Displaying episodes 1 - 30 of 84 in total
Running a new business is difficult, whether you're starting with a blank slate, rebranding, or splitting off from a larger entity. The key to success often lies in developing order in the form of a consistent set of principles and practices. During Section Cut, Adam Gayle of Level Architecture + Interiors explained how strategic processes will not only help you organize your practice, but take it to the next level.
bldg.collective architecture + design: Achieving Balance: Creative Expression Meets Professional Service (w/ Steve Perce)
Architects can often feel pulled in two opposing directions. On one hand are the client's desires and needs, and on the other hand is the architect's personal creativity and aesthetic. However, it is possible to keep professionalism and creativity in balance. During Section Cut, Steve Perce of bldg.collective shared his tips for achieving the best of both worlds.
Best practices in any industry change quickly. Flexibility and agility often make the difference between remaining cutting edge and falling behind the curve. During Section Cut, Lorena Galvao, co-founder of Defining Design Practice, explained why adaptability is so critical within the architecture industry.
Happy clients are a key ingredient to running a successful architecture business. Positive client experiences are important: when you do it right, you'll secure referrals and repeat business for your firm. During Section Cut, Lucas Gray and Dena Alspach of Charrette Venture Group broke down how to kick off a great client experience before the project even begins—and keep it going past project close-out.
Growth doesn’t happen overnight. But how does it happen? For Principal Jennifer Orr and Office Manager Tiffany Rasco of the landscape architecture firm Studio Balcones, growth goes hand-in-hand with community outreach. In this Best Practice interview, they talk about the importance of creating designs rooted in the local landscape, collaborating with project partners, applying for community certifications and participating in diversity programs, and educating clients throughout the process.
The dream training of an architect isn’t siloed, repetitive work. It’s experiencing a whole range of different scales, different typologies, and different locales in their projects. Ennead Architects doesn’t use a typical studio-based organization for the architects and instead embraces the cross-fertilization of ideas and skills transfer that comes from everyone having a variety of work. Even the partners. In this episode, Ennead partners Molly McGowan and Thomas Wong let us in on how they manage all of their diverse civic projects, build teams, and define success.
If you get your architecture degree and get certified, that means your only choice is to design buildings, right? Wrong. Yet, many people don’t realize that there are several paths to choose from until they stumble into them in internships or early-career jobs. Within the industry there are many roles that have an impact on a project that have nothing to do with design, from project management to business development to marketing. And there are several other industries where an architecture background makes you uniquely qualified. In this Roundtable session, the Monograph Growth Team discusses the variety of choices available and how they figured out that design was only one of them.
In the architect-led design-build model, the architect is responsible not only for design but for construction as well. This represents a major shift from the traditional design-bid-build way of building projects. Yet it offers unique advantages on both the architect and client end, say Thomas Gluck and Stacie Wong, both principals at Gluck+. Most importantly, it makes for a smoother construction process and a better, beautiful building.
Whether you’re an architect, a designer, or any creative, you need people to buy into your idea. That’s what the Monograph growth team discussed in a recent Monograph Roundtable. The best way to get others on board? Build your idea into a compelling story—one that’s clear and gets the message across, but is also enveloped in passion.
Many traditional architecture practices are no longer sustainable. Firms that want to lead the path into the future will need to adopt new ways of thinking. In this Best Practice interview, Christian Stayner, Principal of Stayner Architects, explains how expanding your services, collaborating with consultants, and systemizing client interactions can help you create new models for the future of the industry.
When unexpected opportunities arise, sometimes it’s best to say yes and figure it out later. But in order to see the project through, you need to understand how to get to the finish line successfully. In this Best Practice interview, Nik Lahiri of Essel Environmental explores how to understand your metrics for success, know where you get your energy from, and set expectations for project milestones to build lasting client relationships.
Good workplace culture is highly sought after, but it’s hard to find and even harder to keep. So what’s the magical ingredient for an office culture your employees can’t stop talking about? Hard work. Good company culture doesn’t magically occur on its own; it’s carefully cultivated by every employee, from the top CEO down to the summer intern. During our latest Roundtable discussion, Chris Morgan, George Valdes, and Silvia Lee discussed the importance of office culture and what you can do to help your company’s culture flourish.
Not every architect should start their own practice. It comes down to how you want to spend your time. If you want to spend most of your time being an architect, don’t start a practice. Starting a practice requires you to spend time on business processes, marketing, sales, and most of all, thinking about money. From setting fees to planning for the future, there are many financial decisions you’ll have to make right from the start. In this Best Practice episode, Marilyn Moedinger, founder of Runcible Studios, shares her expertise on the money side of starting your own practice.
Developers need a steady pipeline of projects to keep their businesses thriving. That means juggling multiple projects that are in various stages, from design to starting construction, to completing construction. To stay on target, you’re always balancing what you’re working on now with what comes next. In this episode, Scott Shnay of SK Development told us the rules they follow to steadily feed that pipeline while keeping their work top-notch, like working with great partners and sticking to your convictions.
Owning your career path can look like a lot of things. But at its core it’s about balancing two things: becoming an expert at what you do and knowing when and how to work with others. When you take ownership of your career, you move from taking cues from those above you to being proactive about your own learning and your own path. You start looking for ways to solve the problems around you, improve the lives of your team, and elevate the entire company along with yourself. In this Best Practice interview, our growth team members George and Silvia talk about how to put those ideas into practice.
Mentorship can take on many different forms. For a small office, it may work more like osmosis, with people working closely together and absorbing the knowledge of those around them. For a large office, it might need to be more structured where one person is in charge of guiding the career growth of their mentee through one-on-one meetings and lessons. Mentorship can encompass various things as well, like coaching, sponsorship, tutoring, or apprenticeship. With so many firms remaining fully remote, we need to adapt those approaches to the new way of doing practice. In this Roundtable, we discuss how to create those relationships without having to be face to face.
When you think about design, data probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. Yet, that’s exactly what you should be thinking about according to Bobby Fijan of Form Developers. Data, especially on the local level, offers invaluable insight into what people really want in a floor plan and what they’ll spend money on. That’s why you should seek out data early on as you begin a new project. Just keep in mind that it’s not the only important factor.
Burnout can decrease workplace efficiency, make employees sick, and even cause people to leave their careers. In the wake of the pandemic, workers are more likely than ever to suffer from burnout, so if you want to prioritize your health, you need to set firm boundaries to keep from wearing yourself and your employees out. In our first Roundtable discussion, four Monograph team members discuss what they do to maintain a healthy work-life balance and keep burnout at bay.
Owning the means and methods throughout the design and construction process can be challenging. This is especially true for new designers or architects who haven’t been involved in many projects before. How do you go about understanding your role, the client’s risk tolerance, and keep an open mind throughout the process? On Best Practice, NADAAA’s principals Nader Tehrani and Arthur Chang explain how they use collaboration and relationships with contractors to own the means and methods during each project.
Business development is everyone’s job. Every employee, regardless of level or title, can and should do their part to propel their firm forward — to new clients, interesting projects, and positive PR. That’s what Carrie Villani and Doug Gonzalez of LERA believe. In a recent Best Practice episode, they talked about how marketing can naturally be incorporated into your workday, helping to grow both the firm and your individual career.
Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations: Rethinking the role of the Public Architect (w/ Curtis Clay)
The Bureau of Overseas Building Operations has high standards to meet. The buildings they design have to be secure, functional, and stand the test of time. The embassies and other facilities they design are 50-year buildings. They have to withstand a place’s climate, fit in with the local culture, and confidently represent the U.S. as an open nation. In this episode, Curtis Clay, the OBO’s director of architecture, discusses how the bureau designs buildings that will become legacies—and how they keep the focus on the role the building will serve.
WXY Studio: How a Cross-Disciplinary Firm Prepares for Emerging Challenges (w/ Amy Hau, Colin Montoute)
In architecture, as with almost any business, the environment you create in your office can make or break your team’s productivity. But with pandemic protocols forcing many businesses to work remotely, meaningful interactions and a positive workplace culture are even harder to cultivate—but still just as important. Colin Montoute, director of architecture at WXY Studio, and managing director Amy Hau, brought their expertise to the table during our latest Best Practice webinar to talk about how they build a positive workplace environment so their employees can thrive.
An architect’s role by definition revolves around the planning, designing, and construction of buildings. But Rick Joy, principal at Studio Rick Joy, doesn’t see it that way. He believes his role is to create a lifestyle, not a building. It’s taking the setting and landscape into account and bringing the best experience to life with what you design. It’s letting nature and light in and pushing inconveniences and burdens out. It’s talking a client out of building a house on a hilltop and instead down by the pond so they can easily watch their kids swim. In this Best Practice webinar, Rick and his Director of Communications, Taylor Garcia Dickson, discuss how that philosophy shapes their brand and is brought to life through their practice.
Building a strong team sounds simple: put a bunch of talented people with complementary skill sets together in the same room. But in reality, there’s a carefully calibrated science to crafting a team that produces great work. On the latest Best Practice episode, Sara Lopergolo and Oliver Link from Selldorf Architects share their experience handpicking team members and facilitating collaboration. They end up with teams whose members not only work well together, but also teach and learn from each other.
Strong leadership is the secret sauce of strong companies. You may be the most creative and most groundbreaking firm on the planet. But if your teams don’t work well together, if they spend too much time on the wrong parts of the process, and if they don’t keep clients happy—you’ll see subpar results. In this Best Practice interview, Holly Deichmann and Zoe Small, Associate Principals at Diller Scofidio + Renfro, share exactly how good managers can uphold the business: by empowering employees, setting up processes that manage client expectations, and maintaining just the right amount of anxiety to keep everyone on their toes.
Mancini Duffy: How to Reinvent a 105-Year-Old Design Firm (w/ Christian Giordano, Bolanle Williams-Olley )
A technology-first firm is not one that merely uses the latest technology in their practice. It’s a firm that leverages that technology to allow collaboration in the sketching process all the way through a 3D experience. It’s having designers, project managers, technical architects, and software developers all working together to make things happen in tandem and instantaneously. Mancini Duffy is a firm that takes that collaboration seriously. In this Best Practice webinar, President Christian Giordano and CFO Bolanle Williams-Olley explain how that collaboration works through everything the firm does, including how they support their employees.
Digital is taking over the working world, and it’s time for your company to catch up. More and more, clients are clamoring for digital-based options, but many businesses are reluctant to shift their policies to accommodate new technology. On the latest Best Practice, Shane Burger, principal and director of technical innovation at Woods Bagot, shares how to accommodate digital culture at your workplace so you can keep up with the competition.
Launching an office in a new city requires a solid operations team and a structured plan for growth. Moody Nolan’s New York City office started with four people just over a year ago and now it has 20. The secret to that fast success? Delivering high-quality projects to the clients you have. It’s the best marketing tool to achieve steady growth. In this Best Practice interview, Associate Principal and Director of NY Operations Latoya Nelson Kamdang and Senior Associate and Project Manager Dawne David-Pierre talked to us about launching operations in New York City and how they’ve grown with excellence.
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.
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