If it was up to me: Justin Kinsella

by | Jan 4, 2024

Advice and thoughts on the lighter side of life

Justin Kinsella is the Managing Director of Harcourt Technologies Limited (HTL. tech). Beginning in 1996, he studied architecture at Dundee University, Scotland.

After graduating, he gained experience working in offices in New York and Dublin, before establishing Harcourt Architects in 2003 and Harcourt Technologies in 2021.

HTL.tech are focused on delivering affordable, efficient and high-quality housing in Ireland and the UK using 3D Construction Printing technology.

Justin is interested in socially and ecologically conscious development, innovative construction technologies and design solutions. He is also a director of Harcourt Architects.

If you could spend a day in someone else’s shoes who would it be?

It wouldn’t be much fun, but it would probably be best to spend a day and night in the place of someone who is on the street and doesn’t have a home. It’s a good way to stay focused on the work of helping to contribute to a meaningful solution to our housing problem.

What’s your pet peeve?

Bad manners and disrespect to those less fortunate. There’s no excuse for it.

What law would you change?

I certainly believe there needs to be a more inclusive way to ensure our planning laws can allow for faster development while at the same time protecting people’s rights to object.

Who has inspired you most?

Bent Flyvbjerg. He is a Danish economic geographer and professor at Oxford Universities Business School. Over the past two decades he has consulted on and analysed over 2,000 projects globally ranging from mega nfrastructural, large budget film productions to domestic kitchen conversions.

Based on his research, 99.5 per cent of projects go over budget, over schedule, under benefits, or some combination of these. I found his book How Big Things Get Done, to be deeply inspirational. He has distilled a common logic that is applicable to pretty much all construction projects and their management.

The main lessons I’ve learnt from him are the importance of a good team, to plan slow and then act fast and think right to left. Start with your goal, then identify the steps to get there.

Favourite landmark?

The Skellig Islands. I’ve always loved the beehive style huts built there and look forward to the opportunity of using the freestyle construction capability offered by Construction Printing to reinterpret and build something similar
on the right site in Ireland.

What should be more well known?

The impact of 3D construction printing should be more well known. The ability to deliver housing units at a faster and more efficient time frame while also addressing issues around waste and sustainability.

If you could get rid of one Irish county which one would it be?

Cork. I think its only a matter of time until they launch a coup d’etat to take control of the whole country.

What song would you play for the rest of your life?

This must be the place / Naïve melody by the Talking Heads. I never grow tired of it and it never fails to make me feel good.

Favourite quote?

‘The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty.’

What emoji should be banned and introduced?

The aubergine. I’m not too sure what it means and I’m afraid to use it.

Favourite website?

LinkedIn is the one I use most. It is professional and informative.

What should everyone do at least once in their life?

Design and build your own house with 3DCP!

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