant Studio tackles complex projects and uses Monograph to pave the way.

Krueck Sexton Partners: Success Stories (w/ Tom Jacobs)

When an architecture firm is just starting out, almost anything goes in the quest to get up and running. But once you’re more established, two things need to become foundational to how you do business: transparency and discipline. In this Section Cut conference interview, Tom Jacobs, co-managing partner at Krueck Sexton Partners, discusses how these two values were key to the firm’s success story—and how Monograph has helped make it all possible. He explains why embracing data-driven project planning and performance allows you to scale your business while also scaling your time for creativity.

Talentstar: The Future of Practice Operations (w/ Marjanne Pearson)

When you think of practice operations, you may think of the tools, information systems, and resources that have to be managed on a daily basis. But Marjanne Pearson, founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Talentstar, wants you to reframe how you look at practice operations. It should be about mobilizing all those resources to create value and seek opportunities for transformational change. As a speaker at our Section Cut conference series, Marjanne talked about the future of practice operations and how firms can position themselves for long-term, sustainable growth.

RIOS: Silver Linings, Audacity and Joy - The New Practice Playbook (w/ Jessamyn Davis, Andy Lantz)

Have you considered a unique firm structure? RIOS’ practice structure might just take the cake, as it is unique at every level. Not only do they have two CEOs, but they have a multidisciplinary office with architects, interior designers, and graphic designers all working together. What really stands out about the practice is its values. Things like audacity, joy, and agility top a list of core values that are all about breaking the rules and doing something new. During this Section Cut interview, co-CEOs Jessamyn Davis and Andy Lantz discuss how those values are put into action and what they see as their practice’s playbook.

Adjaye Associates, Decanthropy: How To Build Communities As An Architect (w/ Farida Abu-Bakare, Ian Rolston)

Now more than ever there’s an opportunity to design with purpose, and with a goal of equity so that spaces are built for everyone. But in order to do that, we need to do two things: keep the new generation of young designers engaged and supported, and involve our clients and communities in the design process. In this Best Practice interview, Black Architects + Interior Designers Association Canada (BAIDA) co-founder Farida Abu-Bakare and Director of Advocacy Ian Rolston explain how two-way mentorship, developing a voice, and learning from the communities you build in can transform the architecture industry.

Olson Kundig: How To Blend The Art Of Business With Architecture (w/ "HP" Hemanshu Parwani)

In a world of seven billion people and counting, innovative design has become more important than ever. From residential to transportation to healthcare, how can we create an innovative built environment that caters to humanity’s changing needs? These are the questions that occupy leading design firms. For Olson Kundig’s CEO Hemanshu Parwani, or "HP" for short, the goal is to source top talent and deploy staff in ways that solve specific problems for clients—and benefit the world at large. Here, HP explains why it's valuable to follow a design-led approach, ask the right questions, and embrace innovation at every turn.

Kontextur, Subtilitas: How To Share Architectural Knowledge (w/ Katharina Benjamin, Jeff Kaplon)

Social media has allowed us to share our ideas on just about every subject. But free-flowing discourse on architecture styles and design careers hasn’t always been available. Katharina Benjamin of Kontextur and Jeff Kaplon of Subtilitas have each carved out online spaces for criticism, conversation, and inspiration while spotlighting topics and architecture offices that don’t get enough attention. On Best Practice, they talked to us about why sharing architectural knowledge is the key to a thriving professional life.

Michael Hsu Office of Architecture: How To Grow From 17 To 71 In 7 Years (w/ Michael Hsu, Maija Kreishman)

Growing a firm by a dozen employees each year can sound daunting. But the truth is that when you look at growth as a puzzle rooted in organizational structure, you can begin to make steady progress. Michael Hsu Office of Architecture did just that when the growth rate of Austin, Texas caused them to grow the firm from 21 to 78 people in just seven years. By doing things like doubling down on culture, working with diverse clients, and fostering employee growth, they have created a firm that is making an impressive mark.

Talentstar: How To Empower Talent In Architecture (w/ Marjanne Pearson)

How do you achieve successful growth as an architecture firm? It all comes down to having the right people on your team. Today, there are small 20-person firms that are making incredible revenue and ranking on lists alongside much larger counterparts. There are firms that have been acquired by larger firms, only to see their original talent leave. There is no magic formula for hiring and retaining the best people. But according to Marjanne Pearson, an industry force and the Chief Strategy Officer of Talentstar, there are ways to empower your strategic agenda and fill the roles you need.

Madame Architect: How To Inspire A Generation Of Architects (w/ Julia Gamolina)

What do business strategists and editor-in-chiefs have in common? They both require you to build relationships. Lots of them. As the director of strategy and partnerships at Trahan Architects, founder and editor-in-chief of Madame Architect, and a lifelong collector of mentors, Julia Gamolina is an expert relationship builder. In this episode, she shares how her roles overlap, how she approaches business strategy, and the steps she recommends to follow in her career footsteps.

KPF: How to Manage a BIM Practice (w/ Veronica Quintero and Alex Wilson)

Most architecture firms are grappling with the question of how technology and data fit into their practice. For many firms, the solution is a self-contained design technology team, similar to an IT department. But at KPF, they’re championing the idea of a digital practice, where technology is a means to deliver their projects in the best way possible. It’s not just support, it’s a way of operating. In this episode, BIM Practice Manager Veronica Quintero and Senior BIM Specialist Alex Wilson explain how their team is integrated into the practice, how they help solve problems for every department, and how they stay on top of training so that everyone knows how to use relevant tools.

Bjarke Ingels Group: How to Project-Manage Architecture (w/ Flora Bao)

In the past decade, the number of small architecture firms has been shrinking while the number of large firms has increased. The reason? A steep rise in the complexity of the projects firms are working on. As buildings get taller and more advanced, firms need bigger teams to handle the scope. And those teams would be lost without a good project manager to organize it all. Flora Bao, project manager at Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), shared what it takes to be an excellent project manager, from soft skills to design knowledge to balancing internal and external goals.

Snow Kreilich Architects: How to Run Operations at a Mid-size Firm (w/ Trevor Bullen and Sarah Hughes)

Life at a busy firm can be a mad scramble. When partners and owners start to wear too many hats, key information can slip through the cracks. Over time, the value of that missed information and haphazard staffing plans can add up. That’s why mid-size firms with a healthy budget should consider investing in a new hire: a financial operations role. When Snow Kreilich Architects hired bookkeeper and architect Sarah Hughes as Director Of Finance + Operations, they quickly felt the benefits.

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