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New Practices #1: Think Architecture and Design

The first in a series of practice profiles looking at architects who have recently decided to go it alone either through choice or redundancy

Think Architecture and Design, Leeds

Founded: March 2009

Main people: Simon Smithson and Jonathan Wilson

Where have you come from?
We were both directors at Carey Jones architects [both made redundant earlier this year], having spent 15 years working together running various teams and a portfolio of projects.

What work do you have and what kind of projects are you looking for?
We are looking at a number of feasibility studies for mixed-use schemes and have prepared a competition entry [for Galway Harbour, see below]. We are keen to draw upon our existing expertise concerning project type and scale. However, we’re acutely aware of the current economic climate and therefore taking a slightly broader view.

What are your ambitions?
Our business plan is for careful and sustainable growth. We see ourselves growing to six people within the year. Our goal would then be to grow the practice to around 25 members of staff with a strong design and team ethos.

How optimistic are you as a start-up practice?
The marketplace is exceptionally tough and establishing a new practice is a huge challenge. We’ve taken heart from support offered by long-established colleagues and we maintain an optimism for the future. We believe the market is starting to recover but will take some years to return to a reasonable level.


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