Najahyia Chinchilla is an Architect and Regional Synergy Leader for Gensler. Born and raised in Detroit, Najahyia has had a passion for improving the cities built environment since high school and was further inspired by being a research assistant for the Shrinking Cities project, urban gardening with Grace Boggs and starting the renovation of her own building in Detroit. These experiences led her to pursuing a graduate degree in Architecture at the University of Maryland, where she lead the schools 2015 Solar Decathlon team.
After graduating career opportunities took her to New York where she started with Gensler and worked on corporate interiors and led the AIA NY Emerging Architects Committee and the Highline Design Competition. In 2012 she returned to Detroit and has been working with companies to expand and grow their workplaces in Detroit. Her clients have included Miller Canfield, MarxModa, McCann, Agency 720, GM, Foley, Downtown Detroit Partnership, Detroit Achievement Academy and Adient. She has lead teams working on building repositioning and historic preservation. Najahyia is dedicated to Sustainability- economic, social and environmental- at Gensler she is working with teams to initiate higher awareness and impact of resiliency through the design process.
Najahyia has been an active member AIA Detroit since she moved back, from the Urban Priorities Committee, Jefferson East Pop-Ups to serving on the Board. Curator and designer with Public Design Trust for the UNESCO St. Etienne Footwork Exhibition. She has served as a juror for the Design Core Commerce Design Competition (2018) and on academic juries at local universities.