Award-winning architectural designer Curtis Moody has a prosperous 48-year career driven by passion to break into a field with little minority representation. He took a considerable risk and opened the doors of Moody & Associates in 1982, in the midst of a depressed economy. At the beginning, the firm was just Curt and a graduate architecture student, but by the end of the first year, the firm had grown to nine staff members.

Sensing an opportunity to position the firm for growth, Curt joined forces with the engineering firm, Howard E. Nolan & Associates, and Moody Nolan was born. Today, Moody Nolan is the largest African-American-owned-and-managed architectural firm in the country, and the firm’s designs have received more than 330 awards, more than any other minority architectural firm in the United States. Curt continues to use his success to help others serving as a role model for others to continue to work toward their dreams.

What Brett asks:

  • [02:30] Let’s start at the beginning. What was your early life like?
  • [05:25] What was it about building buildings that you were attracted to?
  • [11:18] How did your parents feel about you wanting to be an architect?
  • [13:35] You got a lot of pushback. Nobody is telling you that you can do what you want to do. But you keep saying that they’re wrong. Where did you get the strength and conviction to keep going?
  • [27:10] When you embrace the full you, there’s something even better that emerges… even if it’s not what you planned.
  • [29:45] So, how did you end up doing what you were told you couldn’t do?
  • [36:00] Let’s talk about the vision that you had for your business.
  • [36:50] What were the obstacles trying to break into this field as a Black man?
  • [51:25] What is it like working alongside your son?
  • [54:57] In Moody’s TEDx Talk, he shares his battle with cancer and his work on The Legacy House Project. What was it like to share that story?


Lessons for intentional living:

  • “Do what you can when you can with what you’ve got while you’ve got it. And basically, that story is too many of us make excuses of why they can’t do something, because, let’s say, they don’t have the resources, they don’t have talent or just don’t have the time. And it’s like, but how are you using what you have? Right now, you don’t have to wait five years. “