Articles

Strategic Services as a Tide to Lift All Boats

Upon meeting a new colleague in the design profession, or even reuniting with an old friend to talk shop, I often find myself having a recurring conversation about strategic services. I enjoy the discussion because it is often an opportunity to dispel rumors related to this type of consulting work...

Rethinking Practice Through Business Model Innovation

Architecture and interior design firms need to evolve to survive. This has been my personal ethos since before I entered business school in 2008, and I continue to look for new methods, case studies, and opportunities to have conversations about business model innovation in practice. But what I have found...

Implementing a SWOT Analysis for Savvy Decision-Making

Earlier this year, I led a half-day exercise with more than 50 national elected leaders of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) at one of the AIA Strategic Council assemblies. The starting point for the day was a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) analysis, a strategic-planning tool that I...

The Building Blocks for a Truly Multidisciplinary Practice

How do you define a multidisciplinary practice? When asked this question, individuals tend to fall into three different camps. The two most common responses usually have something to do with a variety of different market sectors—such as the design of workplace, hospitality, education, or healthcare—or the delivery of a mix of...

Helene Dreiling: Taking Care Of and Advocating For Architects

Helene Dreiling, FAIA left traditional practice to pursue two dual roles that takes care of professionals and advocate to the public on behalf of the profession. A Past President of the AIA (2014), she is an exemplary model of someone who loves the profession while seeing the necessity for transformation. Helene's...

Building a Purpose-drive Practice

When analyzing the shortcomings of a design firm's business model, I often see parallels between designers and artists. In many cases, we tend to undervalue our services to ensure that we are still able to create our craft, or complete the project. However, doing so often makes us lose our...

As Designers, Where Do We Find Purpose?

With the Great Recession behind us, design professionals find themselves in an interesting state of change within the economy. The billings indexes for architecture and interior design firms are surpassing previous landmark months in 2007. Unemployment is extremely low, and there has been a clear shift to an employee-driven marketplace...

Upali Nanda: Making Research a Priority

Dr. Upali Nanda is a self proclaimed absent minded professor, but her position as Vice President and Director of Research at HKS Inc will have you considering otherwise. In her vital role, Upali makes us reconsider why research is important to the profession. Upali's Bio: Dr. Upali Nanda is the Vice President...

Naeiri Petrosian: Translating Design Education to UX Research

There is an inherent connection between the skills we are taught in architecture school and the methods UX Researchers use in implementing digital platforms. Naeiri Petrosian helps us draw a connection between the two. Naeiri's Bio:I am a certified people watcher. Having been born and raised in multiple different cultures ...