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





085: Running a Virtual Studio During Lockdown with Daniele Sini, Richard Markland Architects

This interview was one of the last times I properly stepped outside the house, a few weeks before the lockdown in the UK.

I had arranged this interview with Daniele Sini of Richard Markland Architects to discuss their innovative methods of project delivery and software usage, where they have adapted gaming software and virtual reality to communicate design ideas with clients and consultant teams.

However when I visited their office their team had begun working from home, and they were adapting their innovative set up to create a virtual studio. Daniele is a very experienced architect. Having spent over seventeen years in professional practice, and in the last twelve years he has been leading complex projects from initial design to completion. Currently he is the project lead on a large newly built private residential building amongst others.

In this episode you will learn:

– The software mix RMA are using to produce ‘real time' photorealistic 3D models

– How the studio has enabled it's staff to work remotely

– How the studio uses virtual reality to assistant client decisions and how in the not to distant future will even hold client meetings in VR.

This week's resources:


Richard Markland Architects



084: Architecture as a Superpower: Going Above and Beyond the Building with Adam Scott, FREESTATE

Before the lockdown I had the opportunity to meet with Adam Scott who is the founder of experience master planners FREESTATE.

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 is an advocate for the power of architectural thinking beyond just buildings and describes it as a super power that many highly successful people working in different disciplines and industries have utilised.

In this episode you will discover:

– How utilised his architectural expertise from promoting live club nights to building a pioneering global experience masterplanning agency – What is brand and why architects are well suited to think about it

– How architects can move into new modes of architectural practice and design This week's resources:

Discovery call with Rion




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