Visualization in the Eyes of a Young Entrepreneur
Brian Corcodilos ’13
Brian Corcodilos ’13 has a passion for architecture and a vision for his future that developed at a young age. Corcodilos’ mother, Joanne Corcodilos always knew her son would become an architect because of his love for Legos. Assembling Lego sets was a childhood ritual for Corcodilos.
When it was time to apply to college, Corcodilos wanted a school that had an excellent architecture program and a diverse student body. He considered the New Jersey Institute of Technology, but during an information session, he learned that the curriculum had a strong focus on computer-aided design. PhilaU, on the other hand, offered a different approach with a focus on hand modeling and drawing. “I felt other schools didn’t offer the same artistic approach,” explained Corcodilos. This artistic approach paired with Nexus Learning, the University’s signature teaching style which encourages interdisciplinary student work on real-world projects, is what set PhilaU apart.
As a student at PhilaU, Corcodilos valued the close interaction between faculty and students. The support he received made his experience at the University worthwhile. He was fortunate to have multiple internships with different firms while he was a student. “The internships not only solidified my desire to continue a career in architecture, but the connections I made with many professionals provided me with a huge network once I graduated,” noted Corcodilos.
As a student, Corcodilos launched Designblendz, a full service architectural consulting company specializing in visualization and design documentation for clients. “I became an entrepreneur when I realized that doing what I loved was the most important item on my agenda,” said Corcodilos. Designblendz also offers Home Solutions, which focuses on residential redevelopment. The redevelopment side of the company purchases foreclosed homes, or those that require extensive repairs, and reinvents them. The company develops cost effective design solutions to increase each property’s value.
Corcodilos will admit that starting a business while being a full-time student was challenging. Designblendz was growing and Corcodilos began planning the redevelopment side of the business when his father, Brian Corcodilos Sr., suddenly passed away in January 2013, a few months shy of his son’s May 2013 graduation. Corcodilos’ father was very supportive of his sons’ education and plans for Designblendz. Corcodilos considered taking time off and delaying his graduation, but his family and friends urged him to finish his degree and make his father proud.
It has been a year since Corcodilos graduated and he is thriving in his field. When asked which project he found most rewarding, Corcodilos mentioned a complete visualization package, including six renderings, an animation, a website, rendered floor plans and a brochure, Designblendz offered to REMAX Action Realty to help sell eight new housing units in the Northern Liberties section of Philadelphia. Corcodilos was thrilled to receive a call from REMAX notifying him that six of the eight $780,000 units sold in less than two weeks because of the quality of work produced by Designblendz. He is most proud of a model he and his colleagues built for New Jersey American Water, a company that controls approximately one third of all water lines in New Jersey. The team created a portable model with running water that was used to present at conventions and classrooms to teach others how water works. It was Designblendz’s first major project that allowed the team to solve a design problem in a creative way. The project was completed while Corcodilos was still a student at PhilaU.
Corcodilos is a successful entrepreneur because he puts his customers first - sometimes before his first cup of coffee. “Our clients have deadlines and they can’t meet those deadlines if our organization does not operate with a sense of urgency,” he stressed. “It is for that simple reason that we like to be responsive and nimble to ensure our clients get a call back immediately, a quote, and quality work delivered on time.”
This successful entrepreneur makes it a priority to stay on top of industry trends, including technology. Corcodilos mentioned that the latest push in the industry is Revit, a software that enables users to construct a 3D model of a building to detect any problems before the construction phase begins. Revit is instrumental because it saves time and money. “Architects that have knowledge of this software will be able to secure a job at any firm,” shared Corcodilos.
When Corcodilos is not busy running his company, he is spending time with friends and family. Balance is critical and after losing his father, he makes his health a priority. In the past year, Corcodilos has become an avid runner, having completed a few 5K races and plans to run a half marathon in the near future. He finds it helpful to plan weekly goals - whether they are health, social or business related - on Sunday nights.
Corcodilos urges others not to settle and always challenge the boundaries of one’s profession. “Do something you love and figure out a way to make money doing it,” advised Corcodilos. “With enough energy and perseverance, that thing you love doing will be able to support you full time.” He is proud of where he is in his career and is excited for future endeavors within his profession.