Eric Reinholdt is an award-winning architect with a simple and modern approach, focused on residential design. He is the founder of 30X40 Design Workshop and the author of the book Architect + Entrepreneur: A Field Guide to Building, Branding, and Marketing Your Startup Design Business. As he faced the challenges of becoming an architect and learning how to build his practice throughout his career, he felt the need to share his knowledge and experience to help people in the same situation.
His product today is not only the architectural projects, but also the educational content. Therefore, he is today one of the most influential voices regarding the union between architecture and entrepreneurship.
30X40 Design Workshop
Thirty by Forty Design Workshop is Eric Reinholdt’s studio. It is located on the midcoast of Maine and was established in 2013. The name of the studio is a reference to the typical size of a three-bay English barn that the early American colonists adopted in New England. This architectural typology also serves as an inspiration for several projects, including 30X40’s outbuilding, called Long Studio.
Above all, this name intends to arouse curiosity, forcing people to dig deeper into the subject to find out what 30X40 is. This intention illustrates one of the most important aspects of Eric Reinholdt’s work, which is to pursue a more creative life.
The studio is focused on residential design. Pond House, House on the Neck and The Longhouse are some examples of projects that accomplished the architect’s goals to celebrate fine craftsmanship and humble materials. However, 30X40 Design Workshop goes beyond architectural design. One important purpose of Eric Reinholdt’s firm is to educate and support young architects, providing high-class content through videos, courses, tips, software templates, and a podcast called Two Sides Of FI. His YouTube channel has more than 800 thousand subscribers, and it is one of the main tools Eric developed to share his work and knowledge in an accessible way.
Eric Reinholdt decided to become an entrepreneur when the company he was working for was struggling in a slow economy and he agreed to work only four days a week, which gave him time to pursue outside work. Due to his situation, he realized that he could not count on an employer to offer him job security, thus he understood that he should start his architectural practice. His first steps were to write, draw, and design projects thoroughly to rethink the creative process and the methodology he was taught.
Along the way, he discovered which strategies tend to work when designing, and with that information, he assembled a guide to lead his practice. His experience eventually turned into the book Architect + Entrepreneur: A Field Guide to Building, Branding, and Marketing Your Startup Design Business, to spread information and reach young architects that are struggling like Eric once were.
In his book, Eric explains how his practice was established and how he achieved business success as an architect. The process started when he identified the well-trodden path many architects are familiar with and decided to go a different way. His fear to start small made him suffer from analysis paralysis for a long time, believing that he did not have enough money to spend. Once he realized he could start small and focus the capital on the most important things, he could develop a viable product and sell his ideas.
With consistent effort each day, he was able to evolve. Through his path, he recognized the importance of thinking big and pursuing knowledge. By learning from his experience as an architect and entrepreneur, his products turned out to be not only his architectural projects, but also the tools he offered to help architects develop their abilities and start their practices.
Strategy and Philosophy
Eric Reinholdt’s experience is what shaped his work philosophy. As an architectural entrepreneur, he understands the freedom to set his work schedule as an important value, because it helps him achieve a balanced life. To help creativity flow, Eric also believes it is important to have an organized routine with room for activities to move the body and connect to the natural environment. The attention to the creative process is connected to one of his main concerns, to encourage the exploration of alternative ways to practice architecture.
Drawing from his experience, he advises young architects to start small and learn fast. He goes on to say that problem-solving skills architects are taught to have are also fundamental pieces of the work as an entrepreneur. However, he highlights the importance of seeking business training, which architecture schools and internships often fail to teach, as they are mostly focused on visualization, representation, and design concepts. Regarding his architectural designs, he uses humble and durable materials as a strategy to show that good architecture can be affordable, efficient and pleasant.
30X40 Design Workshop. (n.d.). 30X40 Design Workshop – Simple Modern Residential Architecture | Mount Desert Island, Maine. [online] Available at: https://thirtybyforty.com/. [Accessed 4 Aug. 2021].
www.youtube.com. (n.d.). 30X40 Design Workshop – YouTube. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/c/Thirtybyforty/featured. [Accessed 4 Aug. 2021].
Archipreneur. (2015). Architect+Entrepreneur: A Field Guide to Building, Branding, and Marketing Your Startup Design Business | Archipreneur. [online] Available at: https://archipreneur.com/architect-entrepreneur-a-field-guide-to-building-branding-and-marketing-your-startup-design-business/. [Accessed 4 Aug. 2021].
Archipreneur. (2015). Interview with Eric Reinholdt of 30X40 Design Workshop. [online] Available at: https://archipreneur.com/archipreneur-interview-eric-reinholdt-architect-entrepreneur/. [Accessed 4 Aug. 2021].