Lisa Raynes, Manchester based Pride Road Founder and CEO, chats to Chicago based Lira Luis, RIBA.

Both Lisa and Lira are joyful networkers and members of the RIBA, which in 2020 was acknowledged as a Superbrand. Hear them chat about how networking skills – used both in online and offline communities – have helped them to develop their own practices and what they enjoy about the process.

When you have a high-energy career or you run your own business it can be difficult to understand where to focus your time. It starts by thinking about where you can add and also gain value as you make strategic decisions about which memberships to join, events to attend and people to engage.

Pride Road Franchise grew out of Founder Lisa Raynes refusal to accept that there was only one way for a woman to have an architecture career and a family life. She built her practice in the domestic sector, and then invested to turn her business into one that other ambitious architects wanting work/life balance can buy into. She had a seat on the RIBA Council (2015-18), was Chair of Women in Property NW and founded Manchester Curious, an urban architecture outreach festival. A franchise can be understood as a business-in-a-box; you are buying the experience, systems and processes of business success and enterprise.

Lira Luis FRIBA, FRSA, NCARB, CEM, LEED AP, formed an architecture career for the benefit of others through research and innovation. As Taliesin Fellow she revived Frank Lloyd Wright’s underutilised System-Built Homes, a precedent to Jacobs House (UNESCO site) — resulting in reduction of blight in a disadvantaged NJ city block. Her Leapfrog Project’s “Living Ball” enabled self-sufficient empowerment of extreme climate survivors through geodesic constructions. She developed new architectural solutions to help island nations overcome rapidly rising sea levels in her Magnetic Levitation Experiment. In 2020 both the RIBA and Royal Society of Arts elected her as Fellow.

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