Link To Guest Website: Hudson Design
Title: “Finding The Specific Needs Of Each Client”
Guest: Jamie Copeland – Hudson Design
Interviewer: Jeffrey Davis – MAGE LLC
Click here to read the transcript
Hello everybody. And welcome to Radio Entrepreneurs. That show that’s constantly talking and showing you stories about entrepreneurship in this economy. My name is Jeffrey Davis. I am the host of Radio Entrepreneurs today. We’re going to be speaking with Jamie Copeland, the founder of Hudson Design architectural firm. Welcome Jamie,
Thank you, good morning.
Good morning. Tell me about your practice at Hudson Design. Cause I know there’s something very, you know, you’re very unique at what you do.
Well, Thank you. It it’s been a process and I, I once had a client say it didn’t like process, but process is such a life function. That is architects. It is our way of getting the best decisions made so that when you say unique practice, we had, we started like most people. I was an intern. I was working in New York city and I had had come to understand I had some gifts.
Jamie (1m 20s):
I didn’t know necessarily how to use them, but I knew that early on in, in my childhood, I had been playing with box and I found that I had a passion for building things. And that led me to the school of engineering. And then ultimately I realized there’s some frustration that, that engineering was not as creative as I’d hoped. And my roommate at the time was an upperclassmen and he can, he would come in to the room and crash into bed about 2:00 AM.
Jamie (2m 1s):
And I finally, I realized he was not a drinker. And I asked him that, Chuck, where do you go until 2:00 AM? And so will come. I will show you. And he took me over to a building on the east end of campus where the lights never went out. And I had assumed that that’s where they generated steam for NC state campus because the lights never went out. And they took me into this building laser hall and it was full studios. There were people there making furniture, there were landscape architecture, students doing girls.
Jamie (2m 45s):
There were graphics, artists, architects, building models of buildings. And it was, it was fascinating. I, I realized at that point I needed to change my degree. And so I transferred into the school of, and that led to I’ve now been doing this 30 plus years. And I, and I love what we do. And I’ve got a like-minded group of people with me that who also have discovered a way of serving people with their gifts.
Jeffrey (3m 21s):
So Jamie, what, you know, some of the things I know about architecture sometimes, you know, there’s a look and there’s a field as a style. Can you describe your, look, your, feel your style? What makes you Jamie?
Jamie (3m 37s):
Well, you know, that’s and that’s, that is an important question. And it, and it is an important realization for me that it is not about me. I’ve discovered that to practice well and to serve well, it’s not about me. I, we spend a lot of time understanding what our clients want, understanding what drives them to buy a piece of real estate or to move to a certain community. It has been a, an epiphany in a way.
Jamie (4m 20s):
I worked for architects that were driven by getting published. Some, some are driven by making money. Those were, that was one of the particularly misguided, but there were a lot of reasons why people sought out architecture, but many of them were not very fulfilling. What makes architect for fulfilling for me is serving other people. So it’s never been about my look. We spent a lot of time trying to help clients, owners, families discover their style, and we do it beautifully.
Jamie (5m 4s):
We do it with, with an understanding of design, understanding of the history of, of architecture and in the many ways in which you can accomplish good design. So it’s not about me. It’s not about our firm
Jeffrey (5m 29s):
Obviously, but you know, I have heard that you have a, you, you know, you, you, you look at the structure uniquely in terms of its how it blends into the environment. For me, that’s just, you know, I don’t, I don’t understand that unless you could sort of explain that a little bit better to me.
Jamie (5m 45s):
Well, one, one common mistake that architects make is to focus on the thing, you know, to, to creating something. It’s really a, it’s a collaboration of, of things. It’s a, it’s a amalgam of influences that really start with the land and the owner’s goals. Those are the fundamentals I had. One professor gave us a very poignant lesson about how you masterplan and how you, how you focus on the most important components.
Jamie (6m 29s):
He brought in a big glass vase, a bucket of gravel, three rocks, a pale of sand and a pitcher of water. And he looked out to the audience and was, we had a class of, of first year design students. And he said, who who’s going to bet me that I can fit everything in this box. And of course we look at all the components and there is no way. There’s no way all of that’s going to fit. And so he, one by one, he carefully placed the big stones inside the box.
Jamie (7m 16s):
He then took the gravel and poured the gravel in and shook and said, all right, you think the rest of this is going to be now. W w by that time we were onto it, we realized our, our mistake was assuming that all of that stuff had to go in. At one time, he took the pale of sand and he poured that in and shook it. And then he, and he held up the picture. And of course, by that time, you know, the, the gig was up. We, we knew it was, he was right, but the, the point of his message was you have to get the large, most form giving components into the project first.
Jamie (7m 57s):
So if you’re, if you’re working for a family and they have a special needs child, that’s one of the large stones you got to work with. If you’re working for a company and they have a particular process that is critical to their making money, you’ve got to, that’s gotta be the big stone that goes in first. I had an interesting experience with a client up in Albany. The father was claustrophobic. The son had an inversion for spaces, large. He was, he was terrified with large spaces.
Jamie (8m 44s):
And you can imagine I’m sitting there in their, their dining table. And we we’re talking about the house. And he’s saying, you know, I want this for your, to be soaring. I want so even meanwhile, his son is getting, is ducking his head, trying to get up under the table. And it finally came time to talk about the bedrooms. And I, I asked Brian, I said, Brian, where’s your favorite hiding place? Because I knew most children have problem with large spaces, especially those who are special needs children now. And he knew exactly what I was talking about.
Jamie (9m 25s):
And he popped up and he disappeared in the middle of living room and we followed to, to find it. And he was nowhere. He’s not behind the curtains. He was not on cushions. I mean, he, he had completely disappeared in that living room. And finally, I looked at this at this coffee table that had a display case in it that stopped at about six inches from the floor. Ryan had gotten his entire Porsche underneath that display case, any, it was his place to hide.
Jamie (10m 5s):
So it just goes to show you what we have. We have within families. We have sometimes conflicting ideas that have to be worked out in early in the process. And it is these, these large ideas that must go first. And so that, that, that has driven a lot of our processes. How do we help clients? How do we help owners? How do we help family members identify? What’s truly important to them?
Jeffrey (10m 42s):
Interesting. We have speaking with Jamie Copeland, founder of Hudson Design at Jamie. If someone wants to view some of the firms work, get to know and maybe contact you, how would they find you?
Jamie (10m 55s):
We have a website it’s Hudson Design dot pro. We have, yeah, we have a website and we also have a Facebook page. And yeah, I, we, we try and be w w we try and be a find-able we’re in Garrison, but we also do a, quite a bit of work up and down the Hudson river until the Adirondacks. We’ve done projects in the Caribbean in March. I’m going to Malawi to talk with the founder about a high school that she wants to build in Malawi.
Jamie (11m 46s):
I would say that we are not bound by a region. It’s more finding the right mix of things that we’re really good at. I would say recreation, hospitality and bespoke residential work is probably our 4k.
Jeffrey (12m 4s):
Great. And I want to remind everybody that this is Radio Entrepreneurs.
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