Thank you to Eric Romano with EUA, Steve Morales with Rinka & Michelle Raysich with JLL for participating in our NextGen architect panel! Our group of NextGens received a lot of great insight as to what our panelist are seeing in this current era of COVID, changes in social & office space norms, increased building costs etc, in addition to great advice.
A few takeaways:
- During this time, Eric has enjoyed working on projects that will have a lasting impact and seeing how companies are looking to take advantage and perhaps shift their culture.
- Communication and collaboration hasn’t dropped nearly as much as they would’ve expected.
- Technology is a component that has changed the industry drastically over the last 20 years, less drawing, moved toward auto-cad and now into a variety of different software tools.
- It is much more important now to understand who the people are and how they will use the space that you design. It is very important to understand how different departments interact. This wasn’t the case 20 years ago.
- The last few years there was a huge push in creating meaningful experiences within space. This might have changed, but has not gone away with COVID.
- The rise in construction costs are posing challenges, no wiggle room in the deal, more scrutiny.
- It’s very important to put the right team together from the beginning to help negotiate construction costs, estimates, analyze risks, and help identify potential problems.
- Keep things simple and make sure they are aligned with client requests.
- Most valuable skills in the industry: good communication whether verbal or visual, responsiveness, flexibility, resiliency – fight for what you feel is best for all parties involved.
- Many mentors have come from professional organizations like CARW & Tempo, utilize your resources.
- You are the sum of the five people you spend the most time with, choose them wisely…
- Advice: TRAVEL! Experience life outside of your local industry and bring those insights home. Be fearless, don’t be afraid to take risks and don’t be your own worst enemy. Learn that being uncomfortable is ok, it means you are growing.
- Midwest specific challenges: temperature variance, hard to design a building that does great in extreme heat and extreme cold. Sometimes the belief that the Midwest isn’t as experienced; however, sometimes this manifests into a tough Midwest work ethic.