Weathering the storm through long lasting connections
2021 marks our third anniversary, and it is surely a year of high expectations after the most unusual year in recent memory. The currents and winds show promise and good fortune as our company gathers steam to meet the unknown. Thanks to the lessons learned during a challenging year, we are more confident than ever of the ship we have built and the crew that governs it.
Growing from experience
The year 2020 started out promisingly, as we celebrated our second anniversary and looked forward to the completion of half a dozen projects; yet 2020 proved to be a true test of mettle for everyone. Marked by a global health crisis and social unrest, 2020 did not seem like a year to thrive. And yet, at Moya Design Partners, we found a way to continue our successful path and sail through adversity with newfound determination and a competitive edge nurtured by a culture of innovation, relentless work ethic, and compassion.
Forward thinking leadership
Great leaders excel when the stakes are higher. MOYA’s leadership was firmly on the helm in 2020, steering the team and finding ways to succeed while making sure each team member succeeded in turn. After all, human interaction and a legitimate concern for employees’ wellbeing have been the MOYA way.
“Making sure that the team is thriving at the personal level, is as important to me as at the business itself”
-Paola Moya, CEO and Founder
From the onset, Moya Design Partners has welcomed talent from all backgrounds and everywhere in the world. Having such an international team meant that MOYA was ahead of the curve and in a unique position to adapt to one of the greatest challenges of 2020: the sudden shift to remote work and virtual collaboration teams.
MOYA’s expertise and know-how led to a seamless transition and to the timely completion of projects. Such is the case with Diane’s House, a four-story 42-unit, multifamily, affordable housing complex that is essential in the District’s efforts to support survivors of domestic violence.
With the inclusion of a green roof that met the requirements of stormwater management, Diane’s House received the Enterprise Green Communities (EGC) Certification. This program brings all the health and wellness benefits of state-of-the-art sustainable construction practices to low-income families.
A growing crew of local and international talent
Thanks to this readiness, MOYA continued its previous year’s trend as one of the fastest growing firms in design and architecture in the Mid-Atlantic region, growing from a few members three years ago to close to 40 team members, as new exciting projects demanded fresh eyes and ideas.
Olivia Calalo Kumar and Jessica Villeda are two of the new members who joined MOYA in 2020
Our portfolio is now more diverse, as a reflection of the firm’s global talent and our determination to innovate and offer our clients a full experience: from master planning, architecture, interior design, and visual design.
New leadership, new partners, the same values
As our team grew, and we set our sights higher, there was also a need for new voices at the top who kept pushing for excellence and led a growing number of projects. We brought two new leaders into the fold. We wanted individuals who were equally experienced and passionate about architecture and its possibilities in the District, Maryland, Virginia, and the Mid-Atlantic region.
In Dennis E Connors and Vinay Ganeshan, we found exactly that; commitment, creativity, and eagerness to do something meaningful through architecture and design. As seasoned veterans and comrades in many projects, Vinay and Dennis are well acquainted with long term MOYA partner Federico Olivera-Sala, and the opportunity to cooperate again was dear to them. MOYA benefits from those bonds, as they strengthen the human aspect which is essential to our success.
Dennis E Connors is also our new partner, joining Paola Moya and Federico Olivera-Sala at the captain’s deck. His invaluable insight and input are an asset in our enterprise and his vision complements the values we have strived to follow.
Designs that inspire change
Our studio brings together a group of talented professionals that embrace our pursuit for inclusiveness, social justice, and diversity. These are unnegotiable universal values that we treasure and seek in others, regardless of ethnicity or nationality.
The turbulent times that we lived in this past year tested our resiliency and shook the foundations of our liberties. When given the opportunity to work on projects that tie into the social issues that were at the forefront globally and in our hometown, our team jumped into action to develop designs that spark change and action.
When the tragic deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor sparked a civil awakening, the DowntownDC BID commissioned MOYA to create a set of banners commemorating victims of state-sanctioned violence. These banners are displayed on the lampposts at Black Lives Matters (BLM) Plaza.
MOYA’s collaboration with the BID to create the BLM Plaza banners is a testament to our team’s ability to integrate local and global talent in our mission of transforming our world into a safer, more inclusive place to live.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had a similar mission; she was a champion for the downtrodden, and an inspirational force for equality. We were honored when Flock DC asked us to collaborate on a T-shirt design dedicated to the late RBG.
Design and architecture do not exist in a vacuum, they carry symbolic and factual power to deliver positive change, transform mentalities, and generate spaces and conversations.
A compassionate approach to design and architecture
MOYA is a DC company deeply connected to the community and the local economy. Our firm’s continued commitment to developing a better, more livable District is at the base of many of our current projects and moving forward. This past year made it even clearer that giving back is essential. We are only as strong as our community.
MOYA has always been fortunate to have the opportunity to collaborate and help organizations and individuals that do tremendous work to improve the District. The COVID-19 emergency put incredible stress on organizations like Miriam’s Kitchen, La Clinica del Pueblo, Friends Collective, and the District Alliance for Safe Housing (DASH). The demand for their services grew during the pandemic, taking them to their limit.
In the case of DASH, the pandemic health emergency caused an even deeper issue. For survivors of domestic violence, staying home did not mean safety. The amazing people at DASH had to solve an increasing demand for transitional housing while juggling with social distance recommendations.
MOYA felt that it was crucial to participate in DASH’s efforts to make DC a city safe from domestic violence. We did so by offering our tools to design and renovate their offices, while also bringing on board other companies and contractors who share our compassionate vision for this project.
The year 2020 made it clear that our world is no longer a bubble; it is a global environment where remote events have a ripple effect with unprecedented speed and consequences. At MOYA, we are especially aware of this reality, thanks to the diverse perspectives our international team brings to our work.
As we move into a new decade, architects and designers alike must understand that our world demands new solutions and approaches that draw from a much more diverse pool of talent than ever before. To face emerging challenges, design and architecture need to listen to more voices, incorporate fresh visions, consider new perspectives, and develop tools to truly serve our communities.