Northeastern alumnus Eddie A. Alvarado, R.A., RID, NCARB, is Partner and Co-Founder of Miami-based architectural practice MOBIO Architecture. As a leader of a small business, Eddie is constantly managing many moving parts – and he has been awarded for outstanding leadership, technical excellence, and his project team approach. In his current role, he oversees and leads the design process, performs quality control reviews, supervises team performance, and serves as account manager and the main point of contact with clients, among other responsibilities.
Eddie, who now has over 24 years of experience in the field, describes his leadership style as helpful and encouraging.
“My leadership style is about helping people and empowering them with knowledge,” Eddie described. “I encourage others to take the lead on projects, and I’ll be there when there are questions.”
Eddie encourages questions and intelligent inquiry from his staff, which help push the creative boundaries of the design process and encourage the out-of-the-box thinking that makes MOBIO unique. Short for “moving on from building ordinary,” MOBIO’s mission is to embrace challenges and step beyond traditional architecture to propose interesting solutions to their clients. These solutions are grounded in the team’s collective more than 40 years of experience.
The impressive expertise at MOBIO is critical for thinking through projects creatively, realistically, and effectively. In the field of architecture, there are always diverse and interesting questions that tend to come up with any given project.
“The field of architecture involves a lot of liabilities, and every project comes with its own nuances. As a leader of a firm, these are the things we think about,” Eddie described. “One way to mitigate any risk is to always consider the type of project the company is being exposed to – and ensuring it aligns with the expertise of the team members available to work on it.”
With this strategic mindset, Eddie has managed large-scale and complex projects in a wide range of genres, namely aviation, hospitality, healthcare, commercial development, and higher education – at MOBIO and beyond. Prior to co-founding MOBIO, Eddie served as the Managing Director of Linea 5 in Miami beach, a healthcare and higher education architectural firm, and was also an associate of the global firm Leo A. Daly, Senior Project Manager at the award-winning firm of Robert M. Swedroe Architects, and Designer at Fullerton Diaz. Of all his experience, one project that stands out to Eddie is an aviation project in Miami that was 500,000 square feet and included a $350 million budget.
“This was an exciting project because there were several levels of construction and security to consider,” he explained. “I was the lead for a team of at least 27 people composed of in-house architects, designers and sub-consultants.”
This project is just one of many that Eddie has led that align with his passion for creating living environments that challenge the status quo to move beyond building ordinary.
At Northeastern, Eddie earned a Bachelor of Science in Architecture, and went on to receive a Master of Architecture from the Boston Architectural College – and has been able to apply his education to his career in many ways.
“The Architecture major at Northeastern exposed its students to not just architecture, but also graphic design and art,” Eddie described. “One of my co-ops was working in graphic design, and this skillset has come in very handy.”
Since MOBIO is a relatively small business, it is very hand-on and graphic design permeates many different facets, from designing the website to creating presentations to pulling together drawings for clients. While the company was created to focus on architecture, it does so much more than this – and having a diverse skillset has helped Eddie creatively address all of the projects that come his team’s way.
As Eddie reflects on his career so far as well as his time at Northeastern, he leaves current students with a few words of wisdom.
“My advice to current Northeastern students would be to while you concentrate on a defined major, keep your knowledge broad and holistic,” concluded Eddie. “I would also recommend learning how to operate a business, entrepreneurship, as well as leadership.”