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Mohammed Balila

Assistant Professor of Architecture

School of Architecture, Art & Design


Master of Architecture (M.Arch II), Yale University
Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch), Cornell University

Mohammed is a multinational architect with ten years’ experience in several architecture firms in the United Kingdom, Italy, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.  He has worked in various projects involving small and large scale residential, commercial, educational, institutional, hospitality and urban planning developments.  His professional experience in Europe and the Middle East has enabled him to develop a broad and diverse problem-solving design language / method. From the scale of product design to urban master planning, Mohammed strives in the design process to achieve a sensible solution that emphasizes the user experience and environmental impact of the project at hand.  Among his areas of research are Urban Design, Product Design, and Digital Fabrication. Mohammed believes in incorporating efficient material usage and recyclability in both the design and production phases and avoidance of material waste.

His academic experience involves teaching and acting as a visiting juror in various institutions in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. He has taught architecture studio courses with a focus on design concept implementation, site analysis and response, structural systems, and urban design. He constantly encourages his students to develop problem-solving skills through design iterations and exploration. His teaching philosophy is centered on the notion that a design studio represents an architectural discourse between the professor and his/her students that evolves throughout the course of the semester, and beyond.  Such an endeavor is divided into design exercises, lectures, presentations and weekly desk critiques.  Students are encouraged to explore from complimentary disciplines such as art, painting, sculpture, and history, to name a few. During this process, the design problem is layered with new additional chapters in the discourse that include precedents, case studies, site analysis, structural systems, materiality, the building envelope, details, etc.

Mohammed strives to help his students develop more complete set of design skills in an environment that is constantly changing due to technological advancements in software, building materials, as well as ever-changing social, economic and environmental issues. By forming a critical and analytical relationship to their work, students form a solid basis for their continuing education and their future professional careers.

Some of Mohammed’s hobbies include football, volleyball, history and photography.