Announcements 06.17.2021

Meet Onyi Egbochue, one of our NOMA interns

Onyi will be interning at our New York studio
Onyi preparing at-home architecture tool kits for local high school students with the IDC Hidden Heritage team at Pratt.

Where are you from? 

I am from Atlanta, Georgia. 

Where are you currently living?  

I currently live in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn. 

As an aspiring designer, who has helped you get to where you are now? 

I wanted to study architecture at a very young age. However, I would have never gotten into architecture if it wasn’t for my middle school teacher (shoutout to Ms. Calvert!) who always took the time to listen to my interests and provided guidance on my career decisions. She opened the doors and my eyes to a field I never knew existed. 

During the latter half of my undergraduate years, Pratt NOMAS (National Organization for Minority Architects) acted as a safe and supportive network which gave me the strength to finish my degree. They will forever feel like family to me.  

How do you hope to give back to other aspiring BIPOC designers? 

During my undergraduate years, I had a handful of chances to mentor high school and first-year students interested in architecture. I am very passionate about supporting and uplifting Black and Brown students interested the world of design. Architecture gives us the tools to materialize and envision new futures, and it is extremely important that underrepresented and marginalized communities are at the forefront of this. I hope throughout my career I can continue to meet and provide support and resources to other aspiring BIPOC designers through mentorships.  

Playing virtual double-boarded bingo with Pratt NOMAS mentors and mentees.
Render from thesis project depicting the people of the community gathering to trade not only stories and knowledge but also seeds and saplings.

What’s a favorite project of yours, and why is it meaningful to you?  

My favorite project during school would have to be my thesis project, Seeded Junktion. My thesis explored the intersectionality of food and land sovereignty, and how designing through an Afrofuturist framework lead humankind to a restorative and inclusive future, especially for marginalized communities of color. Even though I was taking classes from home due to the pandemic, I had a lot of fun creating a very personal project that celebrated the fragmentation of self experienced by marginalized people of color and the healing capabilities within the ground and ourselves. I was very fortunate to have an unwavering amount of mental and emotional support from professors, friends, and family; on many occasions, my younger siblings would spend late nights with me over the phone watching me draw or revise my ideas. The creation of this project and the environment that followed was cathartic, and I hope to make my thesis project a reality one day.