The potential of architects in entrepreneurship
In today’s globalized, constantly evolving world, architecture is constantly reinventing itself. Innovations have brought about new building technologies and new methods of communicating with clients, but in some ways a vast majority of the architecture industry is still outdated – architects rely on client fees they receive from projects to run their architectural offices. More recently, perhaps as a result of the emergence of start-ups in the technology sector and the increasing competitiveness of the global economy, architects have chosen not to limit themselves to the world of architecture and to use their unique skills and abilities in entrepreneurial avenues.
Below are examples of people who have trained and worked in architecture but have also ventured into entrepreneurship.
Eric Reinholdt – 30 x 40 design workshop
9 entrepreneurial architects who have developed innovative products and services
One of the most famous architecture YouTube channels, Eric Reinholdt’s 30 x 40 design workshop The channel has grown to over 800,000 subscribers. Reinholdt sets up his own practice after being forced to take a pay cut at his old company and uses his YouTube channel to provide a general insight into the world of architecture. As a sole proprietor, Reinholdt can also experiment with alternative approaches—like selling floor plans in bundles or selling AUTOCAD and SketchUp drawing templates on his website. His book, Architect + Entrepreneur, gives an insight into starting a design company, supported by his personal experiences on his entrepreneurial journey.
Safia Qureshi – CupClub
Safia Qureshi, an award-winning architect, designer and environmentalist Cup Club CupClub is a bespoke end-to-end service that helps reduce single-use plastic packaging. With 16 billion single-use coffee cups discarded every day, CupClub offers a circular economy alternative where each CupClub cup can be used 132 times before being recycled by dropping it off at designated drop-off points. CupClub then collects these used cups, cleans them with industrial dishwashers and distributes them to cafes. Safia Qureshi’s education and mindset as an architect undoubtedly proved to be a catalyst in the creation of this company – she ventured outside of the world of architecture to create a product that everyday people would use.
TestFit – Clifton Harness and Ryan Griege
Founded by architect Clifton Harness and software engineer Ryan Griege, TestFit is a software tool that streamlines the design process of projects. The software is able to provide site and city configurations based on real-world variables and solve geometry based on constraints such as building codes. competing variables and constraints such as building codes. The hegemony of specific architectural software in architectural practice remains an ever-growing point of discussion, and the emergence of tools like TestFit challenges this hegemony and demonstrates the potential for broader collaboration between software and architecture.
A broader debate needs to be had as to whether, for example, architecture schools can provide better entrepreneurial education as students enter the workforce. A fundamental fact that remains, however, is the value of interdisciplinary collaboration in architecture. The individuals outlined above and their entrepreneurial journeys underscore the distinct expertise that architects can bring to the table when venturing into entrepreneurship.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on May 09, 2021.
This article is part of the ArchDaily topic: Collective Design. Each month we delve deeply into a topic through articles, interviews, news and projects. Learn more about our monthly themes. As always, we at ArchDaily welcome contributions from our readers; If you have an article or project you would like to submit, contact us.