Monthly Archives: January 2020

076: Pitched Black – Being Your Own Client with Rhys Cannon of Gruff Architects

This week's podcast was conducted on site in South London at Pitched Black, the new home designed by Gruff Architects.

Rhys Cannon walks me through the evolution the of Gruff, how they won those important early projects up to now with the completion of Pitched Black and their ventures into new sectors.

In this episode Rhys discusses

  • How Gruff created visibility in the early days of the practice
  • How he structured the relationship being both client and architect with the design of Pitched Black
  • How Gruff have used innovative construction and manufacturing techniques to create bespoke items for specific projects

Today’s Resources:

Book your business discovery call with Rion



075: Running a Global Multi-generational Practice with Tom Kundig, Olson Kundig

What a corker of an interview this was! What a delight and absolute pleasure to be speaking to an archi-hero of mine, Tom Kundig the principal and owner of the Seattle-based firm Olson Kundig Architects.

Tom's honours include some of the highest design awards, including a 2008 National Design Award in Architecture Design from the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt; a 2007 Academy Award in Architecture from The American Academy of Arts and Letters; selection as a finalist for the 2005 National Design Award for Architecture; a MacDowell Colony Fellowship; and selection as an Emerging Architect by the Architectural League of New York.

He has also received eleven National American Institute of Architects awards. In 2011, he was included in The Wallpaper* 150, Wallpaper (magazine)'s list of the 150 people who have most influenced, inspired and improved the way we live, work and travel over the last 15 years.

In this conversation Tom discusses:

– how a practice of 200 still produces some of world's most extraordinary private residences and the importance of that work within the practice

– what is a good client and how to find them, in his words ‘The whole industry is about finding good clients'

– the complexity of branding a cross generational design practice with multiple distinct architectural voices


Today’s Resources:

Book your 2020 Results and Vision call with Rion 

Olson Kundig


074: Creating a New Global Social Network with Purpose w/ Simon Puleston Jones, CEO Woken Up

Some of the most powerful lessons in business can come from interacting with other disciplines and industries.

In this podcast I begin a series of conversations that will continue throughout 2020 where I will speak to a number of business owners, entrepreneurs, app and product developers outside of the architecture industry to understand their stories of creating, organising and building businesses.

This week's story captures the early stages of a new social network driven by civic responsibility and purpose.

I thought this story particularly pertinent to architects as I am meeting more and more architects who are in the process of developing their own apps and tech platforms.

Our profession typically also upholds and shares the same social purpose and desire to contribute to society as this week's guest.

Simon Puleston Jone's entrepreneurial venture begins after a distinguished career having been CEO and then Head of the Futures Industry Association (FIA Europe), Chairman of the Joint Trade Association Group (JTAG), Director at Barclays Investment Bank and prior to that he was solicitor in the Capital Markets Group of the Financial Markets Department of Simmons & Simmons advising on global investment banking and corporate clients.

After an eventful year with a number personal and professional transitions a powerful and transformative personal development and training seminar catalysed within Simon an entrepreneurial hunger and desire to serve others and the environment.

Based on the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals the idea was to use tech for good and create a new global social network for individuals, nonprofits, companies and other platforms that are making a difference by taking action on today's pressing social and environmental issues – from climate and sustainability to diversity and beyond.

The app became ‘Woken Up.'

In this episode you will learn:

– How Simon took a mission and a vision from idea to app

– How early seed investment can be raised and what obstacles are involved

– How having an appetite for risk whilst knowing how to manage it in an entrepreneurial venture is essential


Today's Resources:

Book your 2020 Results and Vision call with Rion 

Woken Up

Simon Puleston Jones


073: A Scandinavian-flavoured Approach to Systematically Producing Consistently Beautiful and Profitable Work with Magnus Ström, Ström Architects

We kick off 2020 with Magnus Ström of Ström Architects who specialise in delivering stunning modernist homes, often located in areas of outstanding beauty across the UK and internationally.

With an impressive and growing portfolio of delicious homes, Magnus shares with me how he has brought business precision to many elements of his practice, systematising important processes in both the delivery and acquisition of new work to ensure consistent quality and profitability.

In this interview you will learn:

  • How Magnus uses social media to attract high end residential projects
  • How Ström Architects developed a ‘niche'
  • How Magnus evolved in his role from Project Architect to being the CEO of his practice

This week’s resources:

Book your 2020 Results and Vision call with Rion


Ström Architects