Architecture can lead you into whichever direction you see fit. Many choose the path of an architectural degree and look to progress in corporate life. Other architecture professionals have followed a more entrepreneurial route as an alternative career path. I am proud to be the latter!
Entrepreneurialism has been overlooked within our sector for a quite some time, in my humble opinion. Now, however, it is starting to be seen as a way to grow something special. Perhaps there is a need to further encourage this within our sector, something I have personally experienced whilst closely working with the late Zaha Hadid, and something I am keen to support.
In this day and age some call this being an “Archipreneur”; To build a business from your architectural skills and designing projects you truly love is every architect’s dream, well, I certainly think so anyway!
Having a business acumen has always been an integral part of my childhood memories. I come from a long line of family members who have proved that following the entrepreneurial route works best for business. I was always aware of my father’s words “is employment challenging you enough not to stay?” As a successful businessman, my father discovered his entrepreneurial traits early on in life and believed it was the way forward for any leading professional. Following my parent’s guidance, I chose to follow my dreams of becoming an architect and followed society’s rules by gaining a higher degree level education. It wouldn’t be right for a son to not always listen to his father, would it?!
Fifteen long years later I completed my “educational” employment and set out on a journey to follow my own architectural ambitions and goals. It was at this point when I felt the urge to establish a business of my own. A fresh start to design my own dreams and ensuring that I was working on projects that I wanted to, and not for someone else. I feel this was one of my strongest indications for me to release the entrepreneur in me!
As an architect coming from an artistic, imaginative and inventive background mixed with an inherently business acumen, I sensed a seamless steer towards an entrepreneurial direction. Us architects often have a mind full of ideas and visions that ought to be portrayed through their work. Therefore, I believe that it is in the architect’s nature to want to move into a business where they are able to express themselves through their own work, which holds their own name.
Finally, I believe that given their leadership skills and knowledge, architects are in the best position to influence and steer any given project; as entrepreneurs, architects not only have the added value but also the ability and credibility to make it happen.
Atelier Set Architecture will be putting my Archipreneurial skills to the test and to-date, I am proud to say that I have led several successful architectural projects around the world.
In my next blog article, I will be discussing the Architect – developer and why more architects should be developers!
For more information on Saleem A. Jalil or Atelier Set Architecture, please visit