Paul Arad, an infamous global managing director and the co-founder of a multi-disciplinary firm, Acrylicize, gave an exclusive interview to Rion Williard and the team of “The Business of Architecture UK Podcast” at his newly set up studio in London

Being at the forefront of an art-oriented field, Paul expressed his concerns and discussed the inception of his business throughout an hour-long audio and video-formatted podcast. Acrylicize is a conglomerate of multiple design fields that melds fine arts with interior design and architecture with product design. The firm also focuses on creating a brand and an experience that outlasts the users’ space of mind and creates a sense of awareness and responsibility amidst the corporate and commercial environment. 

Podcast for Architects: Leading with Love - Balancing Art and Business with Paul Arad of Acrylicize by Business of Architecture  - Sheet1
NYC: ‘Ambient Chroma’_©Acrylicize

When asked to elaborate on the progress that he and his firm has made over the past few years and give a glimpse of the steps that he took to gain this world-famous success, Paul accredited his friend and colleague, James Burke, also the co-founder of the firm, for his dedicated passion for expressing art in a way that seemed to be a novelty. He also reminisced about the days at his university with James and all that they did at the college. Along with this, he started to plan out these ideas, called multiple developers to find a way to get into the industry, filling up walls full of art to put together a wonderful environment together. While landing their first clients, they soon negotiated early contacts and nurtured the relationships which led them to grow from a business into an international design firm with offices in London, New York, and Seattle.

Podcast for Architects: Leading with Love - Balancing Art and Business with Paul Arad of Acrylicize by Business of Architecture  - Sheet2
Stockholm: ‘Echo Spectrum’_©Acrylicize

Inspired by the thought behind Michelangelo’s commissioned work of the Sistine Chapel, the founders set up their minds to infuse art and life into inanimate buildings. Observing the nature of these buildings, Paul realised their impact on people’s daily lives and how they contributed to the well-being of an integrated society. Hence, for the next 18 years, they envisioned creating a firm that made creativity accessible for the ones who wished to participate, collaborate, and build connections with the people and environment that confined them in, with the help of communicative art and design. 

Staying true to the nature of his values, Paul emphasised the phrase- “Leading with Love”, quite describing the community of people that he now deals with and the way that their response helps the firm to form an integral bond between the clientele and the designers, helping them to nurture a coterie that co-exists together. An innovative intent, which was discovered in between the conversation, was the lingering vision of creating a workplace that provided the designers with a fertile ground to grow with and express themselves as individual creative self. 

Podcast for Architects: Leading with Love - Balancing Art and Business with Paul Arad of Acrylicize by Business of Architecture  - Sheet3
Acrylicize Interior_ ©Jake Curtis

“Existence is the joy of expression” was another one of the key phrases that Paul mentioned, circulated amongst all to express the creative freedom that every designer was provided with and the connection that brought them all together to create an output with inferences from the local businesses to be extruded over international projects. These included any and every form of art, from the ‘one of-‘ pieces to full-blown art schemes, each one of which served the purpose of creating environments that made people feel loved and inspired and connected by the mere existence of it, focusing on forming a singularity by bringing them together.

Podcast for Architects: Leading with Love - Balancing Art and Business with Paul Arad of Acrylicize by Business of Architecture  - Sheet4
Contour Tableau Concept_ ©Acrylicize

To achieve such high feats, from the standpoint of a designer, Paul advised communicating with the clients to know, with the response of the users, what changes in the environment would display a better result. How would they prefer to live in an environment, and what would inspire them to explore more? With a network of fabrication artists and specialists to support the users’ needs, one needs to design the space that adds to the product’s overall value and nudges people to rise above their past experiences and explore a new and better environment. 

To make the user realise the importance of the project, one needs to educate them about the necessity of such spaces instead of introducing them to its theoretical knowledge and aesthetic idea. With the spread of consciousness about the importance of fulfilling needs and wants, the users would be able to provide more for the communal growth of an entity. 

Textile work: Rachna Garodia and Work on paper: Nicholas Maroussas_ ©Simon Bevan

Another interesting conversation between the interviewer and the interviewed was about the recent shift of power from the employer to an employee, which grants the worker immense authority to hold over a company, and also about the difference in the monetary aspect of the earning capacity of Acrylicize, from the time of it’s very beginning to the present state. To answer all of this, Paul recalled the phrase again, “Leading with Love”, this time describing the nurturing environment of the workplace that makes them attracts skilful individuals and makes them stay longer.

References:

Business of Architecture. (2022). Leading with Love – Balancing Art and Business with Paul Arad of Acrylicize. [YouTube video]. Available at: 429: Leading with Love – Balancing Art and Business with Paul Arad of Acrylicize – YouTube [Accessed 25 December 2022].

Author

Swastik Sharma is an astute and curious individual, with a hand of expressive writings and a mind full of endless thoughts. He believes that any piece of art and architecture could be expressed as a captivating story, providing a projective view and influencing the future for the better cause.

Write A Comment