I am one week away from being full-time at [design] [build] by architects! There are all kinds of emotions as this day approaches. Making the leap to self employment while working for one of the best companies in the Midwest has had several people asking why?????
Leaving Heart of America has been different than any job I have left in the past. In the past I have had reasons for leaving a job such as being underpaid, underutilized, being pigeon-holed into a specific role, or simply the willingness to relocate. But honestly, I loved my job, I loved the people I work for, and the people I worked with. I was able to experience the ambitions of a true entrepreneur and believe I gained invaluable experience. I gained learning tools that I believe I would have never achieved working in a traditional architecture firm. The most important being:
In almost every aspect of our day to day lives, boundaries between people and processes have been imposed upon us by people who have come before us. Before working at Heart of America, I was comfortable with accepting these processes. One example being the development of construction documents to 100% without allowing contractors to review/bid. Heart of America taught me to challenge the process, to work along side contractors in order to develop the construction documents during the design and construction phases. [design] [build] by architects's primary focus is to bridge the gap between architects and contractors by merging the design and construction phases of a project.
The typical Architect's career goes Intern->Project Architect->Senior Architect->Principal Architect->retirement. I am striving to defy this process. Every architect should practice as an entrepreneur architect. The skills developed through architecture school, internship, and practice have produced architects, graphic designers, developers, lawyers, public officials, computer programmers, landscape designers, structural engineers, contractors, and I can go on and on. An architect should be defined as having all these characteristics. So, why make the leap to self-employment??? To create a business where I can display all the skills I have developed through education and practice. To create a business that improves the community we live in. To create a business I can leave to my children when my time passes. To CREATE.