July 06, 2020

10 questions with Uchenna Nnadi

10 Years at Nadi Design

Article By

To celebrate Nadi Design’s 10-year anniversary, we’ve asked the current staff 10 questions that reflect on their time here and how they see the firm evolving over the next decade. Here are their thoughts (answers have been edited for clarity):


1) How has Nadi evolved since you first started working as part of the team?

It has been a journey: evolving from a sole-proprietorship to a team of 12 with three office location, I would say the firm has grown in leaps and bounds, and it did not come easy.

While Nadi Design has seen employees come and go, we have established a culture that surpasses timeline and specific individuals. We're about the people, the community, and it shows in the projects we have undertaken and the ways we collaborate with staff, ensuring everyone feels heard and seen. It has become the tie that binds, and this approach has held our company together.

2) What is the most innovative and exciting Nadi project that you've seen the Nadi Design team work on?

I love Shovel Garden at St. Boniface City Hall. I love how the shovel garden sways gracefully in the wind and contrast with the beautiful flowers, which surround them. It brings an inviting presence to the city hall.


Shovel Garden St Boniface Cool Gardens Competition

Shovel Garden

3) Nadi Design's mission is to design for a better world. What is the most memorable and impactful way you have put that mission into practice?

On a personal level, when I think of the future world my children will inherit, I think of ways I can contribute to making that future habitable and sustainable. Promoting eco-friendly products and small businesses that are innovative and forward thinkers, encouraging minimal waste in the household and fostering a creative atmosphere daily where ingenious ideas are cultivated and celebrated. I find Nadi design aligns well with this vision, and we put it to practice in our thoughtful designs and alternative building materials.

4) What makes Nadi Design stand out from its competitors?

The culture, of course. However, Nadi Design's thoughtful, playful and innovative approach to work is also noteworthy. It is a small firm but a fierce one that pushes boundaries and learns as they move forward.

5) What do you hope to see Nadi Design achieve in the next ten years?

I would love to see Nadi Design continue to improve upon its vision to design for a better world. Building resilient communities with space that brings people together is the direction our society should move towards in the future. Especially now, in a post-pandemic world, we will be tasked as a community to be more environmentally conscious.

6) What is the most rewarding part of being a member of the Nadi Design team?

As someone who is invested by default, the winnings. The small, insignificant victories. Running a business is like being the first person to run into a burning house. It's risky and daunting. However, watching the staff evolve and adapt and finesse the business structure is rewarding—all the highs and lows and the growth that has come out of them.

7) What advice do you have for future landscape architects, urban designers or urban planners who are entering the field?

I am none of these, but from life experience and a career change, I will say design changes as quickly as our world evolves. Be open to change, and that is how you can keep the wonder and passion of your career on a trajectory.


8) How do you see your role impacting the evolution of Nadi Design over the next ten years?

In building a meaningful connection with our clientele, I hope to influence our marketing campaign positively by integrating the customer’s suggestions into the way we provide services.

I am aiming for Nadi to surpass customer service relations in a way that incorporates play, soul and results. We should enjoy what we do, and it should show too.

9) What do you want Nadi Design’s current and future clients to know about the firm that they might not?

That we are a bunch of professionals and underneath the title lies people who are passionate about their jobs, want to contribute positively to our community through the services we offer and willing to learn from our clients.

In the absence of politics, we spend more time rallying around solutions, and this creates an advantage with time management.

10) How do you see Nadi Design’s relationship with its clients evolving over the next ten years?

There will be timeliness about us never like before, and our focus will be on creating designs that reflect the innovative firm that we are.

We will extend our collaborative interaction and culture within our firm to our clients in tangible ways. I see our clients understanding our vision better and being more assertive throughout the execution of their project.

There will be more emphasis on shared goals and code of conduct. This exercise will help us identify the right fit of clients whose vision aligns with ours. It is easier to develop a great working relationship when the parties involved are equally yoked.