Tobias Maescher is a practicing architect and founder of Archipreneur, a digital platform, and an online community.
Tobias Maescher founded the berlin-based Archipreneur in 2014. Tobias wanted to create a publication that amalgamated architecture, technology, and creative entrepreneurship through this platform. The mission of Archipreneur was to inspire, connect, and educate architects and builders across the globe through interviews, project case studies, and knowledge.
Many independent architects are obsessed with architecture and the design side of their profession. So much that they overlook being an entrepreneur. These architects often work exclusively in their businesses instead of in their businesses.
One can be an excellent architect, but if one puts no energy and attention into the business, it will not take long before one falls behind architects who are half as good but work on their business.
Many underestimate the importance of entrepreneurship or keep it as far away from them as possible as if it is a four-letter word, attainable only for greedy business sharks and not compatible with art and architecture.
Before Archipreneur and his own office, he worked for the international architecture practice gmp, Gesturing, de Vries, Knipping, and Brune & Company on a wide range of projects in Germany.
He graduated in architecture from the Bauhaus-University Weimar, the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, and his masters from the Technical University of Berlin in Real Estate Management.
Tobias Maescher has also written a book Archipreneur, that helps architects and designers to succeed in their businesses.
Tobias believed that obtaining projects is very competitive by taking an active part in architectural competitions with other offices. So, one has to put in a tremendous amount of work for a design proposal upfront. If one doesn’t win a competition, he/she is not compensated for their work. Without a project, one cannot practice architecture, and without a decent portfolio of projects, clients won’t hire architects. Overall he felt that it is tough to start as an architect. So he started researching additional ways of generating income as an architect. And he found many architects who used their skill set in a creative and entrepreneurial way to create a stable income.
In the past, the role of an architect was the generalist – the Master Builder.
Over the years, other parties in the construction industry have taken over specific tasks like project administration, cost management, or special engineering assistance. So, architects have given up a lot of competencies and the role today is more of a design specialist.
Many architects think that trading their design time for money is the only way to make money because the subject of entrepreneurship is not broached at all during architectural studies.
But of course, one can utilize their skills as an architect in a hundred different ways.
He also did write a book ‘The Archipreneur Concept.’ This book is a one-stop solution for all the architects and designers who did things apart from the traditional practice. This book illustrates business models that help designers.
The book mainly focuses on the deficiencies in the current educational system, inclining toward the architectural field. The methodology highlights form-development and individuality over interdisciplinary teamwork and business understanding. These deficiencies are out of context when compared to current needs.
Freelance opportunities among architects increased during the 2009 recession when many qualified architects lost their jobs.
The crucial step of starting one’s own business or freelancing is shifting the mindset from employee to owner. There is no trading time for money taking place. One needs to look for opportunities and learn to calculate risk, which is always not an easy transition.
In one section of The Archipreneur Concept, Tobias mentioned entrepreneurship as a mindset that is not exclusive to internet startups and tech companies. If architects shift their perspective, they can also be entrepreneurs. The vital part is to think creatively about company possibilities and explore alternative business prototypes.
Traditionally architects offer custom services on a client-by-client ground. The issue with this idea is that the business owner cannot leverage each task for maximum effect.
Productizing is a method where initial ideas and concepts take shape into a product. Productizing assistance turns one-off service into a repeated approach. The benefits increase and the consumers know what they are gaining and the cost. Though designers and architects don’t prefer working on the same project twice, it adds to a stable revenue system.
Productizing is just one example, among other opportunities covered in the book like product development, software, online courses, and an architect as a developer. He covers fundamental skills in branding, marketing, and other skills necessary for an architect.
The most influential part of the book is that it covers various case studies and examples of architects that put concepts into practice. As proof, Maescher presents thorough consultations with people like Modative and Eric Reinholdt, who practice architectural entrepreneurship every day.
As architects, one needs to innovate and think creatively. The Archipreneur Concept is a valuable guide that helps one to apply these skills in business.
“The Archipreneur Concept: A Review – ArchSmarter -.” ArchSmarter, 24 June 2016,
“Three Alternative Ways for Architects to Earn (Big?) Money – with Tobias Maescher from Archipreneur – (2022).” Lubbil, 18 July 2022,