Five cool things that happened at the Nadi Group in 2018

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I started at Nadi over a year ago, but it feels much longer. Don’t worry. I’m not throwing shade at my employer—working at Nadi is (and continues to be) a fantastic experience. I learned a lot: I can tell you the difference between the five design phases, I can clarify that structural engineering is merely a sub-discipline of engineering and I can explain(to anyone who asks) why land art is a critical component to planning public spaces.  

A year can go by surprisingly fast, and it’s easy to forget everything you’ve done and accomplished that has made it worthwhile. Many memorable things transpired at Nadi—good, and bad—yet, it has made us into a much stronger firm. So, if you have just discovered Nadi or are a long-time fan, here’s five cool things the staff has been up to in 2018: 

Cool Gardens Shovel Garden

Every year, Storefront Manitoba holds its annual Cool Gardens Competition, which draws entries from around the world. The competition asked for participants to create a land art installation that provides a cooling effect for Winnipeggers during the summertime. Storefront selected Nadi’s Shovel Garden as the 2018 winner. 

Interior designer Elise Brownlee, along with landscape architects Kristen Struthers and Meaghan Hunter, created the concept behind Shovel Garden where more than 100 snow shovels would sit within a garden.

The Nadi team helped paint the snow shovels white (to juxtapose against the garden’s vibrant summer surroundings). The monochromatic snow shovels act as an iconic reflection of winter, providing a chillingly cheeky reminder to Winnipeggers of the first snowfall in October to the gloomy temperatures that rival (and exceed) the planet Mars. During the installation, we positioned the shovels, using anchors, in a one-by-one-metre grid to cover the garden bed in front of the old St. Boniface City Hall, hauntingly standing like soldiers waiting for the first snowfall. You can still visit the installation at 219 Provencher Blvd.

Table for 1200

Nadi attended Table for 1200 for the first time in 2018. We used our Cool Gardens concept to decorate the table: four mini garden beds filled with real flowers and four to five mini white snow shovels placed amongst the colourful blooms.  

We purchased a table for Nadi and guests, including Geoff and Reagan Archambault, Cat Ross who is the founder of K.I.D.S, which relieves conditions associated with poverty, underdeveloped education programs, and deficient medical aid in Kenya. And Jaime Patrick, the land development officer for Manitoba Housing and Renewal Corporation, who Nadi has worked extensively with over the last few years in Bridgwater—a new neighbourhood in South Winnipeg.

Table for 1200 was a glorious time. There was excellent food, especially the taco dip made with chicken, which I’m sure I ate my weight in that night. Moreover, the company was exquisite, and I made some new friends(and gained some new Instagram followers for Nadi). However, while the food is a big draw at the dinner, it’s the decorated tables that are the most fascinating part to see.

Table for 1200 usually draws a lot of designers and architects. As it’s a very visual event, it’s unsurprising to see a table where the centrepiece exceeds the length of the table. While Nadi’s centrepiece may have been my favourite, a table mate and I also stumbled on a set of paper bear masks (which we, of course, wore) and a beautiful trellis with hanging fairy lights and vines. I can’t wait for Table for 1200: 2019!

Articles, articles, articles

This year, Nadi implemented its outbound marketing campaign, and a part of that included writing articles. I remember as a Creative Communications’ student being very self-conscious of my writing. I always had a feeling of dread that someone would tell me this wasn’t the direction I should take my career in the future. I was very cognizant of this at the start and how designers might feel approaching a writing project where their work would be published online. I imagined it could be nerve-racking.

However, 35 articles later, there was no reason to be anxious on their behalf. Everyone did amazingly well, writing about topics that face Canadian cities and then onto issues that affect the global stage in the urban design, landscape architecture and urban planning industries.

Here are the top 10 articles you (our partners, fans and clients) read this year:

Is Winnipeg ready to open up Portage and Main?

Five insanely creative and innovative bridge designs

Do we still care about the traditional grass lawn?

Sport On! How to get people moving through urban design

How to transform surface lots into new, beautiful destinations

Why it’s time to change what’s beautiful in the front yard

What does networking, bolo ties and sustainability have in common?

Kids and the city: How to plan cities for play

Winterpeg: How are we adapting to our climate

TedX Talk: The transformative power of play

I also have to include Akum Maduka in the success of our articles as she designed the images for each article (and the holiday logo, which if you haven’t checked it out, I recommend visiting our Instagram, Twitter and Facebook pages).

Spanish website

You may have noticed that you can visit the Nadi website in Spanish now. This milestone has been in the works for a long time and is another element of our world domination. I’m kidding, but it is significant and in line with our mission statement to design for a better world.  

Over the last year, we focused our goals and ambitions on becoming disruptors in the industries we align ourselves with. With offices in Calgary, Winnipeg and Atlanta, it made sense to expand our website and mission beyond the English language and to engage people in Central and South America where innovative thinking, including the use of resilient and sustainable technologies, is integral to new land development projects. 

At Nadi, we are mindful of climate change and how it affects our planet. Every project we undertake reflects this sentiment, and we incorporate ecological and historical conservation, adaptive reuse, restorative design and resilient and sustainable technologies in our work wherever possible. We want to take this knowledge and expertise and apply it around the world. We want to design for a better world. See what I did there?

Welcome Diana Garcia

Urban planner and architect Diana Garcia joined the Nadi team in December, and how lucky we are to have her. Diana grew up and obtained her bachelor’s degree in Columbia before moving to Spain. Not only did she receive a master’s degree of Advanced Studies in Urbanism from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia in Barcelona, Spain, she also attended PhD studies in Urbanism.  

While Diana heads the Nadi Calgary office, her role is also a global one. Diana has lived in many places, bringing with her a global and international outlook, not to mention fluency in Spanish, Catalan, Greek and English. Also, she has a wicked sense of humour, and I honestly can’t wait to take on the Calgary Stampede with her!

There are many more things I would love to cover in this end of year review. Although, if I did that, I would have to write a novel instead of an article! Oy vey! In all seriousness, 2019 will be an exciting year for the firm, and this positive outlook has much to do with your support and encouragement in 2018. So, we want to thank you and wish you a Happy Holiday and a Happy New Year!

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Troy, Michigan
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Winnipeg, Manitoba
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Toll: 844-669-6234

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Toronto, Ontario
M5T 1A4
Toll Free: 844-669-6234

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