Building a smart, enduring firm

Submitted by digital on Sat, 05/16/2015 - 18:47
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The\nfree-flowing exchange of hard-earned observations touched on several themes,\nincluding how each firm has developed over time and how to find a balance\nbetween design culture and finances."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"Regan\nintroduced the panel with an overview of world economics, noting that despite\ncontinued difficulties the real estate market and construction spending have\nbeen on the upswing."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"Ripple\u2014a partner and director of operations at\n"],[0,[0],1,"Eskew+Dumez+Ripple"],[0,[],0,"\u2014agreed, noting that his New Orleans-based firm was inundated\nwith work after the destruction wrought by Hurricane Katrina."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"\u0022Now\nthat work has tailed off and we see growth as pivotal to our mission,\u0022 he\nsaid, \u0022we have to do things differently.\u0022"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"One of those differences for Eskew+Dumez+Ripple has been a\nfocus on strategic collaborative partnerships with other firm, a growing\nnecessity because \u0022we have to compete in a different way than ever\nbefore.\u0022"]]],[1,"blockquote",[[0,[1],1,"\u0022If\nyour daughter wants to be an architect, we have to\nshow her she can.\u0022 "],[0,[],0,"Katherine Darnstadt, AIA"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"The topic of collaboration came up frequently throughout the\npanel, with Ehrlich\u2014founding partner of 2015 Firm Award recipient "],[0,[2],1,"Ehrlich\nArchitects"],[0,[],0,"\u2014sharing the story of his recent partnership with a contractor that\nled to a high-value project being completed in 22 months."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"\u0022That\u0027s about how long it takes to do a bathroom\nremodel in Los Angeles,\u0022 he said, jokingly."]]],[1,"h3",[[0,[],0,"Global\nVersus Local"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"Darnstadt\u2014the founder of Chicago-based "],[0,[3],1,"Latent Design"],[0,[],0,"\u2014made it\nclear that, despite the benefits of thinking globally, her organization prefers\nto hire locally and train within the city."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"\u0022While globalization has its advantages, especially for\nbottom lines, we are very focused on using our projects to build a\ncommunity,\u0022 Darnstadt said."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"Moody\u2014the President and CEO of "],[0,[4],1,"Moody Nolan"],[0,[],0,"\u2014agreed, noting\nthat advances in communications platforms and software allow an unprecedented\nlevel of connectivity."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"\u0022Instead\nof sending work overseas,\u0022 he said, \u0022we send work from regional\noffice to regional office using technology.\u0022"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"Ripple, on the other hand, saw the value in working globally\nwhen it came to rebuilding his hometown of New Orleans. He also acknowledged,\nhowever, that such value may come at a cost."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"\u0022It improves efficiency and allows us to meet client\ndemand,\u0022 he said, \u0022but if you\u0027re getting something for a tenth the\nnormal price you have to do your due diligence.\u0022"]]],[1,"h3",[[0,[],0,"\n\n\n\n\u001eThe\nNext Generation"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"Ultimately, the panelists agreed that their influence as\nleaders in the profession goes beyond the structures they create."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"\u0022As an African American architect, I believe role\nmodels are important,\u0022 Moody said. \u0022And success is very important to\nbe seen by the younger generation who are looking at career\nopportunities.\u0022"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"\u0022If\nyour daughter wants to be an architect,\u0022 Darnstadt noted, \u0022we have to\nshow her she can.\u0022"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"As businesspeople and as architects, all four speakers saw a\nconvergence between positively impacting the world and growing their firms."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"\u0022I believe architects are making a huge difference in\nbuilding and reinforcing community,\u0022 Ehrlich said. \u0022Large or small\nproject, contributing in all ways can lead to the bigger picture.\u0022"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[5],1,"Steve Cimino is the digital content manager at\nthe AIA."],[0,[],0,"\n\n\n\n\n\n"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"\n\n\n\n\n"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"\n\n\n\n\n"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"\n\n\n\n\n"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"\n\n\n\n"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"\n\n\n\n"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"\n\n\n\n"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"\n\n\n\n"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"\n\n\n\n\n"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"\n\n\n\n"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"\n\n\n\n"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"\n\n\n\n"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"\n\n\n\n"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"\n\n\n\n"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"\n\n\n\n"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"\n\n\n\n"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"\n\n\n\n"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"\n\n\n\n"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"\n\n\n\n"]]]]}
Four prominent architects who founded their own firms came together for a keynote panel on the final day of AIA Convention 2015.
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Katherine Darnstadt, AIA; Curtis J. Moody, FAIA; Mark Ripple, AIA; and Steven Ehrlich, FAIA, all spoke at AIA Convention 2015 on a panel on the business of architecture.
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