If as an Architect You Don´t Know About Business, You Are Out

Architecture education wasn’t designed to prepare you for running an entrepreneurial practice. The system that you know is the way to get licensed was never intended to allow you to start a business as an architect. You must follow a single-sided vision of success.

The gap between what you get at university and what you receive today has been more evident than ever.

Information revolution is a reality. The internet brought connectivity, and new ways to do business. We see new business models emerging all the time that are completely different from their old counterparts. We architects had to reexamine our options because of all the potential in technology, business, marketing and personal development.

Image Courtesy of IE School of Architecture and Design

Recent years saw an increase in entrepreneurial efforts among young architects professionals. However, this came with the challenges of real-life business problems that simply lack business acumen.

The built environment and architecture industry have remained inward-looking over the past decades, avoiding relevant conversations with others and overlooking new opportunities. Leaders with a renewed and expanded vision of the built environment are required. They must have the ability to see real-world problems from more sources and transform them into new and innovative business opportunities that add value to society.

This situation calls into question whether universities are enabling or hindering innovation.

Think about it: there is great potential for innovation and development in today’s society. This should not be restricted to the tech industry. Technology is essential for advancement in architecture, building material, construction, and engineering. We want to create global innovation labs where experiments and research are conducted on future-oriented design solutions. However, the business approach to this development is still based on completely obsolete actions.

Image Courtesy of IE School of Architecture and Design

We see a consistent trend in which research, regardless of its sophistication, is kept as such- as an academic study and rarely makes it to market as a viable business opportunity.

This is why you believe this to be a problem in your profession.

It would be one thing, and one thing alone:

We are not equipped to practice architecture under the traditional education system. It produces visionaries, academics, writers, thinkers, and visionaries, but not businesspeople.

It is a sad truth that innovations and projects are only as good and as successful as the support and traction they receive to get them to market.

Commerce is the engine that propels the world forward. Yet, many fail to capitalize on their innovations.

Take a look at the achievements made in the past decade. The most powerful economic force in the last decade has been entrepreneurship.

We need a new educational model that teaches students how to invent and compete in an increasingly global industry.

It is essential to create a systemic education revolution. However, it cannot be limited to molding technology with design thinking and calling innovation. We must teach entrepreneurship to the next generation architects and designers in order to move forward and create more success opportunities.

Image Courtesy of IE School of Architecture and Design

This was ever more important than ever. Architectural education must balance the practical and theoretical aspects of the profession. Students need to be taught how to actively build their career through architectural courses. We actively disempower our generation, contributing to fear and anxiety about the future.

Image Courtesy of IE School of Architecture and Design

The IE School of Architecture and Design is a shining example of entrepreneurial thinking in schools. It has been developing leaders and entrepreneurs for over ten years and is now a leader in Architecture, Engineering, and Construction.

The Master in Business Architecture and Design is my absolute favorite. It aims to assist student entrepreneurs in realizing their innovative projects and transforming service concepts into viable startups. This leaves them as active businesspeople with products on the market.

Jeronimo van Schendel Erice, program director at DISRUPT, was invited to the five-day virtual Business of Architecture symposium. His presentation at DISRUPT entitled “The Entrepreneurial Design: Why is Business Vision Critical for Architects & Designers” will address the current state in architecture, identify the skills required to forge a strong future generation of architects and designers, as well as how his master’s program addresses the lack of management and business elements in architecture education today.

Disrupt’s First Edition features SOM, Gensler and BIG as well as Snohetta and Perkins and Will. You can get your Symposium tickets at 50% off until April 1st. If you are serious about your career, and really want to succeed.