M von Nkosi, NCARB, AIA

M. von Nkosi is the founder and President & CEO of the Institute for Local Innovations, Inc. and The MXD Collaborative, Inc (MXD), an independent consulting firm in 1992, dba Liquid Studios®. 

In June of 2012 he founded and incorporated, the Institute for Local Innovations, Inc. (ILI) as a New Orleans based 501c3 to help build organizational sustainability and capacity building of community development organizations and their staff in low-wealth communities, knowledge capture and transfer and the uplift of innovated community development projects/programs (www.ili360.org). 

Liquid Studios® specializes in implementation strategies to renew and revive communities as a collaborative effort, von provides oversight and leadership. He directs all business areas such as client development, policy and procedure development, operations, design, and project implementation. He collaborates with a diverse group of consultants to achieve a common goal under Liquid Studios® (www.liquidstudios360.com).  

In the last quarter of 2016 he released the Mi Rialiti® Smartphone App design to provide people who are typically marginalized a voice that can be transferred into a platform for economic empowerment. He designed and raised and invested in excess of $275,000 from 90% people of color 85% of whom are African-American (www.mirialiti.com).

Since the early 1990s, von has partnered with firms to complete over 24 urban design and urban safety projects and over 12 architectural and special projects including schools, multi-family housing communities, and municipal buildings. Design and execute real estate development projects from end to end, including task management, financial tracking, public policy, public health and disaster recovery efforts. Ensure projects complete on time and on budget with the highest levels of quality and safety.

Key Accomplishments:

(1) Leading the design team that created the implementation plan for the Martin Luther King Jr. Historic District Development Corporation (HDDC) and Bank of America in Atlanta, revitalizing a once crime-ridden neighborhood into a sustainable urban development. Neighborhood Size – 10 acres, $2M project; 

(2) Identified, analyzed, and resolved gaps in planning between the Corporation for Olympic Development in Atlanta (CODA), the Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership, and the city of Atlanta ensuring that coordination took place and work was completed prior to Centennial Olympic games, a $250M project; 

(3) Cultivated relationships with community groups, real estate development firms, philanthropists, and city leaders in order provide quality design and planning for all facets of community redevelopment; 

(4) Renowned as one of a few urban design firms specializing in urban safety, leading several Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) projects in metro Atlanta; 

(5) Designed and implemented CPTED project for 5 sites in 5 metro Atlanta counties, $5.3M project; 

(6) Provided technical assistance to Health Departments in Mississippi, New Mexico, and Ohio regarding the influence of public policy around land use issues to improve citizen’s health for the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies Health Policy Institute (HPI) based in Washington DC.

(7) Developing Implementation Plan for HPI to advance Public Health Policy work for Place Matters Teams in 16-counties in the United States

(8) Program Managing Green Jobs Workforce Development Program for Southface Energy Institute

(9) Create a Workforce Analysis and Recommendations Report for New Orleans and Mississippi for the W. K. Kellogg Foundation

(10) Put together a two Organizational Development, Capacity Building and Technical Assistance (OD/CB/TA) Plans for the Institute for Local Innovations, Inc. to support non-profits in New Orleans funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (2014-2017) total $1,270,000.

(11) Became a coach-mentor for 6 of 24 W.K. Kellogg Foundation National Fellows focused on racial equity and healing (2014-2017).

Serving in New Orleans as a loaned executive, in the Office of Recovery and Development Administration (ORDA) from 2007 – 2009, sponsored by the Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation (LDRF), Ford Foundation, Greater New Orleans Foundation, Foundation for the MidSouth and the W.K.Kellogg Foundation, von led the effort to incorporate principles of Equitable Development on behalf of PolicyLink into the City Housing Policy as the Senior Advisor for Equity Development for the City of New Orleans. He also served as the Director of Housing Renewal Division, oversaw policy regarding a $30M federal Disaster Community Development Block grant funds. Requested to provide services by local, state, and national philanthropic foundations to determine effective strategies for community investment. 

Key Accomplishments: 

(1) Advised groups on equitable investments for education reform, housing affordability, healthcare and food access for families and children, and economic development for areas of New Orleans; 

(2) Directed 30-million dollars of Disaster CDBG funds to development into Soft second housing program, funds for non-profit developers to boost housing production, allocated funds for the creations of a one-stop housing resource center; 

(3) Lead 35 person exchange – meeting between Delegation of Japanese Representative and New Orleans Leaders on Disaster in April 2008 in New Orleans; 

(4) April 2009 was a New Orleans delegate visiting Tokyo and Miyakejima Japan to share experience on disaster recovery issues; 

(5) Provided philanthropic organization with an implementation plan for future investments in new Orleans including: (a) Encourage the election/appointment of strong, hands-on visionary leaders, (b) Put people on the ground (staff, consultants, loaned executives) who respect the New Orleans culture code (c) Managing expectations - noting that public and private investment in New Orleans will require decades to show sustainable results; (d) focus on the nonprofit and the progressive private sectors in the city and region; (e) Support efforts to create a shared vision; (f) Invest in a full implementation plan; (g) Invest in the next generation of leadership: The entrepreneurial class in the 21st century.


While at the Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership, Inc. (ANDP) 1998-2007 a Real Estate development, finance, public policy, and advocacy organization founded in 1991 with approx. $25M in assets and $2M operating budget von Directed of Mixed Income Communities Initiative (MICI) Public Policy & Advocacy.   He led the initiative and business case for the need for mixed income and affordable housing in a 10 county region of metro Atlanta.  Established a diverse group of 70+ representatives from public and private sector developers, lenders, land/transportation planners, architects and public officials, private companies and philanthropy to help shape public policy to address regional issues of housing affordability to make it easier for developers and municipalities to build mixed income and sustainable housing developments.

Key Accomplishments: 

(1) As Director of MICI he wrote grants and raised approximately $1M from philanthropic organizations; 

(2) Created a legacy of document (Making the Case for Mixed Income Communities 2004 and 2007) making the business cases for Mixed Income and Sustainable Communities as blueprints on how to move the agenda forward for 200,000+ housing units; 

(3) Established a coalition of 70+ representatives from public and private sector developers, lenders, land/transportation planners, architects and public officials to address regional issues of housing affordability 

(4) MICI was awarded the 2005 Magnolia Award for Creative Partnerships – Georgia Department of Community Affairs; 

(5) “Making The Case for Mixed Income and Mixed Use Communities, An Executive Summary,” became the #1 search result out of millions on Google from 2005 to 2012 (http://ow.ly/AXDx30eMXvc & http://ow.ly/iqsI30eMXwr).  

(6) He negotiated a 2-year working agreement among ANDP, Georgia State University and the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) resulting in the establishment of a housing resource center at the ARC in 2006 and is ongoing - http://www.atlantaregionalhousing.org


Mr. Nkosi holds an a license to practice architecture in Georgia with NCARB certification to obtain license in any state.  He holds a Master of Science (MS) in Architecture, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia; Master of Architecture (M. Arch), Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, Illinois, and a Bachelor of Architecture (B. Arch), Hampton University, Hampton, Virginia

Coursework & comprehensives completed towards Ph.D in Architecture – Urban Design and Real Estate Development, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia

He served on the Board of the Southface Energy Institute (www.southface.org) 2006 to 2016 and was the past co-chair of the Architectural Foundation of Georgia (www.aiaga.org/afga).

M  von Nkosi, NCARB, AIA Founder & Principal, Liquid Studios & Institute for Local Innovations (ILI)

M von Nkosi, NCARB, AIA

Founder & Principal, Liquid Studios & Institute for Local Innovations (ILI)

Atlanta, Georgia, United States

Civic Engagement
Housing & Community Design
Project Management

Career Stage
  • Fellow
  • Next Gen
  • Mid-Career
  • Bridge
  • Encore
  • Emeritus