New Podcast Offers Architects and Creative-Services Firms Recession-Proof Tips

Architects Patrick MacLeamy and Mark R. LePage Debut “Build Smart” on April 12th

14-Episode Series Based on MacLeamy’s Book Designing a World-Class Architecture Firm

Architects Patrick MacLeamy, FAIA (seated at table), and Mark R. LePage, AIA, NCARB (on laptop), introduce Build Smart, a 14-episode podcast series based on MacLeamy’s book, Designing a World-Class Architecture Firm: The People, Stories, and Strategies Behind HOK. Photo courtesy of Gābl Media. Click here for high-resolution images.

CHARLOTTE, NC: Gābl Media announces a new addition to its portfolio of podcasts for architects and designers. Build Smart is a 14-episode series co-hosted by architects Patrick MacLeamy, FAIA, and Mark LePage, AIA, NCARB. It is inspired by MacLeamy’s book, Designing a World-Class Architecture Firm: The People, Stories, and Strategies Behind HOK (Wiley, 2020). This book shares business expertise from MacLeamy’s 50-year career, covering his ascension from an HOK junior designer to company CEO. MacLeamy’s tenure parallels HOK’s growth from 150 employees at its St. Louis headquarters to a staff of more than 1,900 in 27 offices on three continents.

“Architects are trained to design buildings but not to design businesses,” MacLeamy says. “Build Smart is an extension of my book, written to help architects and creative-services firms survive cyclical recessions such as the COVID-19 pandemic. HOK was structured for long-term success—with one of the profession’s first full-time marketing divisions, planned executive successions, and specialized leaders. Build Smart will discuss the innovative solutions and tough decisions that sustained HOK through multiple economic swings, culminating in it becoming one of the world’s Top 10 architecture and engineering firms.” An in-demand keynote speaker at industry events, MacLeamy currently serves as CEO Emeritus of HOK and Chairman of buildingSMART International, a non-profit devoted to improving building design and efficiency on a global scale.

Gābl Media CEO and Build Smart co-host Mark R. LePage adds, “This show is a stellar addition to our roster of thought-leadership podcasts and other business tools created to help architects become more successful. Patrick MacLeamy is one of the world’s leading authorities on both the art and business of architecture. We look forward to sharing decades of industry insights through this new podcast.”

Each episode of Build Smart references a chapter in Designing a World-Class Architecture Firm. Select topics include:

  • Creating a Recession-Proof Firm

  • Leading vs. Managing, Structuring the Firm Around Specialized Leaders

  • Capitalization: Outside Investors, Working With Banks

  • Diversification: Division Launches, Mergers, Acquisitions

  • Reclaiming Company Culture, Positive Peer Pressure

  • Confronting Crisis

The series will intersperse interviews with industry experts. These include third-generation architect and current HOK Chairman + CEO Bill Hellmuth, FAIA, on leadership, original Apple Campus architect and HOK Chairman Emeritus Bill Valentine, FAIA, on creativity, and retired HOK CFO Bob Pratzel, who will demystify accounting practices.

Build Smart will debut on April 12, 2021, with new episodes added weekly through July 5, 2021. A second season is already in development, and will address sustainability and other timely topics for the architecture, engineering, and construction industries. For more information and to listen to flagship Gābl Media podcasts EntreArchitect, Spaces, Archispeak, Build Your Brand, Context & Clarity, Practice Disrupted, and TRXL, please visit To learn more about Patrick MacLeamy and Designing a World-Class Architecture Firm, visit

About Gābl Media

Gābl Media is an innovative multimedia network that empowers global leaders in the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industries to share their stories with a vibrant community dedicated to building a better world. Gābl Media harnesses the latest technologies to create and distribute audio and video content to millions of people to inform and entertain its ever-growing audience across the world. For more information, please visit

About Patrick MacLeamy

Patrick MacLeamy, FAIA, rose from junior designer to CEO during his 50-year career at global architecture/engineering firm HOK. A “self-taught” executive, he is best known in the industry for the MacLeamy Curve. This graphic shows the advantages of front-loading human and budgetary resources, cost-effectively identifying and correcting project errors before they become exponentially more expensive in the construction stage. A Fellow of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), MacLeamy is a recipient of the National Institute for Building Sciences President’s Award, a past chairman of the Construction Industry Roundtable, and has testified before Congress on building standards. He currently serves as Chairman of buildingSMART International and consults with his former firm as CEO Emeritus of HOK. For more information on Patrick MacLeamy and his book, Designing a World-Class Architecture Firm, please visit

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