064: Growing an International Luxury Interior Design Studio with Rachel Laxer and Beth Clancy

This week on the Business of Architecture UK, I visit Rachel Laxer Interiors, an Luxury Interior Design Studio based in London and New York with a portfolio of international work.

In this interview principal Rachel Laxer and senior design director Beth Clancy discuss their working relationship, how Rachel began the studio and the details of how they manage their client’s budgets and vision.

Themes explored in this interview:
– Making the transition into commercial work from private residential
– Financial management for projects
– How and what’s it like to work with Architects


Architect’s Marketing Institute 1-2-1 Breakthrough Call Application

Rachel Laxer Interiors

063: Business Systems for an Architecture Practice with Maria Mustapha

In this week’s interview I speak with Maria Mustapha, a business strategist and director of JMA Projects, a Business Systems Consultancy that helps Interior Designers and Architects work smarter and build a 21st century business with better processes & technology.

With a background in a number of various industries from engineering and construction, branding and marketing, to software development projects, Maria has a unique insight into the constraints many new architectural businesses face.

In this interview you will learn:

– What are the most important and first systems you need to have in place in your architecture business
– What questions should you ask to a qualify a prospective client before you start working together
– What time consuming activities you should and can be outsourcing and what technology can be used to automate routine tasks


Architect’s Marketing Institute 1-2-1 Breakthrough Call Application

Work with Maria at JMA Projects

062: What Happens When An Anthropologist Studies Architects at Work? with Dr Thomas Yarrow

I was absolutely delighted and fascinated to meet this week’s guest on the Business of Architecture UK. Dr Thomas Yarrow is an Anthropologist at the University of Durham, who has recently completed an ethnographical study of architects at work, through an intimate observational collaboration with architecture practice, Millar Howard Workshop.

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’ 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 Interview the following themes are explored and reflected upon

  • The Revolution of the Everyday – how our sense of a utopian future can obscure the utopias of the everyday
  • The potential for the future of the architect is lies in our ability to thoughtfully reconcile complexity
  • Why the real power of the architect is our confidence in dealing with the uncertainty of ‘not knowing’.



Architect’s Marketing Institute 1-2-1 Breakthrough Call Application

Architects: Portrait of a Practice

Millar Howard Workshop

Dr Thomas Yarrow

061: Succeed in the Gig Economy with Diane Mulcahy

This week’s podcast is a powerful conversation with a highly accomplished guest, Diane Mulcahy, author of The Gig Economy – The Complete guide to getting better work, taking more time off and financing the life you want!.

I recently read this book at the recommendation of a business mentor and excitedly consumed it at pace. When finished I was certain that this was one of those critically important books that architects and students must read as it wonderfully articulates so many important lessons about the changing economic landscape within which we practice and offers many practical exercises for transitioning, embracing and using the gig economy to create fulfilling working careers.

As well writing best sellers on amazon, Diane is a Private Equity Advisor, Harvard Business Review and Forbes contributor, Adjunct Lecturer on the MBA program at Babson College, Boston, and a consultant and advisor to Fortune 500 and startup company clients.

In this interview you will discover:
– How you can create a secure career in The Gig Economy with multiple streams of income
– An Exercise for developing an exit strategy from full time employment into independent working without taking huge risks
– How independent working can create a more fulfilling, productive and effective company culture for all the team.



Architect’s Marketing Institute 1-2-1 Breakthrough Call Application


Diane Mulcahy


The Gig Economy



060: How to Finance Your Own Projects with Michael Bristow, CrowdProperty

This week I speak with Micheal Bristow, CEO and co-founder of CrowdProperty, a peer to peer lending platform for property projects.

Prior to starting CrowdProperty, Michael spent 18 years as a strategy consultant advising leading international companies and private equity funds on mergers and acquisitions and corporate strategy as well as growing an 8-figure property portfolio predominantly in London.

CrowdProperty provides a powerful alternative to traditional institutional finance, which for architects who want to do their own projects, can be especially attractive – just think of the possibilities!!

Listen to this week’s podcast to find out :

  • How you can raise finance for your own project through peer 2 peer lending
  • Why Institutional finance is preventing projects from happening
  • How project finance works for you and your clients


This week’s Resources

Book Your 1-2-1 Breakthrough Strategy with the Architects Marketing Institute 



Find Finance for your Project



Sign up For the Business of Architecture UK Email list to receive our latest content and special offers



059: Winning Game Changing Projects with Tarek Merlin of Feix Merlin

What a joy! I love podcasting. I always get the good fortune to visit many architectural practices and get tantalising glimpses behind the scenes.

Every so often I get the opportunity to conduct an interview in a recently completed project of the Business of Architecture guest.

This week was one such interview as I sit down with Tarek Merlin, co founder of Feix Merlin, in their recently completed socially conscious private members club in Mayfair, The Conduit.

Tarek discusses organic growth, the way that their practice has evolved as well the successes and challenges of their pivotal project, the Conduit.

In this interview you will learn:

– The power of ‘being human’ in cultivating meaningful business relationships

– The innovative business models Feix Merlin are employing with developer clients

– What makes a successful business partnership

This week’s Resources
Feix and Merlin



Book your free 1-2-1 Breakthrough session with our colleagues at AMI



058: Getting Published Made Easy with Nic Granleese, Ben Morgan and Celeste Bolte of Bowerbird

In this week’s episode I sit down with co-founders Nic Granleese, Ben Morgan and the UK Head of Operations Celeste Bolte of the Bowerbird Architecture App, a digital platform that makes getting your architecture project published very simple.

Nic, formerly an architect turned architectural photographer and Ben, a former design journalist & Celeste, who’s background is in communications, now operate an ever growing international platform connecting architects and designers with 1254 magazines, newspapers & websites.

In this podcast the Bowerbird trio go into depth about how best to go about getting your work published. In this episode you will learn:
– The essential components to a powerful story about your project
– How to get the most out of your project images
– The common mistakes architects make when publishing their work

This week’s Resources


Book your free 1-2-1 Breakthrough session with BoA 



057: Growing a Multi Disciplinary Urban Design Studio with Laura Crescimano

On this week’s episode, I visit Google HQ in London to speak with, Laura Crescimano, co-founder of San Francisco based SITE Lab, a multi disciplinary urban design firm.

Laura is an expert on urban design, with an intimate knowledge of public realm and social power of space. Designing both processes and places, Laura’s projects range from Pier 70, where she led a multidisciplinary team through the design and community process for a 35-acre mixed-use waterfront development in a historic industrial district in San Francisco, to leading the design for Google’s first proposed mixed-use neighborhood located at their headquarters in Mountain View, to designing Pop-up Care Villages for the homeless services non-profit Lava Mae to help them provide mobile showers as well as “radical hospitality.”

In this interview you will learn:
– How Laura and Evan won those early masterplan projects and rapidly created a team
– How SITELab Continues the Legacy of co-founder Evan Rose
– How Laura executes creating self generating projects and client relationships which continue to grow their firm.

This week’s Resources

Book your free 1-2-1 Breakthrough session with BoA 




056: Twitter, Making Sure You Get Paid & Creating a Fulfilling Practice with Armin Gangugly

In this week’s episode, I sit down in Notting Hill with the architectural buzz and energy that is Armin Gangugly.

Armin is a seasoned architect with over 20 years of international experience of designing and delivering buildings of all types. German born and living in Britain for many years, Armin has a unique take on architectural thought and business.

In this episode you will learn:
– What makes a successful practice
– Where to network where there is no competition
– The biggest mistake young architects make


Today’s resources:

Follow Armin on Twitter
and visit

Book your free 1-2-1 Breakthrough session with BoA 



055: How to Turnaround Your Architecture Practice with Barry Stott Brookes

This week I’m speaking with Barry Stott Brookes who is the director and founder of Architects Atelier and a graduate of the Business of Architecture marketing course.

In this interview Barry tells us how he took his once struggling business and transformed it into his ideal practice, with clients he loves working with, rewarding projects and the freedom to enjoy his life and work.

Barry embarked on educating himself in marketing, sales and business strategies and has seen his business thrive whilst becoming a great architect and business man. In this interview you will learn:

– How Barry NEVER has to chase unpaid invoice

– The simple strategy Barry uses to protect his cashflow by thinking of his service like it’s a product

– The system Barry uses to ensure consistent, reliable and predictable referrals.


Today’s resources:

Architects Atelier


Book your free 1-2-1 Breakthrough session with BoA