ABU DHABI // Talal Al Ansari can trace his love for design to a single moment.
The 27-year-old from Abu Dhabi remembers looking at house blueprints with his father when he was a child and thinking: "I can do that."
Mr Al Ansari, an architect by education but an urban designer by profession, considers himself an artist.
"My dad got out this house plan, and it was nice to understand that you can have a say in designing that space," he said. "It's nice to have that idea of creating and bringing that into reality."
He has worked at the Urban Planning Council (UPC) as part of the Urban Design Studio for two years and is proud to be called a next-generation planner.
"When I look at the city, I look at planning and design. I look at guiding the future," he said. "I like to bring that sense of design into everything that we do, and many initiatives at UPC are going to bring about change. That's something I'm glad to be a part of."
After graduating from the American University of Sharjah with a degree in architecture, Mr Al Ansari joined the UPC and channelled his creative energy into helping to design neighbourhoods. Everything - parks, landscaping, streets, communities - needs to be designed.
"The aim is trying to improve lifestyles and neighbourhoods," he said.
"To see that happening from planning to design to implementation, that's a great accomplishment. In other cities, that may take years and years."
The senior urban designer said working with the public was a highlight of the job. During community meetings, the UPC collaborates with residents on their plans. "Together, we come up with creative solutions," Mr Al Ansari said. "I love the education on the job. I literally get exposed to different ideas all the time."