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



Discovery Call with Rion


WALLEN + daub


Skidmore Owings and Merrill




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



Discovery Call with Rion




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.



Discovery Call with Rion


Build Your Brand Podcast




092: Leadership in Lockdown, Business & Beyond with Mark Wood, Explorer

In this week’s episode I discuss leadership, living in isolation and raising finance with Mark Wood, an established polar explorer and adventurer who operates within the extremes of our planet.

After serving in the British Army and then as a Firefighter in the Fire and Rescue Service Mark went on to train and lead teams for major polar and mountain expeditions.

Operating in areas such as the Arctic circle, the Himalayas, Antarctica, Alaska – along with the Norwegian and Canadian high Arctic Mark developed a passion for exploration.

He has completed over 30 major expeditions around the world including a solo expedition to the South Geographic Pole followed directly by a 200 mile solo crossing of the Arctic ocean to the Geographic North Pole which became part of a Channel 5 documentary.

Additionally, he has crossed the horizontal Everest of the Canadian high arctic to the Geomagnetic Pole, twice, and supported the BBC Top gear team to the Magnetic North Pole.

In this episode you will learn

  • How Mark raises finance for his expeditions
  • The keys to successful leadership in extreme conditions
  • His advice for businesses as we re-emerge from lockdown



Discovery Call with Rion


Mark Wood Explorer


Mark’s books



091: Passion & Participation, Bob Borson, FAIA, “Life of an Architect”, BOKA Powell

This week’s podcast is with Bob Borson. Bob is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, the AIA’s highest membership honor.

In 2009 he was recognised by the American Institute of Architects as “Young Architect of the Year” and received the Award for Excellence in the Promotion of Architecture through the Media from the Texas Society of Architects in 2015.

Since 2010, he has authored “Life of an Architect,” one of the most popular architectural blog sites in the world. Prior to becoming an Associate Principal at BOKA Powell, Bob was a Principal with Malone Maxwell Borson Architects where his work focused on designing single-family residential and light commercial projects.

In this conversation you will discover:

  • How Bob grew his blog “Life of an Architect
  • How BOKA Powell and Bob have adapted their working practices whilst in lockdown
  • The key skills architects should be focusing on to develop the profession


Discovery Call with Rion


Life of an Architect


BOKA Powell




090: Marketing & Comms During Lockdown & Beyond, Celeste Bolte, Bowerbird

This week I’m joined by Celeste Bolte who is a media specialist and design enthusiast from Melbourne, Australia.

Now based in London, Celeste is the Head of BowerBird UK, a platform that connects designers and journalists to see more great design projects published.

With 8 years of communications consulting experience in architecture and design, Celeste is a strategic thinker adept at conceiving, planning and implementing marketing strategies for single practitioners and global studios alike.

In this episode Celeste discusses:

– Why marketing isn’t just sales

– The importance of exploring your company ethos

– How Architecture Practices can be communicating during lockdown and beyond


This week’s resources






089: Furloughing & the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Schemes with Annette Ferguson

Very important podcast this week, as I speak with Annette Ferguson, a chartered accountant and a certified profit first professional about furloughing and the coronavirus business interruption schemes.

Annette typically helps 6/7/8 figure service based entrepreneurs find clarity in their numbers, increase their wealth, and take more money home from their business.

As a former Financial Controller for Goldman Sachs who was responsible for one of their biggest managed funds combined with 10+ years running an online business, Annette’s programs and consulting encompass robust financial strategies combined with speed and agility to make a real and lasting difference quickly within businesses that she works with.

In this episode Annette discusses her own entrepreneurial journey and the content marketing she utilises in her own business as well as giving us a deep dive into furloughing practices and business loans.


In this episode you will learn

– What is furloughing and what it means for your practice

– What are the coronavirus business interruption loan schemes and how they can be utilised

– How to be preparing and planning your finances for the remainder of the year




Annette and Co



088: The Future of Architectural Practice with Jaimie Johnston, Bryden Wood

The future of architectural practice is emerging in pockets all across the industry. In one such pocket is Bryden Wood, a technology-led design company of architects, computational designers, engineers, analysts, software coders and industrial designers, collaborating with a shared passion for improving outcomes.

I was blown away by my visit to their offices a few months ago, pre corona, to see how this design organisation was bringing together a broad range of specialisms, working across a broad range of sectors with a single purpose – to transform the global design and construction industry.

Bryden Wood is leading a vision to bridge the gap between design, construction and manufacturing to create a highly productive, digitally-led industry which improves the sustainability, efficiency and aesthetic quality of all aspects of the built environment, lowering the financial and carbon cost of assets to business and society.

I sat down with Jaimie Johnston, Director and Head of Global Systems at Bryden Wood who took me through the evolution of the practice and their pioneering work.

What I found most powerful in this discussion was Bryden Wood’s ability to understand their client’s problems with such deep clarity and analysis and their open source culture. Before any design solutions are proposed, and through relinquishing the need to solve all problems with a building, Bryden Wood encourages client’s to produce problem statements, which can be interrogated through an architectural lens.


In this episode you will discover:

– The unique way Bryden Wood develops long lasting working relationships with multi-headed global clients

– How their problem statements have allowed them to enter into new sectors

– Why open source culture for architecture speeds up efficiency and improves design


This week’s resources

Discovery Call with Rion



Bryden Wood


087: Creating a Bright Future for Architects in a Post Corona World, Mark R. Le Page

“Shut off the negativity, turn up the positivity and go make the world a better place. There’s a lot of opportunity coming our way.”

So whilst in lockdown I’ve been using this as an opportunity to connect across the pond with some of the luminaries of architectural business broadcasting.

This week I had the privilege to sit down and speak with one such guiding light, Mark R, Le Page, founder & CEO of EntreArchitect, Gābl Technologies and Fivecat Studio.

Mark founded the original Entrepreneur Architect website in 2007 as a personal blog relaunched the platform as EntreArchitect™ on December 12, 2012 as his 12/12/12 Project to inspire and educate small firm architects to build better businesses.

Since then he has been has been empowering Architects to better serve the world. This interview is jammed pack with gold and if you need a hit of inspiration and positivity about what’s possible this episode is the one.

In this episode you will discover

– Mark’s own entrepreneurial career from creating EntreArchitect, running Fivecat studio and creating Gābl Technologies

– The mistake that could cause architects to become extinct

– Mark’s powerful and optimistic vision for the future of architecture and architects


This weeks resources:

Discovery Call with Rion








086: How Should Practices Communicate During the Corona Crisis with Rob Fiehn, Luke Neve and Bobby Jewell

In this week’s podcast, with the wonders of today’s online tools I was able to connect with 3 of the UK’s leading PR consultants for Architects, Rob Fiehn, Luke Neve and Bobby Jewel to discuss how architecture practices should be thinking about their outbound communications during the corona crisis.

Rob Fiehn has an accomplished career to date, working deep within the architectural industry facilitating effective communication with diverse portfolio of practices ranging from small bespoke operations to large international firms helping them communicate both internally and with the wider public.

Bobby Jewell is a London-based press and communications consultant with over a decade of experience working in the architecture and cultural industries. His clients range from self-employed creatives to emerging practices, international studios and cultural institutions. He is a coordinator at Architects Climate Action Networks.

Rob and Bobby co-organise the Negroni Talks series.

Luke Neve has delivered campaigns as an external consultant for a wide range of creative and corporate clients, such as the Vinyl Factory, Sony, and the Polish Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. He has set up and implemented communications strategies for international architecture practices overseeing management of competitions and award bids, website updates, social media, PR, new business, and events.

In this episode you will discover

– How to communicate powerfully and appropriately during lockdown

– How you can continue to network and build relationships whilst operating virtually

– Ideas for how you can continue to serve your clients and community and prepare for beyond lockdown


This weeks resources:

Discovery Call with Rion


Rob Fiehn


Bobby Jewell


Luke Neve


Online Collaborative Comms Crits