114: Canine Robots for Construction with Brian Ringley, Boston Dynamics

This week I was super excited to sit down with Brian Ringley from Boston Dynamics.

Boston Dynamics is a world leader in mobile robots, tackling some of the toughest robotics challenges. Boston Dynamics has an extraordinary and fast-growing technical team of engineers and scientists who seamlessly combine advanced analytical thinking with bold engineering and boots-in-the-mud practicality.

Brian is the Construction Technology Manager at Boston Dynamics where he supports AECOO customer applications for the Spot platform and promotes the development of new autonomous behavior that adds value to construction project delivery. Prior to Boston Dynamics, he was a Senior Construction Automation Researcher at WeWork where he managed the construction robotics research program and contributed to initiatives in design automation and modular prefabrication. Previously he taught at the University of Cincinnati DAAP, City Tech, City College, and most recently at Pratt GAUD where he led seminars in computational fabrication and industrial robotics.

In this episode you will discover:

– How can designers and architects can drive the process for manufacture
– The future of field robotics in construction
– How Boston Dynamics is directing it's research into commercialisation and the business needs within the AEC industries

Discovery Call with Rion

Boston Dynamics

113: Going Beyond Buildings to Create Social Impact with Chris Hildrey, Hildrey Studio & ProxyAddress

This episode was recorded prior to the current UK Lockdown.

This week I am speaking with the inspirational architect and designer Chris Hildrey, founder of Hildrey Studio and ProxyAddress.

Chris is passionate about creating a built environment that is socially, economically, and ecologically sustainable. He has spoken on television, radio, and in the Houses of Parliament about the role of design and the arts to effect positive social change.

In 2017, Chris became the first qualified architect to be chosen for the Designers in Residence programme at the Design Museum and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. In 2018 he was named an RIBA Rising Star and became the youngest ever recipient of the RIBA President's Medal for Research. In 2019 he was named a RESI Trailblazer, was chosen to be a UK Department of International Trade delegate to Hong Kong, and was a judge for the Design Museum's 2019 Designers in Residence Programme. In 2020 he was named one of the Top 100 Changemakers by The Big Issue and made a trustee of the Museum of Architecture.

ProxyAddress is a database that can connect homeless people with an address from one of England's 500,000 empty houses so they don't lose access to vital services.Chris, created the system to provide people in England facing homelessness with a fixed address to register for services with.

In this episode you will discover:

  • Why charging by the hour doesn't always make sense
  • The language of assessing and communicating value for our clients
  • What is ProxyAddress and how it can impact the lives of 1000s


Discovery Call with BOA

Hildrey Studio


112: Company Structures for an Architecture Practice with Richard Mahoney, Clarus Knight Accountants

Continuing the important conversation around money this week with accountant Richard Mahoney.

Richard is the managing director of Clarus Knight Accountants. He trained with Wellers and has spent over ten years working in the public practice sector of the accounting industry.

He services a wide range of clients across many different industries; however he has particular interests in the construction, recruitment and hospitality sectors. Richard understands the challenges that many small businesses face and the passion that drives entrepreneurs and architects.

In this Episode you will discover:

  • The legal business structures recommended for architectural practices
  • When, why and how to register a business for VAT
  • How is a business valued and the different ways a business can be wrapped up


Discovery Call with Rion

Richard Mahoney

Clarus Knight

111: Planning Your Financial Future with Katie Nutting, Personal Wealth Advisor

“Can I afford my first house?”
“I want to change career how much do I need?”
“Can we afford to have children?”
“When can I retire and how much do I need as an income?”
“Can I afford to send my children to private school”
“How can I improve the income and capital I receive in retirement?”
“What type of protection will provide security for my family on death or illness”
“Can I make my personal situation and company more tax efficient?”

These are some major life questions that many people will ask themselves at some point and all have significant financial implications.

This week's podcast is with Katie Nutting a Personal Wealth Advisor at Schroders Personal Wealth. Katie specialises in helping her clients answer these important question and how they can plan for them. Katie works with her client’s financial objectives to find the most effective, efficient and affordable way to accomplish their goals, and plan for the next stages in their life.

In this episode you will discover:

  • What does hiring a financial planner involve and when should you use one
  • What is a lasting power of attorney and why you should have one in place
  • Why you need to have an exit strategy in place in your business


Discovery Call with Rion

Katie Nutting

110: Prosperity Consciousness with Aja George, Entrepreneur and Financial Educator

This week we are continuing the conversation around money with Entrepreneur Aja George.

Aja spent a decade in the dance industry working with people like Keke Palmer, Omarion, Chris brown, P!nk, Miley Cyrus, and Justin Bieber. He had the opportunity to work on prestigious award shows such as MTV’s VMA’s, Nickelodeon’s TCA’s, the Grammy’s and the Oscar’s as well as featuring in movies like Never Say Never and Step Up 3D.

But, he retired from the dance industry when he realized that a livable “residual income” was not possible and that he could never show someone else a proven system on how to achieve the same level of success that he had.

After a few years in retail while searching for his niche and passion, he realized that the people in the industry he spent nearly a decade in had a common flaw. Lack of financial education.

He finally opened up his own business where he would educate families on how to create a family bank and how to build a family business to leave behind a legacy for generations to come.

Since opening his own business and entering the world of entrepreneurship, he’s been able to help dozens of people start their own businesses and teach families about the rules of money and how to be able to leave legacies behind.

In this episode you will discover:

  • What it is to recognise a paradigm that might be a constraint to earning
  • How Aja challenges and identifies commonly held money scripts
  • What is ‘Prosperity Consciousness'

This week's resources

Discovery Call

Aja George

109: Mental Wealth for Architects with Dr. Brad Klontz, Financial Psychologist

In the architectural industry one of the most sensitive topics is the fees architects often receive which can be relatively low when compared to the value that is created through design and the risk that architects carry in delivering services.

In this conversation I speak with financial psychologist, Dr Brad Klontz about the psychology behind money, fees and value. 

Bradley T. Klontz, Psy.D., CFP® is a Founder of the Financial Psychology Institute® and an Associate Professor of Practice in Financial Psychology at Creighton University Heider College of Business. He is a Managing Principal of Your Mental Wealth® Advisors, a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, and a Former President of the Hawaii Psychological Association. He has partnered with organizations including JP Morgan Chase and H&R Block in efforts to help raise public awareness around issues related to financial health and financial psychology.

Dr. Klontz has been a columnist for the Journal of Financial Planning, On Wall Street, and PsychologyToday.com and has co-authored/co-edited five books on the psychology of money.

In this Episode you will learn :

  • The psychological inner battle about why some creative people find it hard to price services 
  • Money scripts: what they are and how they affect us 
  • The surprising habits, lifestyles and mindsets of wealthy people


Discovery Call with Rion 


Your Mental Wealth



108: Blurring the Line Between Architect and Developer with Henry Squire, Squire & Partners

So just before lockdown in a pre-covid world, I had the wonderful opportunity to speak with Henry Squire, partner at Squire and Partners in their new home – the Department Store located in Brixton, South London.

The building is an extraordinary development led by the practice which revives a local Brixton landmark to create a series of collaborative workspaces supported by an evolving hub of creative, retail and community uses. Originally built in 1906 as an annexe to the Bon Marche department store, the design of the reimagined space has been informed by the existing fabric and layers of history.

Squire and Partners is a British practice founded in 1976 with an international reputation for architecture informed by the history and culture of where it is placed. Their award winning portfolio, for some of the world’s leading developers, includes masterplans, private and affordable residential, workspace, retail, education and public buildings.

Squire and Partners also have their own property and business portfolio, mixed-use developments at Northdown Street and Clapham Park Road, The Rockwell Hotel, a house and apartment development on Liverpool Road.

Henry Squire who is one of the partners at Squires who is responsible for leading the future of Squire & Partners into its next generation.

In this episode you will learn:

How the culture of practice has evolved in their new home
How the practice has moved from a 1st generation practice to a 2nd and is planning the 3rd
What does business mean to Squire & Partners

This week's resources

Discovery Call with Rion


The Department Store


Squire & Partners


107: How To Make Your Marketing Memorable with Nikita Morell

This week I am connecting internationally with Australia based Nikita Morellos, who is a copywriter & marketing strategist who specifically helps architects win more of the projects they really want through creating actionable marketing strategies & writing archibabble-free copy.

In this episode you will learn

  • The Mistakes Architects commonly make with language on their website
  • A framework for becoming memorable in our marketing
  • Why having a stand is key for your messaging


Discovery Call with Rion


Nikita Morell


Architect's Word Shop



106: Redefining an Architecture Business with Petr Esposito, Thirdway Architecture

Hooray! This was my first face to face interview since March, and what a delight it was to visit the impressive offices of the Thirdway Group, home of Thirdway Architecture, where I had the opportunity to sit down with founder director Petr Esposito.

Thirdway Architecture is a traditional architecture practice that forms part of the Thirdway group, a progressive, cross-industry family of companies including D&B fit out, property contracts, furniture dealership and workplace interior consultants. These companies work together to deliver projects that are well aligned to the business agendas of their clients and the needs of the end users.

In this episode you will learn:

  • How Thirdway Architecture identify the economics of good design and communicate this to their clients
  • How Thirdway Architecture put together their pitching documents
  • The innovative business structure that Thirdway Group uses to deliver projects


Discovery Call with Rion


Thirdway Architecture


105: Merging Traditional Practice with Artificial Intelligence with Nicholas Darby

This week I sit down with Nicholas Darby, an architect based in South Africa who has been running his own architectural practice, Imagine Architects, for over 10 years and has now begun an exciting journey merging his traditional practice with developments in artificial intelligence and software architecture.

Nicholas worked in corporate practice, working on numerous commercial buildings around the world before setting up his own practice which focuses on high end residential.

In this episode you will learn

  • The areas of potential for artificial intelligence and machine learning in building eco systems
  • Are architects in danger of being replaced by AI?
  • Software architect vs Building Architect a new reformed, completely reinvented title


Discovery call with Rion


Imagine Architects