When you design a building with soul, it becomes architecture.
THE BIG IDEA
Every creator has a unique opportunity to impact day-to-day life at its most fundamental level. The spaces we occupy and surround ourselves with will impact our conscious and subconscious minds. A mundane and stale workplace or home may generate feelings of isolation, of an inalterability to our current course. But an innovative space, which subverts our expectations and awakens delight within us—that is a space that can cultivate fresh ideas and have a positive impact on our communities.
And what can a society do with fresh ideas? Continue to advance our grasp of the world around us, and those who live in it. A fresh idea can lead to a creation that solves one of society’s most pressing issues. A spark of creativity that alights a building with the fire of inspiration can create an atmosphere conducive to learning, creating, innovating.
The beginning of the design process may start in the architecture of a structural concept, but then will dip into the pools of interior design, digital and computational architecture, family systems and human psychology—even music can be delicately interlaced with the work as it flows out of a designer’s fingertips. A beat, a harmony, a certain mood captured by a song may lead an idea in a way not originally planned. Truly, architecture begins when the whole soul is engaged in the process. My approach is holistic, focusing on sustainability, diversity, and propelling society into the future—but not just any future. A future where we all have a place, from the businessman to the honeybee. A future that doesn’t belittle the one to make a place for the other.
Society is affected by the changes in the microcosm, leading, in a future vision, to a change in the macrocosm. Every creator has a responsibility to guide this change in a way that unites, instead of divides.
Growing up in Tehran, Iran, my father was a housing developer whose goal was to construct homes in a way that would appeal to consumer’s basic needs and sell quickly. I grew up in and around construction sites, watching as ideas became foundations, and foundations became buildings. When it came time for me to decide a direction for my life, I knew that one day I wanted to be involved with buildings as well. Not just constructing houses as the market dictated, however, but intimately involved in the design and concepts behind them.
At barely seventeen, I left home and went to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to pursue a degree in architecture. After graduation, I started working for a local firm involved in designing commercial, residential, and government facilities. During that time, I became fascinated by how sustainability shaped Southeast Asian architecture, making it among the most innovative and sustainable in the world. It affected me so much that I began researching a whole new approach to environmental design.
After my experience in Southeast Asia, I felt drawn to explore America because of the diverse population and its own language of architecture. I moved to the Midwest to continue my research in environmental design at Southeast Missouri State University, where I was surrounded by vernacular architecture along the Mississippi river. I compared what I saw to the vernacular Malay homes and the Persian architecture I knew as a child, and soon began to discover common environmental threads between my current and previous experiences.
In addition to my design studies, I also became interested in the implications of psychological environmental design on cognition and human behavior. My goal shifted from a strictly environmental approach to creating structures that incorporated the occupant’s emotional needs into the blueprint. I ultimately aspired to formulate spaces that were holistic in their physical, psychological, and environmental impact.
K+ Development and Design was founded in 2015 after completing my first project: Emotional Union, the Student center at Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pennsylvania. Since then, I have been able to cultivate the ideology of this practice into what it is today, developing the most innovative environments for the occupants.