We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to one of our Honorable mention winners for our "Greening the Industrial City" competition – Joel-Laurent Mbala-Nkanga from United States!

Joel-Laurent Mbala-Nkanga from United States

I do not own a company however I am an associate designer for Populous. A global architecture firm that specializes in designing the places where people love to be together. I graduated from the University of Oregon with a masters in Architecture and received my undergraduate degree from Adrian College in south eastern Michigan in interior design. 

Brief information about the projects that you/your company have been involved with. For instance, what scale have you focused on/preferred, any significant projects where the company/ individuals have been involved?

The firm I work for is multidisciplinary however I focus primarily on sports architecture in the college market. During my time at Populous I’ve participated primarily on stadiums, arenas and campus master-planning in various colleges around the country. I’ve also had the chance to participate in sports competitions in Japan.

What does architecture mean to you and what is the role of an architect in your society?

Architecture to me is a means to enrich and improve the quality of people’s lives. This ties directly what I do on a daily basis as I have the chance to work on projects that improve people’s lives.

Why do you participate in architecture competitions?

I participate in architecture competitions because I’m a designer and these give me the opportunities to continue to improve on my creative skills. It gives me the opportunity to be as creative as I can be, get experimental, test the limits of what’s acceptable in architecture. It’s also an opportunity to continue to work on improving my skills in drafting, model making, etc.

What advice would you give to individuals who struggle to decide whether it would be beneficial for them to participate in architecture competitions?

Just go for it! It can be a little challenging but it’s always rewarding when you finish a competition and you’re proud of the final outcome.

Top 3 Reasons Why You Should Enter Architecture Competitions

Curious about the value of architecture competitions? Discover the transformative power they can have on your career - from igniting creativity and turning designs into reality, to gaining international recognition.

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