Source: unDraw

We recently had the opportunity to talk to Kristin, owner of Kosy Kasa, one of Austin’s trendiest new interior design services. During the interview, Kristin gave us an insider’s view of a day in the life of a solo entrepreneur and interior designer.

Here’s a transcript of our conversation (edited for clarity):

ME: Can you tell me a little about what you do?

KRISTIN: I’m a solo designer. I run my own firm, which I’ve been doing for a couple of years on and off. But before I was always working for other design firms and did freelance projects on the side. Just this past couple months is when I’ve really gone full time, so I’m just getting started and diving into the Austin market.

ME: What would you say are some challenges with running your own business?

KRISTIN: It’s a lot of work. I have to do everything by myself, which I know how to do because I’ve been designing for so long. But it’s a lot of managing time and different clients all at once. Another challenge is figuring out more of the business end of things, whereas before I would only touch on it and the owner of the company or lead designer would handle that. So figuring out the best way to invoice, best forms of payment, what to charge, etc.

ME: Can you describe a typical work day for you?

KRISTIN: If I don’t have any meetings with clients, I like to block out a certain amount of hours per job per day. So this morning before our call, I was working on one of my clients. Super cool. She’s about my age, just a little bit younger. It’s her first house, and I’m calling it like her bachelorette pad. Right now, we’re putting together the living room. So I was pulling a couple items, like coffee tables and such, and putting them into a presentation for her to see how they all go together.

And then if I have design meetings, I’ll block out that time. And getting fabric samples or material samples as well before each meeting. It’s different every single day, honestly.

ME: How do you stay organized?

I organize in a way that works for me. If I had someone else working with me, though, it would be really confusing for them. One boss told me back in the day, “You need to make sure everything is organized in a way so that if you quit one day, the new person would be able to pick up right where you left off.” So I guess I should take that advice… But my current method works for my mind and my mind only.

ME: Where do you go to keep up with design trends?

KRISTIN: Instagram is probably the number one place. Designers are posting everything they’re doing there and tagging their sources, so I found a lot of cool furniture stores that way through Instagram. Number two would be design blogs. That used to be number one, but now with how big Instagram is – that’s just what people do.

To learn more about Kosy Kasa and Kristin, you can visit her website here: https://www.kozykasa.us/

AirSend is a versatile digital workspace for professionals to share files, send messages, and complete tasks. See how AirSend can help you as your business grows here.

We recently had the opportunity to talk to Nacho Molero, freelance and soon to have a masters in Interior Design, and aspiring photographer. During the interview, Molero gave us an insider’s view of what it’s like to be an interior designer and photography. He also shed some light on the magic of it all.

Here’s a transcript of our conversation (edited for clarity):

Me: So why don’t you go ahead and tell me what about interior design and photography appeal to you?

Molero: So, I recently moved to Barcelona because I am doing a master’s program to specialize in interior design. I’ve always been extremely interested in interior design, and I like to think my interests started with architecture.

Most of my Instagram really is architecture. I find that when I walk around the cities I am not able to avoid taking photos after photos of just facade and coldness and beautiful places. 

Interior design has always been sort of on the sidelines and as the years went by, I sort of realized that this is absurd. I mean, clearly I really, really love doing this and everything related to this. Everything.

Especially regarding interior design, I mean it is literally where you live and everything that you feel when you are home. And I’m feeling truly calm and at peace and I’m surrounded by things that you really love. I’m not confused, you know.

I remember, when I lived by myself in Madrid, I had a chance to put my place up really nicely. I remembered that once I finished, I experienced peace, tranquility, and the general positive vibes. Interior design has really been this sort of obsession with the things that I’ve always really loved.

Me: Wonderful. What are some tools and applications you use to get by with your creative works?

Molero: I would say two things are very, very useful. One thing is to find and download a 3D design program. They have become very unique and being able to create the space and see it in 3D before you buy anything really helps so much because you may have an idea.

One thing that I myself have to come to terms with is that I may be good at some things regarding design, but I’m quite terrible at others, such as color matching. So, when it comes to color matching the tools I rely on are libraries, color systems, and things that I can find a line that I know for a fact work.

Design is not just creating from scratch. It’s also sufficiently having an educated eye to identify works and replications. 

Me: How neat. My last question for you is what would you recommend to someone starting out in your profession?

Molero: the first thing you should say to anyone that wants to pursue a creative career, is to consume as much of it as you can.

If you want to become a writer, go read; wish to become a photographer, watch movies and all the exhibitions. If you aspire to become a painter, go to a museum and educate your eyes. Most importantly have a passion for it. More than anything.

That’s the sort of thing you first have to taste to truly be sure that either you love it [design,] or just love to look at beautiful pictures. Which are two different things.

To see Mr. Molero’s portfolio, check out his twitter and Instagram

AirSend helps designers and creatives create a versatile digital workspace to share files, send messages, and complete tasks. To see our latest interview, click here.

We bet you didn’t think that we would do a podcast on architecture, but here it is! After scouring the internet, we came up with three of our favorite architecture podcast. While we are on the podcast talk, dive into our other podcast suggestions! Now that introductions are out of the way, let’s talk about architecture! 

Architecture is both the process and the product of planning, designing, and constructing buildings or any other structures. Architectural works, in the material form of buildings, are often perceived as cultural symbols and as works of art.

From prolific styles to renowned architects, architecture is by far one of the most captivating fields of study. It is a field of study that we feel is particularly underappreciated, and because of this, we felt that it was time for someone to show some affection. For more information on architecture, we highly suggest researching other podcasts. Let’s begin. 

Design Matters

With a fun UI (user interface) design and a plethora of categories, this podcast has it all. Host/ founder and author of six books, Debbie Millman is the first and longest-running podcast about design.

With over 300 interviews from design luminaries and cultural commentators, Design Matters has garnered over 5 million downloads, along with a Cooper Hewitt National Design Award. Since this post is focused on architecture, we looked at episodes that were relative to that, however, we do suggest looking at Millman’s other episodes. 

James Biber

Image from Design Matters

James Biber is an architect that focuses on multi-disciplinary environments. According to the interview with Millman, Biber’s “work centers on a belief that architecture is an expression of identity that is inseparable from its language of form and tectonics” (2012). This belief results in the idea that “architecture ties closely to its context; whether physical, cultural, or metaphorical” (2012). 

Throughout the episode, Millman discusses with Biber on the essence of art and architecture. They begin with Biber’s unusual fascination with the Waffle House. According to Biber, Waffle House has the largest sign to store ratio.

Additionally, they have everything for everybody. What is also fascinating to Biber, is the visual vernacular of the signage. Essentially the signage represents a model of simplicity and efficiency. An important concept to note, that is also often repeated throughout the episode is the mass market.

The mass-market relative to architecture is huge. If one were to slightly redesign any mass marker, such as McDonalds or Waffle House, the impact would be phenomenal. The mass-market + slight change = global market. How is this equation relative to architecture? Biber explains that architects avoid normalcy because it represents generic things that they are in fact trying to change. In other words, from an architects’ perspective, there is a need to change the world, and to change the world, one of the approaches is the mass-market industry. 

“Construction is still an extremely analog activity, it is science, art, craft.”

Biber 2012

Also interesting to note is that Biber makes the argument that architecture is synonymous to biography. Architecture, from Biber’s point of view, is that is it brain made- it is impossible to design something without it being personal, historical, etc. Architecture is always burdened with a set of meaning, therefore it is a brain made, and therefore a biography.

Biber’s work has been recognized by the AIA, AIGA, SEGD and other professional design organizations, and has been published in The New York Times, Architectural Record, The Wall Street Journal, Architect, Blueprint, Wallpaper, Dwell, Metropolitan Home, New York Magazine and the design press internationally.

The Architecture Happy Hour

Yes, we said Happy Hour. We loved the title too. With a classy suave intro, The Architecture Happy Hour is an informal and entertaining podcast that started in 2009 hosted by hpd architecture + interiors, Laura Davis and Holly Hall

“From the very beginning, we wanted the podcast to feel like you were sitting down with friends to chat about architecture and home design. And if you happen to have a cocktail in your hand, even better.”

Davis.

Their podcasts include but are not limited to: 

  • home design
  • home improvement
  • kitchen and bathroom design
  • architecture
  • interior design
  • updating from traditional to contemporary
  • how to select a contractor
  • working with an architect
  • becoming an architect

The episode we will be focusing on is “Episode 87: New Year Resolutions in Your Home.” 

Episode 87:New Year Resolutions in Your Home

The question Davis and Hall propose is that if your home could make New Year’s resolutions, what would they be? Throughout the episode, Davis and Hall discuss several ways to make your home more healthy, better organized, and budget-smart. From sorting to maintenance, to even home designing tips, David and Hall cover it all.

One of the tips to having a healthier is purging. Purge your junk drawer, closets, kitchen, etc. Purging your items will allow you to see the space available, and perhaps further projects to improve on, such as cabinetry, painted walls, flooring, countertops, etc. Purging allows for the impactful benefits of feeling cleaner, efficient, and productive.

Holly and Davis say to start from the floor to doors, cabinets, and then ceiling. Additionally, go room-to-room, and prioritize the list. Lastly, create a calendar. Creating a calendar to input a goal for each month is a great way to improve your house. What are some New Year Resolutions for your home? 

Business of Architecture 

Enoch Sears is the host and founder of the Business of Architecture. Sears started this practice as a resource for firm owners. Further, his mission has been to discover and share strategies, tactics, and tools needed to run a successful practice.

Note that Business of Architecture does dive into the realm of said study, however, it also encompasses the idea of creating a successful enterprise with architecture. Sears’s methodology is adopting the “ArchitectCEO” mindset. The ArchitectCEO takes ultimate responsibility for his or her results and success. Think like a CEO, not an architect.

To show how this method works, we chose “Episode 309: Architect Creates Illustration Brand with Rajiv Fernandez.”

Episode 309: Architect Creates Illustration Brand with Rajiv Fernandez.

Image from Lil’ Icon

Rajiv Hernandez is a trained and licensed architect. He currently is the CEO of his illustration company, Lil’ ICon. As a graduate of the Colombia School of Architecture, Fernandez believed he had more to offer to the world.

After the 2016 election, Fernandez took a risk to jump in unfamiliar territory, illustration, to create a voice. The majority of the illustrations Fernandez creates deals with political and social commentary. His mission is to inspire people to talk and connect his illustrations with architecture.

As a freelance entrepreneur, Fernandez realized that he had to become resourceful and hustle his way to his dream. The way Fernandez hustled was by asking around, “hey are you looking for an illustrator or an architect to do work?”

Further, Fernandez explains that transitioning from an architecture firm to freelance gave him the choice to choose his own projects. Doing so allows him to choose smaller clients. Additionally, by becoming a freelance entrepreneur/architect, it became easier to get architecture projects. 

A piece of key advice that Fernandez gives, especially for those wanting to do more than just architecture, is to spread your business/mission by word of mouth and referrals from partners.

Additionally, having the power to say no to certain projects balances out your creative outlet and work. Lastly, according to Fernandez, having a dedicated office space allows for a rigid schedule and mode of productivity.

Summation

For those seeking to do more with architecture, understand that conquering your aspirations can be a slow grind. However, if you are like Fernandez, who is basically a hardcore hustler, anything is possible. 

These are our top favorite architecture podcasts. Our purpose with this blog post: eliminate the notion that there is only one form of architecture. With the insightful and refreshing point-of-view, we can be certain that there are in fact a variety of ways to use architecture. One is the classic design way, the second, using it in interior designs, and lastly as a form of enterprise. Of course, there are other ways to implement the architecture, but we will leave you to find that out. 

AirSend helps architects, interior designers, and creatives create a versatile digital workspace to share files, send messages, and complete tasks. See how AirSend can help you.