Entrepeneurship by Archstudents
The architect is a being used to develop projects, who sees something before anyone else and makes that reality possible.
Thanks to the national economic crisis, architects have conected with disciplines far from the mere construction; we have opened doors and windows to sectors such as tourism, web design, film, fashion and even cooking. It is not something new, in fact the biggest architects ever , always did. Most of renowned architects have a chair or lamp in his name, drawings in different formats, etc. Mies,Alvar Aalto, Le Corbusier, The Eames, Jacobsen are perhaps the best known because the furniture they designed 50 years ago today is still in fashion and because of the quality of those designs. Alvar Aalto designed the stairs, furniture and even the shape of the doorknob, because for him, each home is different. This obsession to details and giving the users more relevance than the space itself, is what many businesses today understand as “user experience” and it marks the difference between success or fail for a brand. Steve Jobs knew this as his father taught him that the wood from the back of the cabinet could not be of lower quality than the front (although anyone would see it).He took this philosophy of detail design to Apple and developed a huge company. However, following these ideas to get into the smallest detail is not only reflected in the objects they create, but even in the stores themselves, the website or packaging , paying attention to which is the first contact that the client face the product , the experience to transmit through this new acquisition. Seth Godin, another guru of Marketing in this case, says that new commercial successes are no longer those that target the largest number of people, but rather, those that focus on very specific niches, tribes located at the ends of the Gauss bell , reaching them with empathy, detail and personalized treatment.
Nowadays this trend is increasingly grounded due to low demand in the construction market, this fact leads us to reinvent ourselves in tangential universes. If we define “project” and “entrepreneurship” we see that there are many more similarities than differences between them:
Project: to propose, contemplate, or plan.
Undertake: to attempt to; to start , to take in charge
With the democratization of software and powerful hardware, philosophy maker with simple kits as 3D printing or Arduino programming and robotics, the growth of freelancers is developing in a third industrial revolution. This revolution follows the principles of Fordism, but is not enough to generate consumer goods in huge industrial quantities, (with China we have lost the battle). Now we have to provide greater customer value, we have to create unique objects, “purple cows *”, to sand out, etc., and here is where architects have a great opportunity to contribute.
In the University of Alcalá and specially the new generation of students that faced economic problems, people have grown up being aware of the new challenges of architecture and seeking to give new answers. In our school we have several programs of innovation, for example the successful “week of architecture” where once a year , students are gleefully in workshops and activities, with items like design ,video games ,creation of theater play sceneries , building urban furniture or an ecological oven. During this week, students can have the opportunity to experience life the “other doors and windows of architecture “.On the other hand, other students have got their way independently by projects initiated by themselves. This is the case of Boa Mistura, a successful group of youngs that are called to decorate the cities across the world with graffiti murals.
The next point of the article is to tell the testimonies of our architecture students mates that are examples of the new Architecture’s world. This students are part of a group of young people with a different vision and initiative, they make their way through the multiple disciplines offered by the field of architecture, developing varied alternative projects.
For example Santi and Kevin tell us that “RenderFab rise as a company that meets a need among students of architecture that is the control and management of programs and 3D design rendering. Digital tools are evolving rapidly and the market demands this skils ,in many cases the difference between winning a contest or an investor or client bet on a particular project or not, at the end of the day most of the population does not have the spatial vision of an architect and does not understand or imagine the result of 2D planes. From the world of film or video games we get a series of tools that architects and industrial designers have been able to incorporate into our sector. However often this tools are complex and involve a training period that todays have not been incorporated in schools yet. Knowing the lack of time, how to approach the contents in ordert to be as useful as possible in the course of projects and how to organize a course tailored to students of architecture, created the startup, from offering courses in computer graphics and images by order to help other students. “
They say that this whole project started when they were in a competition within a team where the average age of the people working there was five years higher, so they were surprised when the team accepted them. They hadn`t much idea of building structures, sustainability ,etc., but the key was that they knew about representation in 3D design and how to create hyperrealistic computer graphics. All the older mates were students of architecture but they left in the hands of the youngers which would the jury see, after that investors and people around decided to trust the project, these images would thus “see” the result before the construction project. This couple had made some introductory course design programs but when they learned really was working on his own and self-taught. Gradually they created a book to review the course content, a web from which the startup contact and profiles on social networks to spread resources of interest and developments in the field of 3D. They have also taught in schools, universities and architects form and in the labor market, interior offering a valuable, economical, effective product and leaves great satisfaction in students who were out of time .Regarding the enterprise, un architect is able to identify needs and to provide solutions in the form of solvents business. Here the point was not lack of interest or knowledge in the 3D theme, but specially the lack of time. Focusing on training students in a very direct way and combining the same with the development agenda of personal project of each student is able to improve times, adjust the pockets of students by providing a quality product and above all give it a greater interest in doing much more productive and can focus on each student .
Another example focuses this time the world of graphic design ,where Manu tells us how he managed to receive orders for custom designs and conduct workshops for children: “After a few years painting graffiti in Alcala de Henares (I started in 2007), I focused on restoring old skateboards to give them a new use. At first I was painted for me, making all kinds of designs without regarding any fashion. Gradually, I was doing errands for family who used them as decorative elements in their designs and houses. Along time I was trying different ways of painting style, and I drifted toward designing and printing T-shirts trying to make a relation between these two worlds.
In my designs there is some relation to architecture too because I always use geometric patterns like triangles, pentagons, etc … Finally, this summer I got to work with local councils of several towns of Segovia holding workshops for children graffiti. First, I make the main image and then children paint with templates issues related to give new life to deteriorated walls somewhat “
iLovetriangles is another project that has managed to do graphic design business, Alex and Angela are UAH students who by joining image and geometry have managed to make line of shirts and drawings:
“Actually the beginning does not have a specific day, there is no date on which we decided to start the project. It was something that emerged gradually. One day while working, we were looking for information online and we found some designs which were based on geometries such as squares, triangles, pentagons … and we thought that it would be great to do something similar. Then we started to test designs, options and see if we can produce something cool, but always as a private thing just for our amusement.
On the other hand we have always been interested in the entire world of graphic design, blogging, digital art, etc. And we usually go all through social networks (Instagram, facebook, twitter etc), then after a certain time flirting with the drawings we began to think that maybe we could throw and start to be part of that community of “artists” (maybe it is not the better word) and share what we were doing to the people. Then we opened an Instagram account and we began to share our work, to see how people would react to our drawings. After seeing that general opinion was positive and even friends were asking us to print them something specific, we thought that maybe we could go a step further and try to market products. From there we went to sell our first products to a pop-up in a market in the center of Madrid, in Malasaña, and the experience could not be better. We were able to gather impressions of many people who seemed to like our designs and we really felt very welcome and comfortable with everything we were doing. We saw that textiles were more successful than the prints (postcards and sheets) too, so we received some very useful feedback.
Now we are at that point, taking advantage of the designs we produce to sell on all shirts and sweatshirts. In our free time we continue drawing, because in the end the most important thing it that iLoveTriangles, since it started, is not a job for us, but something done for fun, and so still. “
Finally we have the testimony of Jesus Manuel, a multidisciplinary student who grew up by his own account, he always carries a notebook where notting new ideas and he thinks that anything is possible with a little effort and desire to improve:
“Entrepreneurship today in the architectural profession is more an obligation than a fashion. Our professional field is very saturated and the world needs new professionals able to highlight and create new fields of action (not just in the field of construction) are needed.
From my own personal entrepreneurial attitude has been constant (even decadent through the years, creative ability and initial energies have been declining because of the university attitude) throughout my seven years of studing. Some of my projects are “quelohagalamaquina” when I invested in a laser cutter machine. “Ayuda” with my friend Toto is a platform for social action,. “Potato studio” is the name of computer graphics courses and “Wikiplace” is a project developed in the classrooms of entrepreneurship. I always carry a notebook where I write down different ideas with entrepreneurial potential.
Wich are the architect capabilities as an entrepreneur?I think that highlighting your creative ability, providing different solutions to the same problem. We are used to thinking about how a building works in its entirety, sowe are able to think about the structure of a company from a big scale to the final product. Is it also important to manage graphics capabilities through the image editing tools, etc. “
Entrepreneurship is not easy, however is very satisfactory and positive. We have the tools and the capabilities. Have you detected a needed? What is your talent? I encourage you to create your own idea or business. Do you dare to take the first step ?
Santiago Jiménez Cortés.
Links // references:
– Estamos tontos de la cabeza (etc.)
Author: Rotating Editor Alcala