Dr. Benjamin Coorey is the founder of Archistar, a property platform combining architectural design with artificial intelligence to inform decision-making.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
I studied Architecture at University and was always passionate about technology and how that could shift the way we design. I began my career specializing in digital technologies working and consulting for global architecture firms at a time where generative design was unknown in the industry.
After seeing the gaps, I took the opportunity to do a PhD and lecture in emerging technologies and decided to put my skills to practice and launched the company I am now Founder and CEO of, Archistar.
Archistar takes complex 3D design technology and makes it simple and available on the web for anyone to use so they can rapidly assess the feasibility of property development opportunities.
2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
Every day is a bit different, but it always starts with a fresh coffee! I schedule my daily meetings with product, tech and go to market in the mornings and leave space in the afternoon for meetings with investors or clients.
I try to keep the middle of the day flexible to work on challenging problems and allow some creative thinking. I have recently started training daily after 5pm to break up the work day, and often I will have meetings with the US or UK either early morning or late at night.
I typically check social networks and catch up on my news feed early in the morning or late at night.
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
My role needs flexibility and both myself and the whole team are set up to work from the office or remotely which has worked really well during COVID. With such an intense workload, you do need to have a lot of flexibility in how and where you work.
Before COVID, I had a busy travel schedule, so I had to learn how to continue working from the airport, a hotel or in coffee shops around the world! That has helped me to stay productive wherever I am but also gives me the flexibility to spend time with my family and stay healthy!
4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
If you are passionate about your work, it doesn’t feel like a job – more of a life mission that is an integral part of who you are. My family are very supportive, and we have built businesses in the past, so we know what it takes to be successful.
To keep that balance, you have to be okay with the fact that you may need to work around the clock, but it is important to take breaks and enjoy time with family and friends as work will always be there.
5) What do you think are some of the best habits or routines that you’ve developed over the years to help you achieve success in your life?
More recently I have learnt to switch off on the weekends and spend time outdoors. As a family, we often go for walks along the beaches / cliffs around Sydney and enjoy the fresh air and beautiful views.
I discovered that you could schedule ‘Do Not Disturb’ mode on your phone during the night – this is useful to avoid that constant buzzing of messages throughout the night!
6) Are there any books that have helped you improve over the years?
I have a large library of books – from design, to architecture, UI/UX and all things business. I have really enjoyed books about companies that have grown rapidly around the globe and how they got there. I really enjoyed reading Blitzscaling and Rework. I am constantly buying books and reading them at night.
7) What is the number one thing you do to make sure you get the most out of your day?
I like to make lists of the most important things I need to do in the week. My calendar can be unpredictable, so I always review it nightly to see if anything new has emerged and I am prepared for the next day. I always like to make sure where possible to make sure there are gaps in my calendar to allow that flexibility to adapt to whatever may happen on that day!
8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
Bill Gates or Elon Musk – the challenges they set to solve are some of the most difficult in the world. I enjoy reading about people that have the courage to take on large problems and how they work through that in their lives.
9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
It is important that you have the support of your family in what you do. You will quite often need to work late nights, early mornings or on the weekends, but every week is different.
If you can maintain a level of flexibility and you can be agile in your calendar, you can make time to spend with your family, friends and have some down time for enjoying your life. For me, my favourite pastimes are going to the Movies, watching Netflix, building Lego and playing Xbox!
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