Helping the Architecture Community of New Orleans Grow with Joel Pominville

On today’s episode of the Young Architect Podcast, Michael spoke with Former AIAS National Vice President, Joel Pominville, who is now also serving as the Executive Director of both AIA New Orleans and the New Orleans Architecture Foundation (NOAF). We spoke about what Joel is doing for both organizations, plans for both organizations, and what accomplishments have been completed so far by Joel and his team.

Joel Pominville Young Architect Podcast Helping the Architecture Community of New Orleans Grow with Joel Pominville Podcast

You can also listen to this podcast on YouTube by clicking here! 

 Joel Pominville

Joel was never very interested in art nor math as a child, but one day he took part in a job shadow day for his high school architecture engineering class. After he spent the day at an architecture firm, he knew that he wanted to become an architect.

Joel studied architecture and became heavily involved in AIAS at Clemson University. One of his favorite parts about AIAS was taking part in Freedom by Design which works on different projects to help improve accessibility for everyone in a local community.

Along his career path, he has also visited and assisted universities in Cyprus and Bahrain such as the Bahrain University of Architecture become accredited with the National Architecture Accreditation Board (NAAB).

Today, he is serving as the Executive Director for both AIA New Orleans and the New Orleans Architecture Foundation.

What You’ll Hear on This Episode

  • Joel’s experience being a part of the AIAS Clemson University chapter and participating in Freedom by Design.
  • How Joel became the Executive Director for AIA New Orleans.
  • Joel’s involvement with the New Orleans Architecture Foundation (NOAF) as the Executive Director.
  • What the AIA New Orleans chapter is up to today and what they’re doing for the local architecture community.
  • Helping young architects study for the AREs who are associate members of the organization.
  • The benefits of studying with other architecture students who are preparing for the AREs.
  • Latest updates on the New Orleans Architecture Foundation.
  • About the New Orleans Center for Design and how it came to be.
  • The upcoming membership opportunities for both Friends of NOAF and Patrons of NOAF.
  • Joel’s advice on the powerful impact of finding your passion in either your everyday life or career. 
  • Why you should avoid reading emails for at least the first 1-2 hours of your work day.
  • How to stay positive by avoiding catching up on the news and media in the morning before focusing on work.   

Top 3 Takeaways from This Episode

  1. Studying for the AREs in a group can be extremely beneficial. Online sources and digital groups are helpful as well, but actually getting together in a space to go over notes and do practice tests can be uplifting.
  2. To help you take on the day, avoid email and any news or media when you get up and for the first 1-2 hours at work. These can be very distracting or put a negative cloud over your head that keeps you from focusing on important tasks at hand.
  3. Finding your passion and what drives you are very important both at and outside of work. Everyone needs a why or a reason for doing something and a passion can lead you to it. When you find your passion, you find your best means of motivation.

Joel Pominville’s Advice for Aspiring Architects

“I’m really passionate about passions. I’d like to know what drives people and it doesn’t have to be about architecture. But really at the core of a person – what is it that gets you going? I think that’s really important for emerging professionals to hear. It’s really important because there are times when you can roll those passions into your company and figure out a way to convince your boss or firm owners to allow you time to focus on them or getting involved with them outside of work such as with an Open Architecture Network or with what’s available in your local city.

Fine-tune your passion, understand it holistically, and figure out how to fit that into your life. I really believe that success happens when a person maxes out their potential and that is driven by passion. Because if you’re not passionate about something, you’re not going to bring all that you have to the table.

Figure out what you love and find out how to include that into your day-to-day life or professional career.”

 Favorite Quotes

 “The New Orleans Architecture Foundation focuses on the public and works on answering, ‘How do we engage the public in architecture and design, make it more approachable?’ Ultimately, we try to get people to understand the value of architecture and design so that they end up hiring architects to do work.” – Joel Pominville on the mission and purpose of the New Orleans Architecture Foundation.

 “We’re trying to implement an ARE study series to our AIAS New Orleans associate members this year. It’s an intensive course that meets every two weeks that breaks down every exam. It’s about accountability and bringing people together in the same room. We’re hoping to bring these communities to real life in an actual space since we’re so lucky to have the AIA Center for Architecture and Design.” – Joel Pominville on how AIA New Orleans is creating a space and opportunities for students to come together to study for the AREs.

 “It’s so good to bring people together to talk about the ARE exams even if you’re just listening to a lecture or working on practice problems as a group. Just seeing, hearing, and knowing that there are other people taking these tests is huge.” – Michael Riscica on the powerful impact of studying with other people in real life study groups and online.

Resources Mentioned in the Show



Michael Riscica

Michael Riscica is a Licensed Architect, Founder and Head Coach of the ARE Boot Camp Coaching Program & Online Study Group.

Hi I’m Michael Riscica.

My goal is to help as many people as I can PASS their exams and succeed in their architecture careers.

This is accomplished with the following offerings:

Free FB group that is 12k+ members strong
Low-cost, high-value upcoming webinar
Affordable and Quality ARE Study materials
Professional Development and Powerful Networking
Premium 10-week ARE study program