An interview with local developer Tayo A. Ayanlola

1.Tell me about yourself?

Well, I was born in Islington, the northern part of London and went to Westminster University to study Architecture. I am lucky enough to have lived in the UK, NIgeria and the US. Being of an African heritage, there is quite a story to tell in every direction you turn in my life so, I’ll stick with the most important aspects that addresses my role as a developer/ City planner.

2. I see you have your practice in the States, did you move there for any particular reason?

I moved to Texas because I was offered a job at HKS Architects straight out of graduate school at Westminster University and I thought why not, i have alway admired Harwood K smith as an Architect and it was an honour and privilege to work for him; I was young, single and ready to explore. Now, my location is not solely in Texas, as a future firm, we pride ourselves as being anywhere our clients reside. So, we are one of the few firms using technology to its fullest capacity. We are trying to do away with home offices and satellite offices like most firms, if our client is in India, off to India we go. So, we are a small firm but we have a presence globally.

3. I see you are the Director at NASA studies research group, can you tell me what NASA is and your role?

NASA stands for Natural Advanced Systems in Architecture and our sole purpose is that we research advanced ways to create building that matter and also to better the environment without the burden of cost on the end users. Currently we are creating prototypes and investing a great amount of time to researching solutions to environmental disasters effect on properties by creating buildings that would withstand earthquakes, hurricanes and firestorms. My role at NASA studies is the Director on all Architectural aspects and general coordinator. We collaborate with many career fields, our team consist of Engineers, Medical professionals, Scientists and more.

4. What do you look for in team members?

“Except with entry-level candidates, I presume reasonable job skill and intellect. Plus I believe smart people with relevant experience adapt quickly and excel in new environments where the culture fits and inspires them. Also, I am an advocate for promoting great leadership in organisations, apart from it being a daunting task trying to have a hands in approach to every work load in the company; it shows poor leadership. A good leader hires the right person to areas he or she is not an expert.

“I tend to concentrate on character and how well theirs matches that of my organization.

“This question opens the door for a different kind of conversation where I push to see the match between life in my company and what this person needs to be their best and better in my company than he or she could be anywhere else.”

5. Who is your favourite Architect/ Designer, and why?

Right now, I do not have any favourite Architect, I have Architects that I admire; Tadao Ando is one that comes to mind, I like Architects with purposes, there is always a reason for every little detail in a building and Tadao’s use of light to define space is something I emulate in my work. Turning back the pages of History, I would say Leonardo Da Vinci would be my number one by the way he merges Science and Art to get the result he desires. And as we all know Architecture is the only career that equally merges Science and Art. I follow that way of reasoning in my design work, maybe that is why I admire both Leonardo and Tadao so much.

Thanks you Tayo, it was great chatting with you and learning about Taagroup development and NASA studies, you are truly one of the future Architects to lookout for. Thanks you again.

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