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The Small Firm Exchange has curated a lineup of workshops, seminars, and events most relevant to small firm leaders at this year’s AIA Conference on Architecture. This collection of education and networking opportunities is tailored to help small firms – to address challenges with technology, contracts, sustainability, residential claims, management demands – and your future. Join us in Las Vegas, June 5–8. Register here > Wednesday, June 5 8 - 12pm | WE103 | An Architect's Internal "Legal" Practices Workshop 8 - 12pm | WE101 | The Business of Architecture: Tools for a Profitable Practice 1 - 5pm | WE301 | The Marketing of Architecture: ...
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An interview with Anne Fougeron FAIA By Mark English, AIA If you want to be an architect, you've got to go out there and look at real buildings. Since 1985, FOUGERON ARCHITECTURE is a nationally recognized design firm whose work exhibits a strong commitment to clarity of thought, design integrity, and quality of architectural detail. A lot of the women don't get their license, but they do go into related professions. You've got to claw yourself out of that hole. You have to fight the fight. You can't stay in the back, because nobody's going to fight that fight for you. NUMBERS MATTER. So, 16% of the Fellows are women, but half the undergraduate ...
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Submissions are due November 12, before 5pm ET 2018 Small Project Award recipient Sonoma weeHouse designed by Alchemy Architects. Image: Geoffrey C.Warner   Small projects with big impact The Small Project Award Program recognizes the work of small project practitioners and to promotes excellence in small project design. The program strives to raise public awareness of the value and design excellence that architects bring to all project types, including renovations and additions, no matter the limits of size and budget.   This year's Small ...
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Small firm risks aren’t small and as with any architectural firm, keeping on top of emerging risks and how to manage them can be cumbersome, time-consuming – and risky. You don’t know what you don’t know – so it’s helpful to have a source of information about currently developing issues and tools to keep you abreast of the most effective ways to practice. Many small firm owners are not aware of the many free practice resources and special small firm member benefits designed for them and their firms by the AIA Trust. The AIA Trust is governed by AIA members who work with independent experts to identify, evaluate, advise, and create programs of value ...
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By: Chyanne Husar   Buildings account for 44.6% of US Co2 emissions per the US Energy Information Administration (2012). As the ones who design those buildings, how can we as architects continue to protect the world we care about and what can our architecture firms do to help? Thomas Jacobs has been working on just that question.  As the Past-Chair of the AIA Chicago Chapter Advocacy Committee, founder of the Riverside Sustainability Council, and Principal at Krueck & Sexton Architects in Chicago, he has been an avid participant in the 2030 challenge and still asks ‘What can we do better?’ Tom’s answer: Link-up with fellow architects ...
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The Small Firm Exchange 2018 Business Models Survey is closed for submissions The purpose of the annual survey is to identify and measure the variety and commonalities in existing small firm models, with the goal of providing meaningful insight and analysis. This survey is conducted through the Small Firm Exchange (SFx), an AIA member group. The survey is intended for AIA members who are (1) sole practitioners and (2) architects in firms engaged in whole or in part in the practice of architecture, with a maximum of ten (10) total staff members. The data gathered will be presented in the  Small Firm Business Model Dashboard , which currently displays ...
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Christopher Toddy, AIA Kimberly Yoho, CAE, and Jason Tapia, AIA – September 2017   (image: AIA Leadership Institute 2016, photo credit: Scott Henrichsen ) Nationally, Architects are recognizing that being leaders in design also requires attention to areas not addressed in their professional practice course in design school. The realities of increased development, shifting politics and greater specialization within the design and construction professions has lead architects to focus greater attention and resources on advocacy and leadership. Providing leadership education for architects and emerging professionals remains a priority ...
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Thomas Lowing, AIA – SFx Regional Representative – June 2017   Do award-winning projects make award-winning firms? I venture to say, “not necessarily”, especially if you look at historic examples. A couple of my favorites are Frank Lloyd Wright and Louis Kahn. The genius of their design and the their demand for execution in the work was extremely disciplined, yet I would venture to say the prosperity of their practices was not nearly as desirable. Unlike their oversight of built projects, perhaps the practices they built were “not as planned”. Typically award-winning projects come from great design and execution. Some of these exemplary projects ...
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Christopher Toddy, AIA – SFx Regional Representative – February 2017 Introduction You may have been asked to sign a lien waiver in the recent past.  Ever wonder why? Architects assist landowners with zoning changes, planning, construction documents and other architectural services--all of which increase the value of their land.  There is a legal distinction that allows those who bring value to a parcel of land to be paid for that value: lien rights.  Most, but not all, architects in the United States have lien rights, however, many are not aware of their rights.  The Small Firm Exchange ( SFx ) – a national AIA committee advocating ...
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Constantly the construction industry approaches the ecological theme as the strategy that will improve business. Present equipment that could reduce energy consumption, like photovoltaic plates, is interpreted as the added value that we must pursue. However, another setback appears when we apply consumerist’s rules who affect the performance of our buildings. We see these rules on a daily basis; for example, if we want to lose weight we buy the pills instead of keeping a diet or a healthy lifestyle. The application of "green products" without having a business model consistent with ecological initiatives, may affect the cost-effectiveness of the work. Several ...
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Or; How to Get More Facebook Fans and Potential Leads Without Being Unethical I know that title's a doozy, but it certainly explains it all. Where do you find real, engaged, potential client fans? I will answer your (my) question with another question: Who is your ideal client and where would they hang out online? Are they reading House Beautiful magazine? Do the obsess over Farrow & Ball? Let's brainstorm some ways you can reach your ideal client. You can run very complex Facebook ads, promote your fan page updates for $5 a pop, launch a Google adwords campaign, buy more fans from some sketchball computer programmer in Malaysia...but those ...
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From client requests to notes on vendors, your online bookmarks are getting out of control and your Evernote notebooks are a fierce hot mess . Hundreds of design ideas and inspirational stylings zip through your mind and your inbox on a daily basis. A new social bookmarking / photo sharing / shopping gallery website is changing the way brands engage potential customers and it can help you get organized, attract clients, and connect with like-minded designers. Pinterest is an "online virtual pinboard" that "lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web." ( from their website ) The invitation-only service ...
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The Small Firm Round Table is going to highlight Small Firm Award Winners from other Knowledge Communities. Our first winner is from Technology in Architectural Practice for the Best Use of BIM in a Small Firm. An Honorable Mention went to BlakeDrucker architects for the Mesenchymal and Craniofacial Research Laboratory. Congratulations to BlakeDrucker! #SmallFirmRoundTable
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