Anyone can slide into a rut. Sometimes those ruts mean that you earn less than you could. And sometimes they limit your horizons and experiences. With the economy growing stronger every day, there’s no reason for you not to capitalize on all of the exciting things happening in architecture. More people are building, which equals more opportunity for you. There’s also more competition, but that’s what makes it all interesting.
Here are 4 ways that you might broaden your horizons, gain new experiences and grow a more rewarding career in the process.
#1: Consider a Merger
You have your talents and access to a certain market. The same applies to every architecture firm. When you find another firm that’s open to the idea, a strategic merger can offer tremendous benefits to both of you.
Merging with another firm, says Architect magazine, “can be a quick way to pick up new expertise and access to different markets.” But be warned, as Griff Davenport of DLR Group explains. Just because another firm has something that you want, and the same in reverse, doesn’t mean that you and they will blend. You’ll need to do a lot of research first.
#2: Expand into Geodesign
In response to an awareness of climate change and “our need to know the environmental impacts of design decisions,” Architect magazine suggests that geodesign is an avenue for expansion that’s worth looking into.
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) help architects visualize concepts, and it also helps with understanding the results of those concepts on the environment. Education programs already exist at Philadelphia University and Penn State.
#3: Consider Service Design
Service design helps improve intangibles such as systems and infrastructures and processes and procedures, says Architect magazine. This work helps increase productivity, reduces errors and more through prototyping methods.
Architects are slow to embrace service design, according to Architect magazine. They explain that that’s likely because the projects taken on by architects seldom lead to a real-world building project. But with efficiency becoming more important in every industry, it could become a solid niche.
#4: Public Interest Design
As with service design, public interest design is all about the greater good. Architects are problem solvers. Through public interest projects, they can help improve housing for billions of impoverished people, help design better sanitation solutions and bring clean drinking water to people who have no access.
Architect magazine says this growing area is being picked up by schools such as the University of Minnesota. Throughout the architecture community, firms such as Perkins+Will and Public Architecture are growing diverse design groups that have the potential for growing larger than any traditional architecture firm could.
Diversification can help you get a more solid footing in an era where architecture is both growing and competitive. It can also help you grow your business to a broader version of itself and bring in new clients.
Collaboration with other firms and branching out into emerging areas of practice are two avenues that could yield good results for large and small firms. And to stay competitive all around, continuing education has never been more important. Check out our courses for architects when your next credit hours are due.