Issa Diabaté | Architect & MD of Koffi & Diabaté Architectes

Issa Diabaté

Architect Issa Diabaté is the managing director of Koffi & Diabaté Architects and co-founder of the Koffi & Diabaté Group based in the Ivory Coast. A Master in Architecture graduate from Yale University, Issa Diabaté is the managing director of Koffi & Diabaté Architects and co-founder of the Koffi & Diabaté Group.

Issa-Diabate_P3My Definition Of Success | Success primarily has to do with achieving the goals you have set forth for yourself.  The “process” of being successful often starts with a vision, and then identifying the means to achieve that vision.  Constant questioning and a good dose of fine tuning is necessary as one’s idea of success is constantly changing not only with time but also with the shifts in our own personalities.

I Am Driven By | Passion for what I do.  I must be immersed in some “sacred” notion of pleasure in order to achieve.

The Difference Between Good And Great | The degree of passion with which we work. The passionate architect constantly thinks “architecture”, even when it doesn’t apply directly to the trade of building.  He or she has an interest on all connected issues to the field such as sociology, anthropology, economics, the arts, humanities… and integrates it to the creative process. Curiosity and a constant quest for knowledge are key.



A Key Talent | Perseverance!  When I have a goal in mind, I may not use the straight route to achieve it especially if it is paved with obstacles, but  I will always find the way to reach it at any cost, using all the time that is necessary and putting it to good use.  Consider time as your ally rather than an obstacle would be my personal piece of advice to your readers!
Let me share this little story with you.  When I was finishing high school and getting ready to start college, my parents strongly discouraged me from going into architecture, as they believed it would be pretty difficult to achieve significant success professionally in a part of the world that had very little concern for architecture.  As a result, I started college as a business administration student with a major in finance and a minor in fine arts.  After I completed my BA, I applied to architecture school and was accepted by most of my top choices, YALE being “The One”. This further confirming my decision, I went back to my parents and told my dad that I’d rather be a brilliant architect than a mediocre business man.  He had no choice but to subscribe to my vision of things. It is the confidence in that vision that drives me to this day  and in my belief that perseverance always pays off.

Issa-Diabate_P2Principles I Live By | To be intellectually honest.  That is the state of mind you’re in when you are facing your true self without complacency.  It is the best way to question your decisions and adapt them to an ever changing context.

Critical Skills I Develop | Work, work, work and a little dose of talent. I like to say that talent, like muscles, have to be trained in order to improve.  The more you work, the more you will encounter novel situations that will push your creative mind to innovate.

How I Use My Mind | As architects, nature probably blessed us with a creative mind.  We must use that ability to design, not only to solve problems related to the practice of architecture, but also to provide solutions to any given situation.  We should “design” our ambitions and goals in order to make them become a reality!



Resources I Use To Stay Inspired | Travelling for inspiration, observation of what surrounds me (from my home to the universe) to keep myself informed, and a spiritual outlook on things to make me grow.  Obviously, music, movies, books, are resources that can be used in all categories cited previously.

Issa-Diabate_P1My Future Dreams And Ambitions | My greatest ambition is to transform the city.

The Meaning Of Life | To experiment in a pleasurable way everything that life has to offer!

The Best Advice I’ve Received | My father once told me that we should only worry about the things that we can potentially control… Either you stop worrying or you gain control over those things you find worrisome by changing them.  In both cases, you will kill the anxiety!

Advice On Building Wealth | When you have an exciting mission in life, happiness will always be around in any form that you may chose.  If wealth is the tool you need to achieve your vision, only then will you become truly rich.




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