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AR147 – Ken Shuttleworth on starting Make Architects


ADR is happy to announce that AR147 is now available. With Ken Shuttleworth of Make Architects on the cover, the magazine is packed full of information pertaining to the business of architecture. AR147 is now on its way to subscribers and newsstands.

Get your subscription to AR online or by calling 1800 804 160.

Included in this issue:

– Ken Shuttleworth talks to AR editor Madeleine Swain about leaving one of the most famous architecture practices on the planet to start up his own,

– Peter Saladino investigates the challenges and pitfalls of starting your own practice,

– A panel of experts debate whether project managers and architects can ever be friends,

– Alan Pert, director of Melbourne School of Design, discusses continuing professional development and ‘design for ageing’,

– Michelle Dunner meets Dan Phillips, an architect with an extraordinary passion for recycled materials,

– A look at the Hiscox building by Make Architects, a project that combines Make Architects’ design with the expertise of workspace interior designers KKS, and

– Sara Kirby meets Ben Walker of ben walker architects in Emerging Practice.

A letter from AR editor, Madeleine Swain:

You may not know, but Erdington is about 3.8 miles from Jerrard Drive in Sutton Coldfield. You may also not know (or care, I should warrant) that Erdington and Sutton Coldfield are both towns in the UK’s West Midlands (well, they were both part of Warwickshire until that heinous redrawing of the county boundaries in 1974, but that’s a whole different story). Why am I telling you this?

Well, Ken Shuttleworth, this issue’s cover star and the subject of our lead story, was born and bred in Erdington, while I spent a goodly portion of my childhood in Jerrard Drive, Sutton Coldfield. Goodness. Practically twins.

Perhaps that’s why I liked talking to him so very much. And why he seemed to just say one terribly sensible thing after another. Shared cultural backgrounds and all that.

One of the smartest, although also ‘earning 10 points for stating the bleeding obvious’, was this gem: “It’s almost the most basic piece of economics that you’ve got to earn more than you spend. People ask me what’s the magic? And that’s what you’ve got to do. Don’t spend more than you earn.”

Forehead slap, eh?

But Shuttleworth is absolutely right. This is the second issue in the new look AR and the mantra ‘don’t spend more than you earn’ is at the very heart of what we’re doing with this change in direction. Not simply because the previous incarnation of the magazine was causing issues in that department for us (though, of course, that was a huge consideration), but primarily because we realised that, simple or not, it’s these basic business processes that can be the areas of greatest struggle for architectural practices.

How do you regulate your cash flow, when, as Shuttleworth also notes, “The phone goes and you’ve either won or lost a commission, and you either need people or you don’t”? How do you plan for HR? For future-proofing your business? How do you accommodate the newest and most exciting technology in the architectural sphere? How do you keep abreast of the latest legislation when there are sketches to draft, sites to visit and clients to pitch to or liaise with? Your business is a creative one, but if you spend every day doing nothing but designing beautiful buildings and dreaming up future environments, you’ll find your metaphorical walls tumbling down quicker than you can say, Le Corbusier (Gesundheit).

This is where we come in. But you can help us to help you. If there are areas of your business you find challenging, let us know. If there are topics you think we should be covering that will aid you in your nose to the grindstone, head down, bottom up daily business chores… share them with us.

Drop me a line. Call me up. We’re quite amenable, us Warwickshire folk (all right, all right, Midlanders…)

I look forward to hearing from you.

Madeleine Swain

Get your subscription to AR online or by calling 1800 804 160.


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