Think like an entrepreneur

Submitted by digital on Fri, 07/24/2015 - 13:56
{"version":"0.3.0","atoms":[],"cards":[["images-card",{"images":[{"url":"http:\/\/\/dpcbzfiye\/image\/upload\/v1459450890\/hn26e4cxlalhrxzatagr.jpg","id":"4371"}],"caption":"2015 AIA President Elizabeth Chu reminded her audience that \u0022most successful firms will design buildings and also design their own future.\u0022"}]],"markups":[["a",["href","http:\/\/\/about\/","target","_new"]],["a",["href","http:\/\/","target","_new"]],["a",["href","http:\/\/\/aia-architect\/aiadesign\/dont-just-consume-technology-make-it_o","target","_new"]],["a"],["i"]],"sections":[[1,"h2",[[0,[],0,"Over\ntwo days in Denver, architects were urged to study the business side of architecture \n\n\n\n"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"How can architects use their skills and experience to\ncreate new opportunities for themselves and the profession?"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"This was the central question of the first-ever AIA\nEntrepreneur Summit, where over 25 architectural luminaries shared their two\ncents on how the profession can embrace the realities of this modern era."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"The summit\u2014held in Denver, Colorado\u2014featured numerous\nkeynote speakers and accompanying panels on a variety of topics relevant to the\nentrepreneurial architect. 2015 AIA President Elizabeth Chu Richter welcomed\neveryone with a call to determine their own paths."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"\u0022Going forward, most successful firms will design\nbuildings and also design their own future,\u0022 she said."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"While agreeing that being able to thrive in an uncertain\neconomic time was crucial to both the public interest and their own survival,\nmany wondered aloud how their innate desire to improve the built environment\ncould best overlap with this need to earn an honest, healthy living."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"At one point, attendees were asked to raise their hands\nif they were interested in making money. Only a few hands stayed down, yet the\ntheme reanimated throughout the summit with the implication that\u2014for many\u2014it\nwas an uncomfortable one-or-the-other proposition."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"Some panelists chalked any inadequacies in this regard\nup to a built-in disinterest in the matter. Mark LePage, AIA, was persistent in\nhis belief that a lack of communication on some very key issues led to failures\nin how architects do business."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"\u0022Not talking about fees, not talking about money,\nis a severe problem that we have,\u0022 he said. \u0022In other sectors, like\ntech, it\u0027s all about money and understanding how it flows in and out.\nArchitecture businesses are no different, but we don\u0027t do that.\u0022"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"\u0022The most important thing small firms can do,\u0022\nhe added, \u0022is to understand business fundamentals.\u0022"]]],[1,"h3",[[0,[],0,"What\u0027s Trending?"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, the AIA\u0027s chief economist,\nprovided an overview of such fundamentals in his presentation on current industry\ntrends. He reminded the audience that changes in the country\u0027s age composition\nand an increased focus on sustainability would create a need for different\ntypes of facilities, one they would be wise to foresee."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"\u0022Assisted living services for aging baby boomers,\nalterations and improvements to existing structures,\u0022 he listed.\n\u0022You\u0027ll see a spike in those areas based on the needs of a changing\npopulation.\u0022"]]],[1,"p",[]],[10,0],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"Others felt that sort of knowledge was within the grasp\nof each person in the room. James Cramer, Hon. AIA, the founder of the "],[0,[0],1,"Greenway\nGroup"],[0,[],0,",\nended his keynote on business strategy with a call to embrace the financial\nside of an architectural practice."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"\u0022Every architect has an entrepreneurial switch, no\nmatter how hidden,\u0022 he said. \u0022And conversations like these can keep\nthose switches turned on.\u0022"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"One of architecture\u0027s most successful practitioners,\nhowever, sided with LePage. Art Gensler, FAIA, founder of the "],[0,[1],1,"world\u0027s\nlargest architecture firm"],[0,[],0,",\nagreed in his opening keynote that hesitancy can be troublesome when it comes\nto business strategy."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"\u0022I\u0027m not afraid of charging,\u0022 he said. \u0022I\nalways say, \u0027It\u0027s better to be a little high than too low,\u0027 and professionals\nshould be paid fairly and competently.\u0022"]]],[1,"h3",[[0,[],0,"Architecture Worldwide"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"In addition to general business strategy, the rising\nimpact of global practice received its own showcase. Jorge Bermudez, the\npresident and CEO of Byebrook Group, underlined the value in comprehending how\nevents across the globe can impact a firm in the United States."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"\u0022Don\u0027t equate volatility with a negative impact on\nyour business,\u0022 he said. \u0022When things change and there are creative\npeople who understand how things are changing, there is opportunity.\u0022"]]],[1,"blockquote",[[0,[],0,"\u0022The value that we have extends way beyond just the\nbuilding.\u0022 - Steven Burns, FAIA"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"The panel discussion that followed his keynote ranged\nfrom the treatment of women abroad to demands for \u0022special fees\u0022 in\ncertain countries to complete a negotiation. It also emphasized that an\narchitect\u0027s training is a transportable tool that can be valuable anywhere."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"\u0022Design thinking can be exported,\u0022 said Emily\nGrandstaff-Rice, AIA, adding that \u0022the idea of borders, at this point, is\nreally just a regulatory thing.\u0022"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"James Wright, AIA, did express one important caveat:\nit\u0027s important to recognize the difference, both financially and culturally,\nwhen working overseas."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"\u0022When you leave the shores of the U.S. you have to\nleave your business model behind,\u0022 he said, also noting that \u0022when\nyou\u0027re there, it\u0027s their rules.\u0022"]]],[1,"h3",[[0,[],0,"A Brave New Tech World"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"Not every panel, of course, was about money. One\nparticularly insightful debate revolved around the intersection between\narchitecture and technology, long a "],[0,[2],1,"heated topic"],[0,[3],1," "],[0,[],0,"among\nmembers of the profession."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"Kimon Onuma, FAIA, principal at Onuma Inc., introduced\nhis keynote on the subject by stating, \u0022Technology is screaming for\narchitectural knowledge.\u0022"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"\u0022Absolutely everything has changed in the world\naround us,\u0022 he added, \u0022yet we can\u0027t ask Siri, \u0027How much energy is\nthat using?\u0027 or \u0027What\u0027s above that ceiling?\u0027 Tech is there for us to embrace it\nand bring it into our world.\u0022"]]],[1,"blockquote",[[0,[],0,"\u0022When things change and there are creative\npeople who understand how things are changing, there is opportunity.\u0022 - Jorge Bermudez, \npresident and CEO of Byebrook Group"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"Not everyone agreed, though, on how tech should be\nbrought into architecture. Jeffrey Ouellette, Assoc. AIA, asked why a good\ndesign couldn\u0027t just be replicated over and over again."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"\u0022You find the perfect coffee cup, who doesn\u0027t want\na million of them out there?\u0022 he said. \u0022To progress with technology,\nwe have to get past this antiquated notion of uniqueness.\u0022"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"Some felt that sort of thinking removed the architect\ntoo far from the equation."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"\u0022The value that we have extends way beyond just the\nbuilding,\u0022 said Steven Burns, FAIA, chief creative officer at BQE\nSoftware."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"It\u0027s not even clear to others\u2014including Anthony Hauck,\nthe director of generative design at Autodesk\u2014whether BIM and other related\nsoftware is properly designed for the work architects do."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"\u0022Does technology that supports a complex profession\nhave to be complex?\u0022 he asked. \u0022I don\u0027t think we know.\u0022"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"That\u0027s just one of the many queries that couldn\u0027t be\nsolved in two days in the Rocky Mountains. But as AIA CEO\/EVP Robert Ivy, FAIA,\nobserved at the summit\u0027s conclusion, this was a good first step."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"\u0022When do you learn entrepreneurialism? When do you\nlearn business, in practice or in schools?\u0022 he inquired. \u0022There\u0027s not\nan easy answer to those questions, but it\u0027s time to ask them.\u0022"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[4],1,"Steve Cimino is\nthe digital content manager at the AIA."],[0,[],0,"\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n \n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n"]]]]}
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Over two days in Denver, architects were urged to study the business side of architecture
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Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, the AIA's chief economist, addresses attendees of the AIA Entrepreneur Summit in Denver, Colorado.
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Entrepreneur Summit, Elizabeth Chu Richter, Kermit Baker, Art Gensler, business
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