OK, so slightly dramatic but I’m only setting the tone for what constitutes a substantial amount of a creative’s day-to-day practice-running dilemma. Perhaps not so much an overflowing sink and a pie (is banana bread still a thing?) but time management, organisation and prioritisation of tasks are vital traits for anyone looking to venture into the world of establishing a business.
Granted I am sharing advice and tips you have heard time and again from other ever-learning business owners, however, adding creativity to the mix requires a new level of stringent discipline only a military commander would approve of. This is where the dilemma starts: Architecture and Design seemed to be the natural transition from my inherent attention to space, materiality and detail as well as their combined profound effect on an individual or cityscape. These all seem to be very abstract, almost whimsical observations. How do we transform this into something tangible? How does one start a business focused on this? How does one set themselves apart while remaining true to the end goal?
I was able to practice my craft in Europe, the US and finally the Middle East when I moved to Dubai over ten years ago. Addressing context through design quickly became our focus at T.ZED Architects – a practice I have founded following successfully identifying (literal) gaps in the architecture-scape within the city, as well as an opportunity to address a more niche clientele. This, in some ways, has alleviated the pressures of trying to compete with the big players in the industry, while at the same time allowed us to focus on the craft of Architecture. Practising patience, research, and repetition in making all in the hope of achieving the divine moments in architecture that give cause to our pursuit.
By remaining true to our objectives and practising Architecture, Interior Architecture and Design in their purest form we have not only attracted like-minded clients but have also initiated a discourse and dialogue on Architecture and Design in general. Of course, running a practice in an emerging (yet ever so well-connected) market comes with its fair share of challenges and I will be shedding more light on the highs and lows in my monthly piece. Some may be relevant to other Architects and Designers, others less so. In the end, I hope to share my personal experience with the hope to improve the Design collective even, humbly if ever so slightly. After all, a healthy design community is a sign of a thriving economy and we as Architects and Designers owe it to everybody to think creatively and to improve any situation no matter how big or small. If you think this is a lot to ask think again because, in true Architect’s jargon, this all needed to happen yesterday. No pressure.