In this episode, we sit down with Brian Crichton, the CEO of CMBA Architects, to explore the firm's unique approach to architecture and design. From their visionary mission to their client-centered philosophy, we delve into how CMBA fosters innovation, collaboration, and community engagement to create meaningful spaces that inspire and add value. Join us as we uncover the principles and practices that set CMBA apart in the world of architecture and design.

Stream Now     



Episode Transcript

Skyler: Welcome to another episode of laying the foundation.

Skyler: All right. Welcome back everybody to another episode of laying the foundation podcast. I am here with Brian. Brian, we haven't had you on the show in a while. And you're supposed to be like my co host. I know.

Brian: I feel, um, I don't know. I feel like I should have been in all of those, but you know, time. So I'm here today and I'm looking forward to this conversation and maybe going forward, I can step in again and, uh, support and just provide comic relief.

Brian: I think. Yes. Oh yeah. Cause that's always

Skyler: the best part. That's right. So awesome. Fantastic. We're glad to have you. For those of you that don't know, uh, Brian is the CEO over here at CMBA Architects, um, obviously an architect yourself. Yes. So you are full knowledge on both. The process of architecture, but also running CMBA architects and everything that kind of goes into that.

Skyler: And yeah, which is perfect for today because today we're going to be talking about CMBA's unique approach to architecture and design, what it is that we do and how we do it and why we do it. I think are both pretty key elements to putting all that together. So yeah, that's where we're going today. So Brian, to kick things off, obviously to understand our unique approach to architecture and design, we have to know what it is that.

Skyler: Uh, CMBA's vision is, what is our vision statement? What is kind of our company

Brian: direction? So, um, I'll just back up just a second, you know, probably a year and a half ago, the partners, um, looked at what historically we had had, uh, as sort of a mission, vision, statement and, and it worked well for us for many years.

Brian: And we thought about it and just said, you know, our business has changed. People have changed. Thoughts have changed. So let's update our vision statement. And we spent some time together, um, you know, as you might expect around a few tables and, and arguing and agreeing and. Um, but, uh, we really came together and, and truly believe, uh, what we've put out there as our vision statement today.

Brian: And I'll just read it to you. Yeah. Uh, it's to create meaningful spaces that inspire, add value and positively impact everyone that we serve. And each one of those things has, uh, each one of those words has, uh, meaning. Um, and, and we had different words as we went through this. We adjusted words, added words, took away words.

Brian: Um, and we feel that this is really, uh, where we want to take the company. So yeah,

Skyler: absolutely. Have that key verbiage. And that's, that's what all that debate is about, right? Like we want to make sure that we're perfectly representing who we are and what we do. The perfect words to use. It's like writing a song, right?

Skyler: You can't just throw any words in there. It's got a, it's got a fit in the song and it's got to represent what the, the meaning is that

Brian: you're trying to convey. I think so. I think we have to be able to live it as well every day that, uh, every day that we have an opportunity to work for our great clients, we have to bring this every day.

Brian: Oh, absolutely. And, uh, if we don't believe it, if we don't truly love it and, uh, really feel it and that passion that's inside of us, Is an inspired by this. Um, then we need to make some adjustments, but I think this really, really does that. So yeah,

Skyler: so with that being said, let's kind of break it down. Let's kind of go through everything.

Skyler: So first of all, meaningful spaces. What are meaningful spaces? What does that mean in the first place?

Brian: Well, if you look at our client base, I mean, we have quite a range. Um, yes, we have three main sectors that we serve, K 12, higher ed and, and healthcare plus some others, as we say. Um, but each one of those has spaces that, um, are impactful to their organization, uh, on schools.

Brian: Um, you know, the classroom obviously has. Definite impact, right? That's that classroom, um, is going to mean something different to each teacher, right? To each student, to the community members that have helped pay for that school, possibly to the administration that's overseeing it, um, and those spaces need to, um, say something to those people, um, whoever's occupying those spaces.

Brian: So meaningful to us is that We feel something when we go into it, right? We are inspired ourselves possibly. And we'll get to that a little bit, but those spaces really impact us.

Skyler: So. Absolutely. Absolutely. It's going to be just something so important for the people that are using it. We're going to get into that in a little bit because we're going to talk about clients.

Skyler: If I can add,

Brian: you know, just one thing, I mean, our clients come to us with. Uh, an issue, right? A solution needs to be created for them to help that with that issue. And if that space can really impact and provide a solution to their problem, right? Uh, or propel them forward possibly. That just creates meaning in this whole situation, right?

Brian: It gives them the ability to say, oh man, that is awesome. I love this space and it's going to help me in X, Y, and Z, right? It's going to help me do whatever I do to the best of my ability. And that's why it's so

Skyler: important to have architects involved in the project, right? Like for sure. You can, you can ask somebody to design it.

Skyler: Sure. And just tell them exactly how you want to design it. But the beauty of having the architects get brought in is that there are people that have done the research, they've seen studies, they've. Analyze different, you know, ideas and concepts. And then when they come to the table and a client says, Hey, we have this, this project that we'd like to do.

Skyler: And we have problems. Like you said, we have challenges that we're trying to overcome. These architects sit down with them and they're like, here's what we've found. And here's ideas that we've had, and this is what we can recommend. And we can design you a space. Based on these best practices or this new data even right and I know I've talked with you know Lee when it comes to like k 12 stuff and all the biophilic design he talks about and all this other stuff and Just all this kind of science and all this psychology and all the bits and pieces that kind of come into designing these spaces to make sure that you can overcome those challenges in a whole new way that The clients probably didn't even expect or, or think about.

Brian: Yeah, definitely. I think as architects and interior designers, we bring a richness to that conversation. We bring experiences, but we bring our creativity, our imagination, our, um, inquisitiveness, our curiosity of understanding that client to a level that. Most people don't. Most people don't ask the right questions to truly understand why, and how, and what is going to really impact what they're doing in that space, in that organization, and, uh, ultimately for whatever positive outcome they, they're desiring.

Brian: So, yes, anyone can draw a building, right? It's boxes on a piece of paper, let's just be honest. But if those boxes aren't well thought, From a flow perspective, from an efficiency perspective, um, from an overall organizational perspective, that's going to, um, truly support what they're trying to do, then it's just lines on paper and the builder putting together.

Brian: He doesn't know. So we need to cast that vision and that's what architects bring is that vision to Execute to bring the creativity breeding the ideas. Yes to the discussion. Absolutely

Skyler: Yeah, and going into the next part of the vision statement You know those that creativity and that those ideas that we're bringing to the table are there to inspire So that it's more than just boxes on a On a piece of paper or a square building necessarily, you know, we, we develop, uh, spaces and buildings and shapes that really inspire people, but what, what are they, what are we going for when we're trying to inspire people?

Skyler: What is kind of the

Brian: goal there? Well, I think the easiest description of that would be a student, right? An elementary student in an elementary school. I am a kindergartner that walks into a school for the first time, and I can either walk into a hallway with classrooms. With really no natural light possibility, possibly, or, um, I can walk into a light filled space.

Brian: That might have some different shapes to it might have some glass so I can see maybe what's going on in that classroom and go, wow, what are they doing with those Legos? I want to go play with those. Yeah. So that inspiration side of your imagination as you come into a space, we need to feed that as architects, because that's how you become engaged in what's happening in that classroom, in your education.

Brian: In your healthcare space as well, too, right? We inspire those healthcare workers to provide the best care they can to take care of patients, right? And the family members that are there with them. So, um, we can all exist in white boxes with blank hallways and doors and et cetera, et cetera. But if we can provide an environment that allows you to kind of think outside of your own box.

Brian: Right. That's truly inspiring you to do better.

Skyler: Absolutely. And I know we talked a lot about that. Uh, one of the first episodes that we did with David Brock, just talking about designing schools, not prisons. Correct. Making these schools, something that again is inspiring, something that makes the kids want to learn, to grow, to develop.

Skyler: And as you said, as well, you know, we're not limited just to K 12. You've got healthcare spaces as well. And then spaces, we want to inspire people to. Um, work and thrive and even heal within definitely really cool to know that there's like psychological connection there too,

Brian: right? Really cool. So one of the things on the education side, they talk about education on display, which I'm sure you've heard from multiple architects, probably not on the healthcare side.

Brian: You probably don't want to see inside of an operating room, especially me. Something like that. Right. But. There's other ways in which we can, um, provide that inspiration. I think that's, that's the cool part of being an architect. It's, it's thinking about spaces in a little different way. Um, it's those little details that people go, wow, I never, that's awesome.

Brian: Right. I just now noticed that, or I've been to this building 46 times and I've never noticed that before, but now I did. Someone had to think that through. Someone had to really draw it, design it. Truly understand how it went together and then communicate with the builder to put it into place as well, too.

Brian: It didn't

Skyler: just happen. No, it didn't just become a piece of it. It didn't we didn't put a square bunch of bricks together and then all of a sudden these Innovative spaces suddenly kind of appeared inside. Everything was very thought through very meticulously Discussed, planned, everything like that.

Skyler: Researched, so. For sure. Absolutely. For sure. And of course, all of that kind of stuff adds value to the spaces that we design, which is the next part of our, our vision statement, adding value. What does it mean to

Brian: add value? Yeah, I think about this just maybe a little bit differently. Um, I think about adding value from an organizational perspective.

Brian: That if we can understand that organization, whoever we're working for, at a different level, then, um, just, The, the educational spaces or the healthcare spaces, but really at an operational level. Okay. Um, how do they want their organization to function? Sure. From a business perspective, possibly, right? Are we asking the right questions?

Brian: And I'm, I'm a healthcare, I've done more healthcare than education. I love both, but on, on the healthcare side, I need to be asking the questions about, um, return on investment possibly. I need to ask the questions about, are they leaking their, is their market leaking basically, right? Are they losing patience to another competitor down the road?

Brian: And why is that? And how can we set up that organization to the best of our ability to eliminate that and even make them thrive in a little different way? So it's, it's really being inquisitive about. Their business okay about their organization if it's a school district possibly if there's some community Issues going on.

Brian: How do we you know think about that? It's not just the school right school is a community center Really you think about that? Yes, absolutely and then higher ed. I mean, there's all kinds of facets of adding value there, but um, it's it's Thinking about the organization as a whole, not just about this one project, this project is there to support what they're trying to do overall as an organization.

Brian: And we need to think about that. And that to me adds value to that organization.

Skyler: Absolutely. Just like you said, return on investment. They're spending a lot of money to get a new space, you know, designed and built. You want to make sure that that space is in some way, shape or form helping you to regain, uh, whether you're a nonprofit, obviously you need to still be able to make money and do the things that you want to be able to do, but as an, as a for profit, you want to be able to be making money from whatever it is that you

Brian: do.

Brian: Yeah. And I would say the other side of that is, um, on the sustainability side, you know, some of the things that we can design. Might, um, and do, uh, not might, but absolutely do impact their monthly expenses. Yes. Right? So how we organize the spaces, how much glass is involved, what's the heating and cooling, um, system that we're working with our, our team members on, our consultants.

Brian: All of that impacts them on a daily basis, and if we're really thinking big picture, we're thinking about what are their expenses monthly that we have to help control now and in the future. Because energy is going to continue to escalate in cost, and we need to think not only now, but five years, ten years, twenty years down the line.

Brian: Absolutely.

Skyler: Absolutely. And then I would also add, um, like employee turnaround. Yeah. Kind of minimize that. I know that's been a very hot topic lately. We talked to Um, a couple of the hospitals recently and had, um, some representatives on the podcast as well, that just talked about. You know, these new spaces with all sorts of, uh, features and aspects to the new spaces that really promote a positive company, culture, positive, you know, perception.

Skyler: So absolutely. As an

Brian: employer, yes, I was going to say as an employer, the recruitment and retention of great. Uh, staff talent is critical every day in every organization. It's, it's really being strained every day. And if our, um, spaces, if those places that we're creating, um, detracts from employees, right.

Brian: Makes it more difficult for them to do their job, causes them headaches every day from, from, um, all kinds of issues, possibly sound or smells or whatever it may be. Yep. They're not going to want to be there. No. Right? They're going to want to move to somewhere else where they don't have to think about that and they can do good work.

Brian: So our spaces really have to think about that as well.

Skyler: If you can beat out the competition by having a better space, by having something that really promotes that healthy work, work, uh, situation, you're, you're a step ahead of the competition. Definitely. Definitely. Awesome. And all of that kind of comes together to create that positive impact that we're trying to talk about for everyone that we serve.

Skyler: And I think That's something that we've kind of been emphasizing along the way when we say everyone we serve We're not just talking about the the immediate client necessarily You've got the people that work at the facility You've got the kids that are gonna go there if it's a school to learn students all of those people that are involved Are all people, even community members, which we mentioned before as well, definitely are all people that we're trying to positively impact when it, when it comes to designing

Brian: these spaces.

Brian: Yeah, I, I think, um, we tend to think about the here and now for the people that we're working with. Right. And I, I truly think about our work, um, in a longevity perspective. So a school is going to be there 50 to 75 years. Think about how many classes are going through that facility. How many parents are coming to events.

Brian: How many outside community members are coming to events. Whatever it may be, thousands if not millions of people will go through the buildings that we create over our lifetime. Think about the impact we can have. Think about how we can positively impact those people every day. If one little decision isn't quite right, it becomes a negative impact.

Skyler: That's right. And people notice people

Brian: pick up on this for sure. For sure. So ours is a long term play. In my opinion, our, our, our, um, careers are not a five year deal. It's a 30 to 40 year or longer, um, individually. So how can we impact? The to the best level of our ability, the people that will go into our buildings.

Brian: Attention architecture professionals. Are you looking for an employment opportunity that will provide you with a wonderful work culture and a competitive pay rate? Look no further than CMBA Architects. Our firm offers flexible scheduling, a casual dress code. and a great work environment that will help you collaborate and create.

Brian: Plus, who doesn't love having Fridays off?

Skyler: To learn more about our available positions, visit the careers page at cmbaarchitects. com and apply to join the CMBA team. And coming back to that concept of client, because obviously, you know, the client experience is very key for, for what we do, um, talking about those clients, you know, how do we prioritize them throughout the entire design process that we go through?

Skyler: How are they involved? And then how are we involved in what we're doing with, um, them and their, their space?

Brian: Ooh, that's a big question. It is a bit of a big question. Maybe I should have broken that down a little bit. Well, the, we're actually looking at our client experience today. And we are looking at.

Brian: How we interact with perspective clients, how we communicate with them, how do we get them interested in how we do our work and want to hire us? And then once they are our clients, how do we onboard them? What does that process look like from a business perspective? That, that contractual relationship, um, What's the bill look like?

Brian: Are they happy with the bill? Who should I go to? How often do they want to be billed? There's little questions like that that we just sort of take for granted sometimes And we jump right into design because that's that's where we're comfortable as architects. We just want to design something I don't want to think about all this business stuff for all this kind of frilly stuff.

Brian: We'll say as well But it, you know, clients, in my opinion, the main thing they want is communication. They want someone to talk to them about where we are in the process. Right. Be clear about that in a regular format. Um, either through email, phone call, um, meeting minutes, whatever it may be, clear communication so they can feel comfortable standing in front of their constituents, their school board, their, um, board, hospital board, community members, whatever it may be, and they can say.

Brian: Here's where we are, and they're confident in that. So, if we're not communicating right up front with them in a clear and meaningful way, then it becomes cloudy. Right. And then we've got potential issues as we go through the design process. And then it just continues to get worse and worse, potentially.

Brian: It's really a snowball effect. It absolutely is. Um, and as soon as you start to lose some, some amount of trust and respect from a client, it takes a long time to get that back. Exactly. If you've lost that. It's a lot

Skyler: easier to start with an A as opposed to start with an F and try to build up back to an A.

Skyler: Exactly. An F

Brian: hurts a GPA. Yes, absolutely. I can tell you that personally. I know. So, um, but yeah, that client experience, how we, Truly take care of, communicate, and then support, not only during the process, but even after they occupy, is key as well, too. Can we, can we go back in and help them, uh, remember, hey, we designed this space in this sort of a layout with furniture.

Brian: Right. Is the furniture being used that way? Yes. Or is the classroom being used that way? So I know on a couple of our education projects, we've provided, Documentation of the teachers to say here's how you could set up your classroom in multiple ways, right? Here's how we think it is the most effective Okay, and then I think and we're we need to look into this just a little bit Okay is to go back in six months or a year later And say, how are you using it?

Brian: Right. Is it truly functioning the way that we thought it would? Right. And let's take some, some feedback from that process as well, because that's how our designs are going to get better. Yeah. Over time. Um, it's not just, Hey, let's put it on the paper, shipped out the door, build it, not think about it again.

Brian: It's truly thinking about it longterm, which also allows us to stay engaged with our clients. Right. Ask, you know, they can ask questions there. You know, it's a new space to them. They're not sure. Why is that thing making that noise? Um, I can't remember exactly the the exact situation But there was something on an elementary building brand new and it made it was making this very loud Loud banging sound like something was relaxing in the building.

Brian: Okay, and it was a structural issue. It was a structural like a tie of some sort like a Oh, I can't think of the name of it right now. But anyway, it was something that was starting to relax just because the building was starting to just kind of be its own right. Buildings do that, right. They move, right.

Brian: Um, but it was making a very loud sound. So it's like, what the heck is going on? Why is this, why is it feeling it's breaking while we get our structural consultant involved? He's like, it's okay. That's part of. I knew it was going to happen. I've had it before and he explained it, but if we're not there for the clients after the fact, they would be.

Brian: What the heck's going on? They'd be freaking out. Probably be calling their lawyer. Exactly. Maybe getting a phone call. But we're there as their consultants, as someone to support them as they move through.

Skyler: Exactly. Exactly. It's the follow through. It really is. It's all about that follow through. It's huge.

Skyler: Just like in baseball. And I'm not one to use sports metaphors. But, yeah. It's all about that follow through. That's very true. And being there alongside the client through the whole process, as we mentioned. Yes. And then of course, after the process. And that's how you retain clients too. Correct. Yeah.

Skyler: That's like such a key piece to. The next time they want something designed, you know, if they're doing an elementary school and it's the same board That's in charge of the high school and they're like, hey, we want some updates to our high school, too They'll give us a call which is awesome. They had

Brian: a great experience.

Brian: We would like to let's call, you know, CMBA Yeah, whatever it may

Skyler: absolutely and that's always fantastic Feeling to get when when you get a call back from them and they're like, hey, we've got another project. Yep

Brian: Yeah, I've got clients that are 30 year clients are not personally, but in the company, right?

Brian: Because I've been with the company, uh, 23 years, I guess now. So I probably should have started with that question.

Skyler: 23

Brian: years. Yeah. Um, but I've had clients since I started that I've still like orange city hospital. Yeah. Um, I joined in 2001. The first project with them was a oh two number 2002. So it would have been that next springtime or wintertime.

Brian: And I'm still doing work for them today. Absolutely.

Skyler: And honestly, in Orange City in general, we've done a lot of stuff. A lot of projects. So that's really exciting too. A lot. Sioux County.

Brian: Yep. Um,

Skyler: obviously getting to show off, you know, what we did there, really obviously kind of people picked up on that, which is exciting.

Skyler: Yeah. Awesome. So, um, what about with, well, I guess we kind of talked about with feedback, but that's always kind of been a piece. I know, um, Lee has talked about with, uh, one of the schools. Feedback went as far as like talking to the actual staff members during the design process because sometimes feedback isn't always Directly involved in the post design post build whatever process There's feedback along the way that we want even with the sort of the cardboard layout process that we've done before and the mock ups Yeah, the mock ups also a great time for feedback having the staff basically walk through a model version of exactly what they're gonna get Yes.

Skyler: And say, can we adjust this or can we adjust this? So feedback is definitely more, as I assume, than just, yeah, that end game. What do you guys think about

Brian: what you got? As an architect, you should be asking good questions all the way along the process, in my opinion. Um, clients, very few of them can read plans like we can, right?

Brian: They look at it and go, that looks like a lot of lines on the paper. I don't see that third dimension that That architects and interior designers, any design creative person can kind of pick up on. So that's where our 3D kind of images come in. That helps them to see it and feel like they're walking into those spaces.

Brian: Right. So with that process, we need to be saying, okay, here's what we have designed for this exam room set of cabinetry. Let's think about what you have currently. Here's what you have stored in your cabinets currently. Here's what how we're providing for that same amount of storage in here. Is that really what you're looking for, right?

Brian: Or are we changing it? Um, maybe they don't want all that stuff in the exam room. Maybe it shouldn't even be there, right? Someone just put it there. I don't know why it's there. That happens more than you think actually. So then they're like no, we only want this one little cabinet right there. Okay, and It's, it's a conversation, right?

Brian: We're not dictating to our clients exactly what we think they should have. No. It's a conversation with them, asking good questions, listening well, documenting well. Also, because people change. Let's be honest. Some people move on during the process. They might even move up in the organization and aren't a part of the project.

Brian: Um, so you have to, um, be willing to, to kind of engage whoever you're talking with on the detailed pieces of it because they don't understand what we do all the time. We speak in a jargon. It's true. We have a lingo. You've probably

Skyler: experienced that already. I was going to say, I'm first hand with that.

Skyler: Yeah, you're like, what the heck is this mean? Can you explain that a little bit more? I don't know what you're talking about. We

Brian: do. Yes. Just like any professional or any, uh, uh, really any organization has certain things that we all say a certain way. So, um, but it is, it's truly a conversation. That's the way I would say it.

Brian: Yes, absolutely.

Skyler: And then going along with, uh, jumping, kind of jumping back to the vision statement. One of the things that I can also see within it, we create meaningful spaces that inspire, add value, positively impact everyone we serve. What about the people within our organization that were, I mean, you could say we're serving in a sense because they're working here.

Skyler: They're working with us. Uh, you know, as CEO, you're kind of the, the boss man of the whole organization. So

Brian: I don't like to be called a boss. That's fine. That goes with it. Well,

Skyler: yeah, but how do we, how do we kind of. You know, foster that creativity, that innovation among the team members that we have here that are going to be designing those spaces and that are going to be following this vision statement that we've created.

Brian: Well, I think, um, when you look at the words in the vision statement, um, they absolutely have a personal side to them. Um, they're the spaces that I've actually laid out on a, I still remember the first project that I did that came out of the ground. It's a little library, a city hall building in Kingsley, Iowa.

Brian: Um, still love that little building. Um, not quite the colors I picked out. Those were a little weird back then, but, um, you know, it was so cool. And that was awesome for me to put my thoughts down on paper and see it truly through the process. Right. That's meaningful to me. Absolutely. I can walk into that space and go, I remember drawing this.

Brian: Yes. 25 years ago. Yeah. Right. Um, and every time that I work with a group of people, a team that brings their ideas and brings it without. Hesitation, that's inspiration to me. Oh, absolutely. I get energy off of others to go, Oh my gosh, I didn't think about it that way. That's pretty cool. Let's let's go down that path.

Brian: Right. Um, to me, that is, is inspiration at its finest as an architect, as a designer, I'm getting that inspiration from others around me, my using my eyes, my ears. My hands as I research, whatever it may be, um, truly inspirational. Definitely. Um, I want to add value, um, to our employees from a knowledge perspective.

Brian: Um, I want them to feel comfortable out in front of our clients, out of the office. Let's say. Knowing what they're talking about, not feeling hesitation at all inside of them, but truly feeling it, meaning it, the passion for it comes out. When you see that in our, our team members, it's like, that's awesome.

Brian: Because they truly. Live it every day, right? Um, no matter what types of spaces they're designing, they truly believe it. They love it. They, they care for it. They research stuff on their own. They want to know more about it. And that's that added value from an employer's perspective. That's I enjoy is like, Hey, have you thought about this?

Brian: Have you looked at this conference? Have you, you know, heard this, whatever it may be, right. I'm that's something I think about. And I'm sure others are like, stop sending me stuff. I don't mean to, you know, it comes back to

Skyler: continuing education. And we talked about that. Lifelong learner all the time here at CBA is just like really emphasizing continue learning.

Skyler: Cause Nothing stops. Nothing just says alright, cool. We figured out everything that we need to know about architecture and design. Enjoy everybody. You know, there's more being found out and I, I jump back to, and I know I joke with Lee all the time about using this term, but the biophilic design, you know, that's something that's still being Looked into and studied and such like that.

Skyler: And, you know, he's, he's over there on his desk. He's got little booklets that he's printing out and he'll bring them over to me and be like, Hey, can we talk about this in one of the podcast episodes? Because I've been reading this and I'm, I'm inspired. And, um, I know other people have talked about, you know, that kind of stuff as well.

Skyler: And, yeah. Sharing on. We have our kind of intranet here at the company, the quad and people are always sharing information that they find out and that betters everybody. That's a great definitely. Collaboration is

Brian: such a key piece to all of it as well. Yeah, it's a team environment. I mean, we're here to support each other through, you know, whatever negative thing that might be going on in their lives potentially.

Brian: But I mean, truly in our work, we're here to support each other and kind of push each other forward. And that's

Skyler: always cool too. And being able to see it from. You know, all these different perspectives as well, because we have different people with different positions in here, you know, it's not just a whole bunch of architects, you know, obviously in the marketing department and we've got people that are technicians and we've got people that are, we just have, we just added QA, QC man, general manager, uh, project managers and directors and yeah, yeah, absolutely.

Brian: Um, yeah, we all bring a unique perspective and I like to, you know, challenge those that aren't on the architecture interior design side. To say what do you think about this because we can get our blinders on as designers and we again say things a certain way Um, I know Christy has mentioned to me like I don't know what that means what you just said Yeah, so can we back that up and let's redo this?

Brian: Yes. Yes. We need that Yeah, we need someone outside of our our design headspace to say that doesn't make sense From a, you know, a typical client perspective. Help me understand that better. Exactly. And I think that's, that's something that's really cool to see as well. Oh, absolutely. Yeah.

Skyler: Yeah.

Skyler: Unfortunately they haven't made like a Google translate for architects. .

Brian: Yeah. AI's coming. I betcha it's coming. Yeah, bet that's

Skyler: right. Can you, can you dumb this concept down for me, ? Yes, for sure. So next I want to go into. Uh, our company slogan, which is it's not what we do, it's who we do it for, and obviously we've been talking a lot about that, you know, with clients and with the people that are using those spaces.

Skyler: How has that evolved since kind of the start of the company? Because I mean we have roots that go way back and obviously there's probably a whole episode that we could do on the history of CMBA in and of itself, but has that always kind of been the slogan or has it kind of evolved a little bit as the company has gone along?

Skyler: Um,

Brian: I don't know if it's I wouldn't say it's truly been the slogan for the company the entire time. I think when you look back at the projects and the architects that have worked here, um, the, uh, shareholders that own the company back in the day, they truly had a desire to serve their clients well, and it was about the clients themselves.

Brian: Could we have gone after multiple design awards and gone down that path and There are firms that do that and I applaud them for that. There's some awesome stuff out there. We, um, want to impact people. And the way in which they utilize their buildings to the best of their ability. Um, I think it's truly about those clients before it is about the project itself.

Brian: Sure. Can the design be award winning? Absolutely. Yeah, it sure can. Um, depends on who's looking at it, evaluating it. But, um, I think if it's not about the people that's using the, the, the project, the spaces. Um, then we sort of lost sight of what we are doing as architects. So I wouldn't say this, this probably came into fruition.

Brian: I'll say this, uh, this slogan probably 10 years ago or so, not very long ago. Um, but it definitely started with those ahead of us. saying our clients are the most important. Right. Right. So they pushed it. We've just sort of put it into words. Yeah. Yeah. The words have

Skyler: always reigned true for every instance of CMBA.

Skyler: It's just putting them in a, in a quotations and slapping them on a plaque and putting them up somewhere. It's kind of officialized a little bit later on, but it's always been about the people that we're doing it for. Yep. For sure. Fantastic. So looking ahead, what do you envision for the future? The direction of CMBA and our approach to architecture and design.

Brian: That's another big question, too. Wow. I should have read that one ahead. Yes, we've definitely talked about it. Yeah, we've had this

Skyler: conversation. Like where we'd like to see things go.

Brian: Yeah, I, I think, um, CMBA should be and will be known for continued development of our staff, development of our craft. Um, and that in the design, um, of all the spaces that we, that, that we're allowed to design, we'll say.

Brian: Um, and continue to push the envelope in knowledge and respect and understanding of our clients. Um, to me, that's going to be the longevity piece for our firm, our people. Ultimately, when. If someone stays with us, and we have an employee that's been here 42 years and he's planning to retire at the end of 24.

Brian: Um, and another one that's 40 years in July. I want every employee at the end of their career with us, if they decide to stay, to look back and go, I loved what I did. I absolutely loved what I did. I love the people around me. I felt supported all the way along. I learned so much and I impacted people every day.

Brian: And I think if we can look and use that as our guide post moving forward, that's going to be success longterm for us. Um, I think you're going to see us continue to develop our people, um, push them to be, um, experts in their field. Uh, experts in what we do and that could be just the, the wall assembly of a building, how a building goes together.

Brian: We need experts in that. We don't just need an expert to understand the classroom layout. We need experts in all facets of the design. So how can we continue to push our, our employees to be better at what they do, support them along the way, which then ultimately leads to great success for our clients.

Brian: Absolutely.

Skyler: It's definitely a big kind

Brian: of circle. It is. Absolutely. They support us. Yes,

Skyler: for sure. Five for sure. So, yeah, well, awesome. Well, Brian, I can't think of a better way to kind of close that out than, than that statement right there about, you know, just keep on pushing people, but also be there for the people that we are trying to

Brian: help succeed.

Brian: Definitely.

Skyler: And helping to learn more. So awesome. Well, thank you so much, Brian, for, I shouldn't say thank you for being on the show. You should be on the show more often.

Brian: We'll, we'll do the, uh, the co host thing. Yes,

Skyler: absolutely. Yes. Thank you for being on today's episode and talking to me about CMBA and, and what we do and how we do it,

Brian: essentially.

Brian: Definitely. Thank you for all you do Skylar, I appreciate that. So

Skyler: I have fun here. So, and of course, thank you, the listeners for listening to the podcast episode. We love sharing our information and knowledge with you. Um, don't forget to always check out cmbaarchitects. com, our website, where we have all sorts of information on projects that Brian's been involved in and many of our other architects and to find out more about CMBA Architects and maybe how you can get involved as well.

Skyler: And of course, if you're interested in following us there, you can also follow us on social media. You can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and even LinkedIn. And of course, be sure to subscribe to Laying the Foundation, the podcast, so that you never miss an episode. You can do so on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and everywhere else that podcasts can be streamed.

Skyler: Be sure to hit the subscribe, follow, whatever it's called on whichever platform it is that you prefer. Once again, my name is Skylar, and this has been another episode of Laying the Foundation. We'll see you next time.

Post by CMBA
March 7, 2024