Rion Willard

Author Archives: Rion Willard

Rion Willard is the Host and Director of the Business of Architecture UK, an interview podcast where prominent guests share tips and strategies for success in architecture. He’s the founder of the The Thinking Hand Studio Architects a London based architectural design firm specialising in high end luxury residential.

102: Portrait of a Practice with Tomas Millar & Dr. Thomas Yarrow

This is part 2 of my journey to Stroud, Gloucestershire where I was visiting the beautiful studios of the Millar + Howard Workshop. I'm speaking with two good friends and collaborators, Co-founder and Director Tomas Millar and anthropologist Dr. Thomas Yarrow.

Tomas trained at the University of Edinburgh and UCL, co-founding the practice in 2007 with fellow Director Tom Howard, initially building high end tree houses. Millar + Howard Workshop has become a highly innovative practice with both their implementation of tech and business models. Tomas has utilised drone-powered photogrammetry to 3D modelling to open source architectural details, as well as founding Livedin, a platform based business model that serves self builders who are looking create their dream homes.

Dr Thomas Yarrow completed his undergraduate degree in archaeology and anthropology at Cambridge University before undertaking his PhD in social anthropology also at Cambridge University, completed 2006. After completing his PhD he held a Leverhulme fellowship in anthropology at the University of Manchester. He has also lectured in anthropology at the Centre of West African Studies, University of Birmingham and at the School of Environment Natural Resources and Geography, at the University of Wales, Bangor.

His book ‘Architects: Portraits of Practice’ based on a study of the Millar + Howard Workshop explores the ‘struggle & doubts of the design process’ & ‘explores the architect’s world of anxiety, exhilaration, hope, idealism, friendship, conflict & personal commitment that feeds creativity’.

In this week's podcast you will learn:

  • Insights from Dr Thomas Yarrow's ethnographic study (deconstructing the practice of architecture)
  • How observation and documentation can be used to create marketing collateral
  • The productivity that comes from contradictions!

THIS WEEK'S RESOURCES

Discovery call with Rion https://www.businessofarchitecture.co.uk/discoverycall

Millar Howard Workshop

https://www.mhworkshop.co.uk

Portrait of a Practice

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Architects-Portraits-Expertise-Technologies-Knowledge/dp/1501738496

 

101: The Intelligent Practice with Tomas Millar &. Dr Thomas Yarrow, Millar + Howard Workshop

In this episode I'm in Stroud, Gloucestershire visiting the beautiful studios of the Millar + Howard Workshop. I'm speaking with two good friends and collaborators, Co-founder and Director Tomas Millar and anthropologist Dr. Thomas Yarrow. Tomas trained at the University of Edinburgh and UCL, co-founding the practice in 2007 with fellow Director Tom Howard, initially building high end tree houses.

Millar + Howard Workshop has become a highly innovative practice with both their implementation of tech and business models. Tomas has utilised drone-powered photogrammetry to 3D modelling to open source architectural details, as well as founding Livedin, a platform based business model that serves self builders who are looking create their dream homes.

Dr Thomas Yarrow completed his undergraduate degree in archaeology and anthropology at Cambridge University before undertaking his PhD in social anthropology also at Cambridge University, completed 2006. After completing his PhD he held a Leverhulme fellowship in anthropology at the University of Manchester. He has also lectured in anthropology at the Centre of West African Studies, University of Birmingham and at the School of Environment Natural Resources and Geography, at the University of Wales, Bangor.

His book ‘Architects: Portraits of Practice’ based on a study of the Millar + Howard Workshop explores the ‘struggle & doubts of the design process’ & ‘explores the architect’s world of anxiety, exhilaration, hope, idealism, friendship, conflict & personal commitment that feeds creativity’.

In this week's podcast you will learn:

  • How Tomas is thinking about scaling his business utilising platform business models
  • How they use platforms like Airtable to customise work flows
  • How the Millar + Howard workshop uses a pricing matrix in their proposals

THIS WEEK'S RESOURCES

Discovery call with Rion

https://www.businessofarchitecture.co.uk/discoverycall

Millar Howard Workshop

https://www.mhworkshop.co.uk

LivedIn

https://livedincustombuild.co.uk

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100: Branding Architecture with Rory Sutherland, Vice Chairman, Ogilvy UK

Landmark episode this week as Business of Architecture UK reaches episode 100. Massive thank you to everyone who has been listening so far and a special thank you to Forza who let us use their beautiful showroom space in Great Portland Street.

To mark the occasion I have an extraordinary guest, Rory Sutherland, Vice Chairman of Ogilvy UK, a world leading advertising, marketing, and public relations agency. Rory is one of the world's most influential thinkers in marketing, branding, consumer behaviour and advertising.

Rory, is also a self confessed architecture lover, living in the former home of Napoleon III designed by Robert Adam although as Rory says ‘unfortunately in the attic'. He also is a trustee of the Benjamin Franklin House in London and a Patron of Rochester Cathedral. Rory co-founded a behavioural science practice within Ogilvy.

He works with a consulting practice of psychology graduates who look for ‘unseen opportunities’ in consumer behaviour – these are the often small contextual changes which can have enormous effects on the decisions people make – for instance tripling the sales rate of a call centre by adding just a few sentences to the script.

Before founding Ogilvy Change, Rory was a copywriter and creative director at Ogilvy for over 20 years, having joined as a graduate trainee in 1988. He has variously been President of the IPA, Chair of the Judges for the Direct Jury at Cannes, and has spoken at TED Global. He writes regular columns for the Spectator, Market Leader and Impact, and also occasional pieces for Wired. He is the author of two books: The Wiki Man, available on Amazon (“at prices between £1.96 and £2,345.54, depending on whether the algorithm is having a bad day”), and the best-selling Alchemy, The surprising Power of Ideas which don't make Sense, published in the UK and US in May 2019. This book is phenomenal and an absolute must read, as Robert Cialdini said “Veins of wisdom regarding human functioning emerge regularly and brilliantly from the pages. Don't miss this book.'

In this episode you will discover:

  • The 4 different types of property value and how architects can utilise these
  • How ‘cool' is the currency that can be used to compete against wealth to create desirable services, products and property
  • The important role maps play in determining property value

THIS WEEK'S RESOURCES

Discovery call with Rion

https://www.businessofarchitecture.co.uk/discoverycall

OGILVY UK

https://ogilvy.co.uk

FORZA

https://www.forza.co.uk

 

099: How to Supercharge Your Virtual Presentations with Adam Scott, FREESTATE

During lockdown I had the good fortune to meet once again with Adam Scott who is the founder of experience master planners FREESTATE.

In this episode Adam discusses the art of choreographing powerful virtual presentations. Adam is an architect and pioneer in brand experience having worked with some of the world's most innovative brands and city makers including Melbourne Airport, Virgin Atlantic, Samsung and Sony to name a few.

Adam has been working remotely with his international portfolio of clients for many years and has developed a simple system to ensure all presentations connect with his clients.

In this episode you will discover:

  • Adam's 5 step formula for creating powerful online presentations
  • The pitfalls many of us make when conducting virtual presentations and how to avoid them
  • How to create connection and collaboration as if you were in the same room with clients who maybe thousands of miles away.

 

THIS WEEK'S RESOURCES

Discovery call with Rion

https://www.businessofarchitecture.co.uk/discoverycall

FREESTATE

https://www.freestate.co.uk

098: Leadership in an Architecture Business, Sue Austin, Sue Austin Consulting

This week I spoke with Sue Austin of Sue Austin Consulting about leadership in an architecture practice and how practice leaders can be planning for re-emergence as lockdown lifts.

Sue is has experience of everything from global organisations like Mars and PepsiCo to small-scale businesses going through rapid and disruptive growth curves. Originally Sue obtained a degree in engineering and then cultivated a long career working across operations and supply chains.

Sue discusses what is leadership, what are the common challenges leaders of architecture businesses face and how they can overcome them as well as dispelling some of the mythology around leadership such as whether great leaders are born or can you learn to lead.

In this episode you will learn:

  • How to plan for re-emergence out of lockdown
  • The importance of innovating and experimenting
  • PLAN – DO – CHECK – ACT the 4 Step formula for commercial leadership

THIS WEEK'S RESOURCES

Discovery Call with Rion Willard

https://www.businessofarchitecture.co.uk/discoverycall

Sue Austin Consulting

http://austin-consulting.co.uk

Sue Austin Contact

sue@austin-consulting.co.uk

097: Technology to Reliably Source Project Teams with Greg Keane and Linden Dover, Weaver

In this episode I visited the offices of Weaver to speak with co-founders Greg Keane and Linden Dover.

Weaver’s mission is to empower project teams with software that is game-changing, beautiful and time-saving.

The weaver.build platform allow architects and building professionals to reliably source and build their project teams. Weaver was founded by Greg & Linden, who developed a passion for construction when they studied Architectural History together at university.

Whilst Greg went into the management of an architectural & interiors studio and qualifying as a Surveyor, Linden was getting hands-on experience as a building site manager, and subsequently as a developer. Out of these experiences, the founders believe that success in architecture is defined by the calibre of professionals who come together to create something unique – people make a project. I

n this episode you will :

  • Hear the deep insights Greg and Linden have uncovered about the obstacles of traditional tendering processes
  • Hear Greg and Linden's own entrepreneurial journey and how they have developed their technology platform and business
  • Learn how architects can assemble project teams more efficiently

 

THIS WEEK'S RESOURCES

Discovery Call with Rion

https://www.businessofarchitecture.co.uk/discoverycall

Weaver

https://weaver.build

 

 

096: Creating an Inclusive Business Culture, Danei Cesario, SOM & Founder of WALLEN + daub (part 2)

Welcome to part two of my conversation with Danei Cesario, architect and project manager at SOM and founder of WALLEN + daub.

Danei is the 333rd black female architect in American history. Hailing from Manchester, England, she became enamored at an early age with New York City’s intricacies + architectural prestige. She is an internationally licensed architect, project manager, + public speaker. Equipped with exceptional communication and organizational skills, she thrives in both team-oriented and self-directed environments, diligently managing design from parti to post-occupancy. She is currently an Associate at SOM, leading dynamic mixed-use development, healthcare + wellness projects.

Danei served as Chair of AIA New York’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee for over five years. Currently, she serves on the AIA New York State Board, representing nearly 10,000 members across 13 chapters. She is a contributor/ambassador to organizations such as the United Nations, the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation, Parlour, Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust and nycobaNOMA Executive Board. As a core member of these groups, Danei is dedicated to fostering Mentorship, Sponsorship and Leadership among the diverse design community as they navigate their careers within architecture and beyond. She founded WALLEN + daub to expand on these principles.

In this episode you will learn:

  • How businesses can create a working environment that includes and welcomes
  • What to do when you feel like quitting and how being a ‘career cinderella' can craft a fulfilling long lasting career
  • The career benefits of working in larger practices

 

THIS WEEK'S RESOURCES

Discovery Call with Rion

https://www.businessofarchitecture.co.uk/discoverycall

WALLEN + daub

https://www.wallendaub.com

Skidmore Owings and Merrill

https://www.som.com

 

 

095: Keeping Projects Profitable, Danei Cesario, SOM & Founder of WALLEN + daub (part 1)

Welcome to part one of my conversation with Danei Cesario, architect and project manager at SOM and founder of WALLEN + daub.

Danei is the 333rd black female architect in American history. Hailing from Manchester, England, she became enamored at an early age with New York City’s intricacies + architectural prestige. She is an internationally licensed architect, project manager, + public speaker. Equipped with exceptional communication and organizational skills, she thrives in both team-oriented and self-directed environments, diligently managing design from parti to post-occupancy. She is currently an Associate at SOM, leading dynamic mixed-use development, healthcare + wellness projects.

Danei served as Chair of AIA New York’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee for over five years. Currently, she serves on the AIA New York State Board, representing nearly 10,000 members across 13 chapters. She is a contributor/ambassador to organizations such as the United Nations, the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation, Parlour, Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust and nycobaNOMA Executive Board. As a core member of these groups, Danei is dedicated to fostering Mentorship, Sponsorship and Leadership among the diverse design community as they navigate their careers within architecture and beyond. She founded WALLEN + daub to expand on these principles.

In this episode you will learn:

  • How Danei's career has evolved from project architect to project manager
  • The key elements of successful project management to ensure high profile, complex projects remain profitable and deliver great design
  • How to successfully resource a team

 

THIS WEEK'S RESOURCES

Discovery Call with Rion

https://www.businessofarchitecture.co.uk/discoverycall

WALLEN + daub

https://www.wallendaub.com

Skidmore Owings and Merrill

https://www.som.com

 

 

094: Software Created for Architects by Architects with Tom Gresford and Joe Thompson of briq.works

An innovative story this week on Business of Architecture UK, as I discuss a piece of software created specifically for architects by architects. briq.works was born from a shared vision to provide architects with an easy to use software tool designed specifically to meet the needs of a project team collaborating on a building design and construction project.

Architect Tom Gresford met software engineer Joe Thompson when they were introduced through friends and Tom was appointed by Joe to design his home extension. Working together they found they were both driven to find a way of improving how an architectural project could be planned up front, how progress could be tracked and communicated and generally how the process could be easier for all involved.

In this episode you will learn

  • How Joe and Tom developed their software and raised finance
  • Why construction is the ‘final frontier' for software
  • How technology can empower great communication between client and consultant team

 

THIS WEEK'S RESOURCES

Discovery Call with Rion

https://www.businessofarchitecture.co.uk/discoverycall

briq.works

https://briq.works

Contact Vicki Goodwin for a free demonstration of Briq.works here vicki@briq.works

093: The Power of Brand, Jeff Echols, CSO echoEngagement & host Build Your Brand Podcast

This week on BOAUK I speak with Jeff Echols.

Jeff is on a mission to change the way you do business by helping you communicate Empathy (not ego) so clients and employees see Value (not commodity).

He's the President and Chief Strategy Officer of echoEngagement and the Host of the Build Your Brand podcast. Jeff works with architecture and engineering firms on branding, communication, leadership, marketing, and business development strategies.

In this week's episode you will learn

  • What is Brand
  • Why Brand and Branding is Important for your Architecture Practice
  • The difference between ‘Ego vs Empathy' and why it's essential in your practice communications.

 

THIS WEEK'S RESOURCES

Discovery Call with Rion

https://www.businessofarchitecture.co.uk/discoverycall

Build Your Brand Podcast

https://entrearchitect.com/podcast/byb/the-characters/

echoEngagement

https://www.echoengage.com

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