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Start-up offers ‘client buddies’ & VR to combat ‘dysfunctional’ architecture

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June 10 2019

Start-up offers ‘client buddies’ & VR to combat ‘dysfunctional’ architecture

A Glasgow start-up describing itself as the Uber of architecture has launched with a mission to transform residential architecture by offering free automated online consultations to homeowners.

HOKO Design employs a team of six in Bridgeton and is already involved in 15 live projects with the aim of reducing costs for clients and architects by digitising fees, contracts and drawings. This sees HOKO act as a middleman between homeowners and architects in an effort to streamline the process, pairing up homeowners with their own ‘client buddy’.

Founder Danny Campbell explained: “Residential architecture is dysfunctional, and the customer journey is impeded with risk and inconsistencies. Architects spend a vast amount of their billable time on admin, that’s not efficient. While the current system leaves homeowners feeling confused.  We’ve built our company to tackle these problems.

“What we provide is a platform which makes it easier for architects to spend their time doing what they’re trained to do, in a way that is transparent and efficient for our clients. Ultimately, we want to change how homeowners experience architecture, and how architects work. The current model is broken, and we want to fix it.”

Homeowners will also be given the chance to engage with the design process via virtual reality, smoothing out a path for a growing number of people opting to extend rather than move - partly as a response to stamp duty changes.

5 Comments

Jonathan
#1 Posted by Jonathan on 11 Jun 2019 at 10:00 AM
I like the idea of a VR company to provide a service, but please don't pitch yourselves as the saviour to modern Architecture.

Everything can be improved on but I don't see this as 'broken' though, maybe this is a clever marketing strategy for getting business??
ARB
#2 Posted by ARB on 11 Jun 2019 at 16:46 PM
More self-entitled graduates thinking they know it all and can do better - all without actually putting the work in required to be a registered architect. Do they see this as a short cut or is it just laziness or a lack of understanding?

Alas, you can't blame the little poppets... The education establishments should have a long hard look at the quality and attitude of their graduates and consider preparing them for the real world.
ARB 2
#3 Posted by ARB 2 on 12 Jun 2019 at 09:09 AM
Sigh, not an architect between them. Maybe they'll reinvent the contractual/law side too.
boaby wan
#4 Posted by boaby wan on 12 Jun 2019 at 12:15 PM
Interesting opinions from the ARB there... would you find it has more impact if they were registered architects?
I don't really think it takes registering to see a gap or opportunity in a market or identify a way to improve a service, the points raised are valid in my experience, whether or not their solution solves anything remains to be seen but dismissing it because of a lack of registration seems folly.
My only criticism is that it seems a bit confused as to what their offer actually is.
FHM
#5 Posted by FHM on 12 Jun 2019 at 19:59 PM
Anyone who actively describes their own fledgling company as a "start-up" with a "USP" yet completely ignores telling people what they actually offer is not off to a good start.

I mean, beyond the cheesy video (which you have to endure to find some semblance of service description), asking questions and checking progress is what you do normally with an Architect / Designer; so why on earth should a domestic Client employ yet another middleman to offer the same service but at an additional cost? And VR is just yet another fad that will last as long as 3D TV's, Mini Disc players and Layered Facadism.

I appreciate it is hard trying to get a job in Architecture, but I am not sure this is the best way around it.

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