48: The Importance of Hands-on Experience and Can-do Attitude with Monte French

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About The Guest(s):
Monte French is the founder and principal of Monte French Design Studio, a Boston-based architecture firm specializing in multifamily residential, commercial, and retail projects. With a background in engineering, ironworking, and the Navy, Monte brings a unique perspective to his work and is known for his can-do attitude and commitment to client success.


In this episode of Design Development, host Rens Hayes interviews Monte French, founder and principal of Monte French Design Studio. Monte shares his journey from working as an ironworker and serving in the Navy to becoming an architect and starting his own firm. He discusses the importance of a can-do attitude, the challenges and rewards of sustainable design, and the value of hands-on experience in the construction industry. Monte also highlights the significance of building models and the role of physical models in conveying design intent to clients. He emphasizes the need for consistency in design and construction and the importance of listening to clients to make their projects successful.

Key Takeaways:

  1. No path to success is the same; it's important to embrace the twists and turns in your career journey.
  2. Consistency is key in sustainable design, both in the construction process and the operational aspects of a building.
  3. Physical models are valuable tools for conveying design intent and engaging clients in the design process.
  4. A can-do attitude and a willingness to take on challenges are essential for success in the architecture industry.
  5. Building a strong team and fostering a culture of collaboration and unselfishness are crucial for a successful architecture firm.


  • “Being consistent with [sustainable design] leads to a successful project because it doesn't mean that you can't do a project that is a little more exotic or has an unusual shape to it.” – Monte French
  • “People need to see what they're drawing… That's where the developmental process happens and where people grow the most.” – Monte French
  • “If you're looking for that utopian condition, you're going to be sorely disappointed.” – Monte French
  • “A can-do attitude is critical… Being unselfish is critical because if you're unselfish, that means that you're willing to be successful.” – Monte French

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Our goal is to help people in the industry identify opportunities for growth by sharing the journey of top performers. There is no one path. Success isn't a straight line. There is something to learn from everyone's story. Let's go!

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