BNIM Hosts Architect, Maria Pineda, Through Young Leaders of Americas Initiative Fellowship Program

BNIM Hosts Architect, Maria Pineda, Through Young Leaders of Americas Initiative Fellowship Program

Over the past four weeks, BNIM has had the privilege of hosting architect Maria Pineda as part of the Young Leaders of Americas Initiative (YLAI) Fellowship Program, which aims to empower entrepreneurs in advancing their business initiatives and contributing to social and economic development within their communities. Maria is the principal architect and founder of Cota Estudio de Arquitectura. As a fellow of the YLAI, Maria joined BNIM’s office in Kansas City beginning in March, where she has met with our design teams across the firm, collaborating and sharing project experiences to learn from each other and exchange ideas and perspectives on the practice of design.

“Maria's journey with BNIM and YLAI exemplifies the power of international collaboration and knowledge exchange in fostering entrepreneurship and driving positive change. Through her experiences, she continues to shape her vision of creating spaces that enrich lives and communities, leaving a lasting impact wherever her architectural endeavors take her.”
- James Pfeiffer, Principal

We’ve enjoyed welcoming Maria to our practice and community, and we are excited to see her continue to advance the global design profession through her practice in Venezuela. We sat down with Maria as she wrapped up her fellowship at BNIM to learn more about her perspective on her time here in KC and at BNIM:

Can you tell us about yourself?

M: “I am the principal architect and founder of Cota Estudio de Arquitectura in Venezuela where we work with residential and commercial projects with young entrepreneurs from various sectors, creating functional and attractive spaces, adapted to their specific needs. Thanks to our philosophy and dedication, more and more customers and entrepreneurs ask for our services, the problem is that we receive more project requests than we can handle. To solve this problem, the most important thing is to improve internal operability, restructure the design and work process, and incorporate new technologies. I want to continue inspiring people to live better and that's why YLAI gave me this opportunity.”

What was your experience in Kansas City?

M: “For me, the friendliest people are in the city of fountains, with a great love for their city that can be seen at every step. I enjoyed listening to some jazz, eating delicious barbecue (Joe’s has the best), exploring the wonderful museums, and of course, the city’s rich and varied architecture. It is impressive the variety of tall art deco buildings that have been recovered or maintained to this day and how they have blended and balanced so well with modernity.”

What was your experience at BNIM?

M: “At BNIM, you have a saying "no one knows as much as everyone," and for me, this is the most real and meaningful thing I have heard. In the four weeks I have spent here, I have felt like one more of the team, participating in your meetings, getting to know each one personally and professionally and learning about each of your experiences. I have learned about your great ability to work as a team, always looking for a way to innovate in each of your projects, and, of course, seeking the best result by creating connections between each of the buildings with the community and its environment.”