Karbi Chan of archiparti speaks to The Loop HK about finding project management solutions in design and architecture.
What do you do?
I’m the founder of interior design platform archiparti, an award-winning interior and architecture design and project management service. Our algorithm is used by our database of thousands of designers from over 20 countries, monitoring over 100 checkpoints throughout the design, quotation, contracting, and construction stages.
How does your business work?
A project owner can launch a project online anytime, anywhere. The archiparti system matches the project owner with an interior designer within minutes. After some initial coordination, the design and build process will start under the project escrow system we developed to align expectations and avoid disputes. We also provide help with design or build solutions.
archiparti empowers award-winning independent designers from all over the world with the management and PR tools and network we developed. We also allow project owners to save time on sourcing, comparing, managing, and monitoring by outsourcing the fuss to our system.
How did archiparti get started?
archiparti was started to solve the real problems I observed throughout my years of professional experience working in NYC, London, Hong Kong, Tokyo, and China. Creating something like archiparti was always on my mind because I had a vision of how this generation of designers should live and how projects of this era should be done. I waited for two years, thinking someone better than me should be doing this and maybe I would just join and use such a system when it was launched to the world. Yet nothing happened so when the time was right, I just decided to take the risk, give it a try, and learn along the way.
Who are your clients?
Other startups, young professional first-time homeowners, office, retail or F&B project owners, or corporates looking for a rebrand. We have constructed a series of really fun projects in the past years with very forward-looking clients trying to redefine a variety of things: retail spaces, offices, whisky bars, and karaoke booths, for example.
What’s a day in your working life like?
I spend my time between Hong Kong, China and New York City. My time in China involves meetings, presentations, meetings, presentations… Being in New York is calmer and gives me a lot more time to reflect, catch up with learning and deadlines, and find new inspiration through new networks. Hong Kong is where the team is based. When I’m in Hong Kong, work time usually starts at 6am, with emails. From 11am, there are internal team meetings or meetings with our Hong Kong partners. Late at night I arrive at my hotel and work ’til I faint into my bed.
Where do you see your business in future?
The design and build industry is traditional, opaque, rigid, and massive. Yet the world is changing — a new generation of customers and designers are looking for new modes of business to re-configure and redistribute their resources in the industry for more a efficient project flow.
We are still tiny, but I know we are already changing the industry bit by bit. Over the past years, we can see how we inspired many designers to rethink the way they perceive themselves and their ideal lifestyles as architects or interior designers. But there are still many problems in the industry to be solved, and the market is huge. I want archiparti to continue to be the force to drive change through engaging technologies and working with more forward-looking clients who agree with our values.
An elevator convo with Karbi Chan. See here for more from our Next Up series.