Moody Nolan is pleased to announce the hire of Jodi van der Wiel, FAIA, NCARB, NCIDQ, LEED AP, WELL AP, Fitwel Ambassador, as principal and senior project designer. Jodi will lead teams across practice sectors including student life, higher education, recreation, wellness, K-12 education, housing, sports, and workplace design. In addition to her national design leadership role, she will support the Cleveland studio through firm leadership and design, implementing effective strategies to amplify the firm’s regional presence.
“Jodi’s impressive career and long-standing reputation as a leading designer only strengthen our firm’s capabilities. We are thrilled to have Jodi back on the Moody Nolan team and look forward to seeing her impact throughout the firm,” says Jonathan Moody, president, and CEO of Moody Nolan. “Jodi’s level of expertise and years of commitment improve the industry through leadership in human-centric design, diversity, and equity initiatives. We are confident she will continue to innovate while upholding our core values.”
Jodi’s passion for the power of architecture on behavior is a prevalent theme in her professional life. From her early work in healthcare and community recreation, she established a design philosophy linking nature with wellness. Through this lens, she incorporates wellness principles across practices, and has emerged as a design thought leader. She brings these successful strategies to a series of national and international clients. Her projects continue to be recognized for design excellence, including AIA Cleveland and AIA Ohio, the state’s highest prize for design.
Jodi will be one of several leaders spearheading Moody Nolan’s design studio, Studio 9. With designers across the country, Studio 9 is a cross-disciplinary think-tank that supports iterative, consensus-based design, responsive to client vision and values. The nationwide cohort leverages the power of distinct talent and diverse backgrounds to ideate between project types, aesthetic styles, and novel ideas to explore the boundaries of design. The team observes and identifies trends across markets, utilizing varied perspectives to uncover solutions and concepts that set Moody Nolan apart in the industry. In her studio role, Jodi will champion design charrettes and thought leadership, fostering a culture of collaboration that is heavily emphasized throughout the firm’s design culture.
Jodi first began working with Moody Nolan in 2000, crediting those 10 formative years as an integral experience that continues to shape her notable career. “Few women architectural designers existed at that time, and the equitable culture provided opportunities for me to grow as a designer that I wouldn’t have otherwise had. My early years with the firm set a foundation for a career grounded in an inclusive, encouraging, and innovative environment,” says Jodi. “I take pride in creating projects with a company that values diversity and equity at the core of company culture. I’m honored to have the opportunity to contribute to this brilliant team and look forward to seeing how our unique approach with Studio 9 will continue to inspire creative solutions and revolutionary thinking across the country.”
The fight for representation in the industry drives Jodi to be the change she wants to see, dedicating her work to elevating women and other underrepresented groups. Under her leadership, AIA Cleveland collaborated with Beyond the Built Environment to host SAY IT LOUD: Ohio, part of the largest national exhibit in history for underrepresented architects and their works. In 2015, Jodi led AIA Cleveland’s strategic plan, which led to an expansion of diversity in chapter leadership by race, age, gender, and nontraditional career paths. As 2020 president, she navigated AIA Cleveland through a pandemic year with determination and aplomb. Earlier, in 2015, Jodi co-founded AIA Cleveland’s Women in Architecture Committee and Cleveland Connect, the chapter’s mentorship program, linking emerging professionals with community design leaders. Jodi is dedicated to retaining and mentoring female practitioners while also actively building the pipeline to flood her profession with future talent.
In 2019, Jodi led a task force through the Girl Scouts of Northeast Ohio to create curriculum for the first architecture patch program, “Girls BUILD!” The program introduced girls to career possibilities in STEM, building their self-confidence to become architects. In 2020, she created a digital Home Architecture Camp for AIA Cleveland, which spread to thousands across the globe, introducing and inviting people of all ages to engage and learn about the profession. She has been indefatigable in her pursuit of diversity and equity in architectural education and practice. She values the symbiotic relationship between practice and academia and serves as an adjunct professor for Kent State University’s College of Architecture and Environmental Design.
Jodi has protected her community through her 19-year tenure on design review boards for Cleveland City Planning, serving the Downtown Flats and East Region design review committees. Diversity of thought is critical on boards such as this to provide perspective. She emphasizes the relationship between design and well-being; and her principled, dogged approach advocates for intentional sustainable design, thus improving the community at large.
Jodi’s honors include the AIA Ohio Mentor Award, the AIA Ohio Public Service Award, and the Sho-Ping Chin Grant, earmarked for promising female leaders. In 2021 she was celebrated as a CRAIN’s Woman of Note; and, most recently, in 2022 she was elevated to the prestigious AIA College of Fellows. She leads the next generation of architects with optimism, strength, and a focus on humanity.