TZL 1464 (web)


TZL: Trust is essential. How do you earn the trust of your clients? MC: OBMI has devised an innovative workflow, with clearly identified stages, to ensure the project emerges through collaboration. We gain trust from our clients by listening to their wants and needs, being the design guardians of the project, and valuing client feedback. The driving force for our firm is to translate our clients’ dreams into three-dimensional forms, and I think the individuals, brands and developers can sense that. We want our projects to be timeless, and provide long- term value to the local community, site, and the clients. TZL: Storytelling through design seems to be at the core of what OBMI does. Can you give me an example of this to demonstrate it in action? MC: Every place has a unique story to tell. As designers and planners, we seek to discover the innate poetry of a destination. Our process is centered around storytelling, and it is the element that aligns us with the client’s vision and guides the design. We work with clients to develop a unique concept that considers future memories, business goals, the existing environment, natural topography, and cultural heritage of a specific location – threads of inspiration that eventually become the tapestry of design. For the Royal Mansour, King Mohammed VI commissioned OBMI to capture and celebrate Morocco’s rich culture and beauty through a majestic hospitality palace. As guests journey through the storied property, we redefined luxury through grand displays of local craftsmanship, immersing them in the refined grace of traditional and royal Moroccan hospitality. Capturing the soul, spirit, and essence of the culture, the transformational design presents a timeless, unforgettable, and bespoke experience that will never be forgotten. TZL: Does your firm work closely with any higher education institutions to gain access to the latest technology, experience, and innovation and/or recruiting to find qualified resources? MC: OBMI works closely with the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York, the University of Miami, and Boston University, to name a few. Our firm is dedicated to educating the next generation of architects to design environmentally sensitive and incomparably unique destinations. Through our collaborations, we train OBMI staff in the most advanced design technologies and capture the attention of talented students

who wish to join our firm as interns and, ultimately, employees. TZL: OBMI+ is devoted to sustainable design. What’s an internal initiative that you’re currently working on? MC: OBMI+ is our internal CSR program. Our firm has more than 85 years of experience designing in sensitive environments, globally. With this expertise, sustainability has become rooted in our philosophy and process. Preserving and celebrating a site’s natural surroundings, we design with intention and consciousness – highlighting the natural wonder of each location and minimizing impact to the environment. We empower our organization to advance the programs of the UNDP and U.S. Green Building Council, among others. TZL: Who are you admiring right now in the AEC industry? Where do you see thought leadership and excellence? MC: I think the entire AEC industry deserves admiration for their proactive efforts, adaptability, and innovative thinking as society faces the biggest environmental and health crises of our time. We saw individuals, firms, institutions, and professional associations pull together to understand the shifting priorities and challenges relating to the built environment in response to climate change and the pandemic. Beyond finding urgent solutions to ensure individuals’ wellbeing and reduce disruption to normal life, the AEC industry continues to push craft and creativity to prepare for the long-term impacts we have yet to face from the dual crises by mitigating risk and building resilience. From my vantage point, the firms that adapted their business models and further invested in their people and sustainable innovation have entered an exciting new era of cross-industry collaboration. Thought leaders across AEC showcase design excellence and creative thinking beyond the industry and are at the forefront of global innovation. It’s a wonderful time to be a designer. TZL: What benefits does your firm offer that people get most excited about? MC: Well, staff wellbeing is always the priority, so we offer a few benefits that get people’s attention immediately, from in-office corporate massages, subscriptions, and meditation platforms to work-from-home options.



Antigua & Barbuda


British Virgin Islands

Cayman Islands






Trinidad & Tobago



Latin America


North America


Envisioning and storytelling

Master planning


Interior design

Sustainability and wellness


F&B branding

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EMBER 7, 2022, ISSUE 1464

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