Mohammed Balila

Profession: Architect / Professor
City: Dubai
Country: United Arab Emirates

What inspired you to want a life in Architecture and the creative industries?:
What inspired me to pursue a career in architecture and the creative industries was a multifaceted journey shaped by various experiences and passions. As a child, playing with LEGO sets and building sandcastles on the beach ignited my fascination with creating structures and spaces. This early interest in construction evolved as I began collecting, drawing, and writing comic books during my teenage years, which gradually nurtured my love for architecture and buildings. Visiting Rome during my formative years left a lasting impression, exposing me to the grandeur of historical architecture and igniting a desire to create similarly awe-inspiring built environments. The blend of art, science, and storytelling inherent in architecture appealed to me, offering a platform to channel my creativity and make a tangible impact on the world around me. These diverse influences ultimately converged, inspiring me to embark on a journey in architecture and the creative industries, driven by a passion to design spaces that resonate with people and enrich their lives.

Who inspired you in finding your path to Architecture/Film and the creative industries?:
In finding my path to architecture, film, and the creative industries, my parents have been foundational inspirations, fostering my creativity and nurturing my passions from a young age. Additionally, pivotal moments in architectural history, such as Mies van der Rohe’s “Less is More” philosophy captured on film, have left a profound impact on my artistic sensibilities. The intricate spatial compositions of Francesco Borromini and the meticulous attention to detail and material treatment by Carlo Scarpa have further enriched my understanding of architectural aesthetics and design principles. Witnessing firsthand how architecture can evoke profound emotions, from awe and happiness to occasional sadness, has underscored the transformative power of the built environment. Moreover, mentors, educators, and fellow creatives have provided invaluable guidance and encouragement, shaping my journey and fueling my passion for creativity and innovation. Collectively, these influences have inspired me to pursue a path in architecture, film, and the broader creative industries, driven by a desire to create meaningful and impactful experiences through design and storytelling.

How you unlock obstacles and overcome bias in your work?:
Unlocking obstacles and overcoming bias in my work involves self-awareness, empathy, and proactive measures. I recognize and challenge my own biases, fostering a mindset of continuous learning and openness to diverse perspectives. Actively listening and valuing the input of colleagues from different backgrounds helps uncover and address biases within the workplace. Building strong relationships based on trust and respect facilitates constructive dialogue and collaboration, enabling us to overcome obstacles together. Additionally, I advocate for inclusivity and diversity, supporting initiatives that promote equality and equity. By fostering an inclusive work culture, we create an environment where biases are challenged and opportunities for all individuals to thrive are unlocked.

What improvements do you feel are required to promote effective change in the academic and working environment?:
Effective change in academic and working environments requires openness to new ideas and transparency in salaries and promotion paths. Embracing innovative teaching and research methods fosters collaboration and fresh perspectives. Transparency in salary and promotion processes ensures fairness and motivates advancement. By promoting these improvements, institutions create environments conducive to growth, innovation, and mutual respect, enhancing education and work experiences for all stakeholders.

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