Home Madison Building Black: Celebrating Wisconsin’s Black Architects, Part 2

Building Black: Celebrating Wisconsin’s Black Architects, Part 2


Building Black, Part 2: Celebrating Wisconsin’s Black Architects

The National Council of Architect Registration Board says there are about 1,528 licensed architects in Wisconsin. Of those, 11 are Black – just  0.71%. Several projects around the state aim to change that. We have a state chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architects and the Hip Hop Architecture Camp. Additionally, several significant projects around the state led by Black business leaders who have hired firms owned by or led by Black architects to be part of their project. 

To celebrate Black History Month, National Guardian Life Insurance Company has sponsored this three-part series, highlighting some of those architects, aspiring architects and designers literally building Wisconsin.


AIA: American Institute of Architects
FAIA: Fellow, American Institute of Architects
NOMA: National Organization of Minority Architects

Anina Mbilinyi, AIA, NOMA, is a licensed architect and a Lead/Senior Project Architect with Flad Architects in Madison. She has over 25 years of experience working on complex buildings that function to save lives across the world. The experience includes research labs, medical manufacturing facilities, hospitals, and higher education teaching facilities for renowned engineers, chemists and physicists. Anina is also a champion of sustainability who is passionate about environmental justice and social equity. Anina supports her community by volunteering including co-chairing the Wisconsin DEI Challenge, an effort of the  Wisco NOMA and AIA Wisconsin effort based on the Wisconsin Culture. She earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and studio art from Macalester College and a master’s degree in urban design and architecture from UW-Milwaukee.

UW Health at American Center
Genesis Health Center.

Rafeeq Asad, NOMA, is vice president and director of team development at JLA Architects and Planners in Madison, and vice president of the Wisconsin chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architects. He earned a degree in business administration in 2002 and followed up in 2004 with a degree in urban and regional planning from Florida State and a master’s in architecture from Florida A&M in 2009. He went on to complete a fellowship in urban design at Carnegie Mellon University. He is the lead designer on several major, transformational projects in the Madison area, including the Center for Black Excellence and Culture, the Black Business Hub, One City Schools and The Imagination Center and Reindahl Park.

Center for Black Excellence and Culture.


Black Business Hub


Chitani Ndisale, NOMA, is a project manager at Flad Architects in Madison. He attended the Iowa State University College of Design, graduating in 2005. His most significant projects include the Northwestern University Seeley G. Mudd Library in Evanston, Illinois; University of Saskatchewan Collaborative Sciences Research Building, Saskatchewan, Canada; and Stonybrook University Advanced Energy Center, Long Island, New York.


Mudd Library, Northwestern University.


Stony Brook University Advanced Energy Center.

Part 3 coming tomorrow!