Understories 010: Keir Regan-Alexander, Arka Works

In this podcast, we speak to Keir Regan-Alexander, architect and founder of Arka Works, a creative consultancy specialising in the Built Environment and AI. He discusses the impact of AI on the architectural profession and the need for architects to embrace AI to adapt to the changing landscape. He and Lindsay discuss the importance of staying informed and keeping up with new AI developments, while encouraging architects to focus on their unique value and specialise in specific areas to differentiate themselves in the market. He shares his own journey of starting Arka Works and as well as his interest in blending product design and architecture, his iterative approach to building his business, and his future plans. He also talks about the challenges and rewards of running his own business and how he defines success.


  • Architects need to embrace AI and adapt to the changing landscape of the profession.
  • Diffusion models and parametric design are powerful tools that can transform the way architects work.
  • Staying informed and keeping up with new AI developments is crucial for architects.
  • Architects should focus on their unique value and specialize in specific areas to differentiate themselves in the market. Blending product design and architecture can lead to innovative solutions and new opportunities.
  • An iterative approach to building a business allows for adaptation and growth based on client feedback.
  • Architects have valuable skills in early stage strategy and product development.
  • Creating a practice that is unique and addresses specific needs can be more fulfilling than starting a traditional architecture practice.
  • Running a business can be challenging but also rewarding, providing the freedom to work on projects that are personally fulfilling.
  • Success is defined by the ability to choose and work on projects that align with one’s passions and interests.


00:00 Introduction and Background
01:20 Interest in Tech and Software
02:17 Diffusion Models and Parametric Design
04:03 Keeping Up with AI in Architecture
05:34 Overwhelm and Starting with AI
06:28 The Power of AI in Architecture
07:56 AI Tools for Writing and Transforming Content
09:07 Using AI in Collaborative Projects
10:41 Navigating the Ever-Changing AI Landscape
11:53 Architects’ Response to AI
13:43 The Value of Architects in the AI Era
15:37 Adapting to AI in Architecture
17:53 Scaling and Specializing in Architecture
20:45 The Future of AI in Architecture
24:46 Being Clear on Value and Specialization
30:50 Starting ArcaWorks and Future Plans
32:15 Interest in Product Design and Development
33:32 Iterative Approach and Future Plans
35:00 Blending Architecture and Tech Startups
36:41 Creating a Practice Worth Existing
39:26 Starting ArcaWorks
42:19 Challenges and Rewards of Running a Business
44:35 Defining Success
46:44 Quick Fire Questions