The key elements of my strategy were to spread our risks while protecting turnover by expanding in other markets to seek new opportunities. It could be described as a mix between risk management and market diversification. In other words I tried to be defensive and offensive at the same time. Relatively soon, OMA became a much bigger organisation capable of dealing with more and different assignments. The office gained structure and we were able to ride the wave of a more stable market position and business model. At the end of 2007 we had four times the number of people than in 2004. Diversification of risks was, and still is, pursued at three different levels. The first pursuit is geographical: today we are evenly spread across in Far-East, Middle-East, Europe and USA. Latin America is our next target. The second level is related to our clients. We moved from mainly public commissions to expanding our commercial portfolio, delivering client’s satisfaction and market value. The third level of diversification is related to typology. And this brings us to AMO
“Let’s talk about Money” is an incredibly insightful interview with Victor van der Chijs, Managing Director of OMA. His breakdown on OMA’s strategic re-alignment is pretty fascinating as it demonstrates the relevance that research has upon the profession especially when coupled with an effective business model.
(The following is written very loosely)
As much as I love all the speculative and sometimes fantastical research I see on blogs today I think there needs to be a space (publication?) where we can actively come together to be super-hyper speculative and radical and polemic and all that jazz about architecture practice. I do honestly believe — this article being evidence of it — that architectural research can be integrated within practice. More and more, I feel that we need to come up with better business models in order to eradicate what I believe to be the worst outcome of an outdated and problematic education model/ideology: unpaid internships.