In October 2019, I left my job as a Product Manager on the Real Estate & Development Technology at WeWork. In the weeks since, I've done a lot of thinking about my experience there, as well as re-engaging with my love for all things design and building industry-related by visiting urban spaces, reading a ton of books and articles, and engaging in Twitter flame wars. Somewhere along the way, my continual soapboxing tired out enough people that they suggested that I should stop bothering them and just start a blog, so here we are.
Despite having been trained as an architect, I've spent much of my career running away from traditional practice of architecture. Instead, I've tried to find the best opportunities to move the building industry towards a more efficient, creative, sustainable direction. My first job after completing graduate school at the University of Pennsylvania School of Design in May 2014 was at a small company called CASE Design, a consultancy that tried to bring some fresh perspectives to organizations that needed some outside help to improve their own operations. We were hired by architecture and engineering firms as well as owner-operators (WeWork was among them) to do everything from implementing new technology, training staff on new tools and techniques, broader strategic consulting, to custom software development when necessary. But consulting always has a natural ceiling; at the end of the day, you are delivering suggestions to organizations—it's up to them to run with it.
When we were acquired by WeWork in 2015, it was a chance to make an impact from within a design organization, rather that from the outside looking in. Now that we were given the keys to the castle, we would actually be able to practice what we were preaching. Some things worked, some things didn't, but I learned a lot through that experience.
This blog will likely be a mix observations relating to the building industry (including architecture, design, real estate, and construction), technology, economics, organizational theory, and anything else that I come across that may seem interesting or relevant.
I can't promise that all of it will make sense, and I will likely be wrong about a lot of things. But hopefully, at least one or two people smarter than me will come across it, be sparked by something I've written, and carry it forward.
If you're interested in following along, please do subscribe!