Design Startup Spotlight: RAD Architecture

CH |

mC:t   2015.05.12
For this week’s Design Startup Spotlight I spoke with Kristen, Kelly and Kate from RAD Architecture about starting their own architecture firm in Calgary. 
RAD Girls - 02

1 | What inspired you to start your own business?

During our years in the architecture program, we had a collective dream of running a successful Architecture firm that would allow us to indulge in a level of detail that we love. When the economy took a fall, around the time of our graduation, we had an opportunity and we took it.


The National Westhills-08


2 | What was the biggest obstacle you met in starting your business in Calgary? How did you overcome it?

We’ve found that there are certain perceptions surrounding an all-female practice. The expectation is that we are an interior design firm, but our expertise includes full Architectural services. This misconception is becoming less of an obstacle as we build our firm. Through dedication, diligence and combined years of experience, clients are beginning to recognize what we are capable of.




3 | What advice could you offer young entrepreneurs in the design industry trying to get their start?

Carve out your niche in the market. Find what you love, and specialize in it; it’s the best way to set yourself apart.





4 | Are there any particular resources (organizations, tools, places, etc.) that you’re interested in/excited about?

The ‘Design Matters Lecture Series’ organized by the Faculty of Environmental design (EVDS), brings thought provoking speakers to Calgary, who explore design in our contemporary culture. We’re also really excited about ‘Ignite YYC’ which is a cool organization that highlights local businesses and influencial Calgarians, while promoting investment in our community. We love the introduction of ‘Diner En Blanc’ to our city, it’s a such a refreshing way to be social, while enjoying our city’s public spaces.


Double Zero_Chinook


5 | In your opinion, what in Calgary needs a design intervention?

RAD is a huge supporter of the move towards a bike friendly city. We’d also like to see the city approve more temporary outdoor cafes. In our opinion, the more we can begin to appropriate these spaces with public program, the better
(and more fun) the city is.




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