Cultured Magazine

Winter 2014

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John Patrick, the 28-year-old founder of the architecture and design talent agency Above the Fold, doesn't mince words. "I want to revolutionize the industry," says Patrick. "So many people don't get what I do," proffers the self- proclaimed agent, manager and publicist who's most interested in the commissioning of architects. "You have this agency that binds it all together and it has never existed before." Patrick is one of a few young arts entrepreneurs who are employing Keynesian economics to shake contemporary capitalism's avenues of business management and marketing. "My dream is when I can look at a building, ideally a tower in New York, and say, 'I was involved in that.'" Above the Fold bolsters its clients—which include Brad Cloepfil, Kulapat Yantrasast and Fernando Romero—in any area of their practice, whether it be a total McKinsey-style revamp, a business proposal or even an email system for a prominent lead architect. "With my clients, if I feel like they're not going to get it together, I will just do it myself." Patrick's aspirations are only backed by the incubating experiences from which he emerged: he interned at Rockwell Group in New York and at the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) in Rotterdam before embarking on his first professional endeavor with Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) in Copenhagen. "You truly can't be an agent for an architect unless you understand how to do business development," he says. "There's a ruling class of architecture; there are probably 500 people who really commission contemporary architecture, and those are the people I want to reach." Like many of the millennial generation—guided by ambition and fluent in the DIY start- up mentality—Patrick quickly knew it was time to break off on his own. Three years ago, he left for a vacation—his last one to date—in Berlin. Sitting on the U-Bahn looking at an elderly gentleman reading Der Spiegel, he came up with the idea for Above the Fold; his company was born. "This is the future. I am sure of it," he declares. —Julie Baumgardner PHOTO BY RAFAEL GAMO 200 CULTURED John Patrick DESIGN AGENT ▲

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