Originally published in Interiors & Sources

04/29/2013

The Shrinking World

Architects have diversified in terms of professional services and market sector reach, but if design practices don’t also tackle the challenge of working internationally, they will risk losing the overwhelming number of clients that do.

By William E. Alisse

 

Architects have diversified in terms of professional services and market sector reach, but if design practices don’t also tackle the challenge of working internationally, they will risk losing the overwhelming number of clients that do. It is critical that firms evolve project methodologies for working abroad, because we need to deliver the same quality of service and design excellence achieved at home anywhere in the world.

Focus on where your clients have already expanded and confirm where they want to be. American creative talent is highly valued in developing countries, particularly in Latin America, the Far East, India, West Africa and the new second tier of expanding Chinese urban centers.

Turkey, Poland, Brazil and newcomer Myanmar are especially promising markets with new growth demands that can benefit from our well-established design expertise. There is less opportunity in Western Europe at this time, due not only to the ongoing economic pressures, but also the abundance of well-educated and equally dynamic European designers generating works that compare favorably in terms of planning, sustainability and flair.

Most firms unable to establish a foreign presence do well to develop a foreign network of architectural practices, engineering firms and local vendors with whom they can partner effectively to help resolve local implementation issues, such as foreign code compliance, local means and methods, filing and building permits, product sourcing, etc. But choose your local affiliates carefully to ensure the practices you select have a comparable work ethos and compatible technologies; they must also understand the quality standards, timeframe and budget restraints that define your project.

American architects fare much better when they take time to absorb and understand local culture and show patience in their international business dealings. Once you secure respect and cooperation from the local design community, you can aspire to the many rewards of working abroad—larger scale project opportunities, expanded global resources, newfound markets, and the chance to grow and evolve alongside your increasingly multinational client base.

 

William E. Alisse, AIA is principal of international projects at TPG Architecture and managing director of TPG’s London office.

 

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Need portable cooling?

Rent or buy spot coolers from full-service locations nationwide. On call “24/7”. Primary, supplemental or emergency cooling. Atlas Sales & Rentals, Inc., or call (800) 972-6600.

Click here for more info


Visit our website today to learn about the design flexibility of a Morton building and the endless possibilities of partnering with our designBUILD team.


Wood construction is both cost and energy efficient. Check out Morton Buildings and our designBUILD team online today to discover all the benefits of post-frame construction.


When choosing a metal-clad building for your next construction project, consider Morton Buildings, Inc., and their designBUILD team, we’ll make your dream a reality.

Yaskawa drives offer quality performance for air handlers and cooling towers on the roof to secondary chilled water pumps in the basement

Bluebeam® Revu® simplifies digital facilities document management from design review to leveraging as-builts, maintenance manuals and O&Ms submittals.

We Can Help You Reduce Energy by 30%

Our mission is to help our customers manage their buildings' energy costs, improve reliability, and enhance performance while having a positive impact on the environment.
CLICK HERE to find out how.


 
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