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SAY IT LOUD - Ohio Exhibitor

Ohio Based Designer

Who or what inspires you professionally?

The ability to see designs come to life has been the most inspiring and humbling all together. Having someone enjoy an environment I imagined is entirely gratifying and humbling experience, and I strive to create more moments for others to enjoy.


The great designer, Founder of ELMALAZ. As a designer, artist and professor her work creatively utilizes skills carefully cultivated through her international experiences to align architecture with community needs. She was a speaker at Women in Architecture Leadership Summit 2019, the recipient of two Minority Art and Culture Fund grants and selected as one of Cleveland’s Most Interesting People 2020. Malaz holds MFA from VCU, and a Bachelor of Int. Architecture and Design from London Metropolitan University, UK

How did you first learn about architecture and when did you decide that built environment profession was an area of interest for you?
It was the role of women in building communities that drove me to move solely to London to study architecture! Women in many areas of Sudan are the architects of their villages, they assess needs, design the houses and build them themselves.

What do you do?
I have established ELMALAZ which means “the Ultimate Space” to create projects and help others like minded organization to align architecture with community needs ultimately building the community while building for the community.

What excites you in the work you do?
”Something magical happened in Cleveland this weekend! An amazing and beautiful community came together to celebrate their pride & dignity & diversity. These are the faces of Cleveland. This is who we are and what we are about” community member.

Who or what inspires you professionally?
I am inspired by the impact of architecture on building communities. especially to address socially complex issues such as abandonment, or gentrification, where architecture is the foundation for communities that are yet to exists.
What is your proudest professional accomplishment or achievement?
Receiving the 2019 Doris V. Jones Award of Excellence by Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority that recognize the outstanding achievement of a person who displays great leadership, advocacy of public housing and commitment to serve its residents.

Featured Project Name: 
Riverview Welcome Center & OUTprint/INprint: What is Dignity?
Featured Project Location: 
Cleveland, Ohio
Featured Project Completion Date: 
June 2019

Role in Featured Project: 
Featured Project Description:
The engagement process was intense and innovative, including driving Uber and Lyft in the neighborhood, one to one interviews and design charrettes fostering inclusion and empathy. The input was used to establish the four pillars of the design; Community, Diversity, Inclusivity and Dignity and inform both short- and long-term visions for the center. OUTprint: 250 portraits of Ohio City community wrapped the exterior walls while INprint: An exhibition of community own photographs on the inside.

Photography Credit:
Bob Perkoski

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