Monthly Archives: March 2020

083: Leading Innovative Design-focused Development with Sara Nasralla & Remi Connolly-Taylor of Kit London

I love speaking with innovative architectural entrepreneurs who are redefining their business practices and business models to improve the built environment, create legacy and a sustainable profitable business.

This week's guests tick all those boxes as I got the opportunity to speak with the founders of Kit London – Sara Nasralla and Remi Connolly-Taylor who is also the director of design and architecture practice REMI.C.T Studio. Kit London is an independent property development business focused on unlocking constrained infill sites by delivering high quality lifestyle and design. Sara is the operations director, bringing with her an experience and expertise of working in business development, marketing and business growth. Remi takes the role of designer and developer throughout the entire process of each scheme.

In this conversation you will learn

  • Kit London's direct to vendor strategy approach to finding hidden sites ideal for development
  • What makes a great investor and how to nurture lasting relationships with them
  • The innovative profit sharing scheme Remi has for her team that empowers them to be part of the development


This week's resources


COVID-19: What does it mean for architects?



REMI C.T Studio

082: Architecture Without Buildings with Omid Kamvari, Kamvari Architects & Pheromone

Who said Architecture had to be buildings?!

Consider that maybe 60-70% of the architectural work we do doesn't get built. Does that work still have value? Of course it does!. Now consider that some of the fastest growing companies in the world right now might actually be architectural in nature, i.e. they employ a non-material solution to architectural and urban problems.

Uber utilises tech to offer an alternative to transport infrastructure, Airbnb facilitates the movement of people without the need of new hotels and buildings. These are all ideas that wouldn't have been out of place as 5th year architectural proposals in progressive universities.

Personally I think one the biggest latent opportunities for the architectural industry and for us as entrepreneurially minded architects is moving outside of what is traditionally considered architecture. This isn't new thinking particularly, after all Hans Hollein was talking about this in the 1960s.

So it was with great pleasure to spend a morning with British Iranian Architect Omid Kamvari of Kamvari Architects and Pheromone to discuss exactly this and his work as an architect, researcher, educator, and entrepreneur. Omid specialised in Emergent Technologies and Design and is considered an expert in advanced digital design in architecture, lecturing internationally, on advanced manufacturing and design, robotics and algorithmic design. He holds positions at the university of Brighton and Nottingham, as a Senior lecturer on Technology. Omid has an astute business mind. He was responsible for numerous international short term education courses (Incubator/Accelerators) transforming standardised educational models. He has represented publicly listed companies at board level transforming internal structure and organisation and managing stakeholder and company growth.

In this conversation you will hear Omid discuss

  • The potential for non-material solutions for architectural business
  • The latent opportunities that exist for architects, students and businesses in disciplines outside of the architecture such as in tech and data
  • How he co founded a smart and flexible data aggregation platform that collects business analytics for easy use

This week's resources

Discovery Call with Rion

Kamvari Architects


081: The Mindful Architect: Mental Health in Business with Ben Channon

Our minds are our greatness asset. And in Business, Architecture and life the quality of our experience, from our happiness to the our ability to be creative and enjoy our work, is in direct relationship to our mental fitness, hygiene and well-being. It is not uncommon that working practices considered necessary for vast output actually end up being counter productive to the goals we are looking to achieve.

This week I speak with Ben Channon on the subject of Mental Health in architecture and in business. Ben is an Associate at Assael Architecture, where he has worked since 2012.

He is Mental Wellbeing Ambassador at the practice, which has won a number of awards for its approach to staff care. He is an accredited mindfulness practitioner with the Mindfulness Association, and recently qualified as a WELL Accredited Professional. Ben also founded and chairs the Architects’ Mental Wellbeing Forum, which is focused on improving mental health within the industry.

Ben was selected as a RIBAJ Rising Star 2018 and a RESI Trailblazer 2019, for his work in the area of architecture and mental health.

In this conversation you will learn:

  •  How you can improve you physical working environment to support you and your team's well being
  • Why meditation and mindfulness isn't just for monasticism but can be used to increase your happiness, well-being and fulfilment in life and work
  • How to identify and change an unhealthy working culture in your office


This week's resources:

Discovery Call with Rion

Ben Channon

080: Falling out of Love with Architecture (& back again!) with Tanisha Raffiuddin

A career in architecture doesn't just mean being an architect designing buildings. The industry is wonderfully rich with many different opportunities available in related sectors and disciplines.

This week I speak with Tanisha Raffiuddin about her fascinating career path from architecture student to looking for work during the recession to becoming a communications consultant then re-entering traditional world of architecture as an architectural designer to now being the creative director of Concept Culture – a creative agency that helps built environment organisations strategically grow their brand and business.

Tanisha has over a decade of combined experience in architectural practice at AJ100 firms, as a contributor at The Architects’ Journal, and a communications consultant at the Passivhaus Trust and the Sustainable Development Foundation.

Becoming an architect in practice who designs buildings is just one way of utilising architectural expertise and education, there is a whole world of alternative paths, careers, entrepreneurial ventures and opportunities that now exist and are growing, I hope Tanisha's story inspires and excites those of you who are feeling the itch to follow your adventure.

In this episode you will learn:

  • How Tanisha found work during a recession
  • Why building a personal brand is crucial to developing your career
  • How to evolve a career in architecture that is authentic to you

This week's resources:

Discovery call with Rion:

Concept Culture: