Resident Alien/Alien Resident
This 43 page book is a reaction to the global political climate faced by Middle Eastern immigrants fleeing to Europe and the United States. It incorporates a total of four custom Farsi and Latin typefaces to showcase the cultural, political, and social similarities and differences of East and West while investigating the possibilities of making connotation stronger than denotation typographically. The goal of this project was to produce a piece where the interplay of both writing systems (Latin vs. Farsi/Arabic) and their variations reveal the underlying significance of the subject matter rather than the syntax of the narrative. It examines the scope of the relationship between visual and verbal language within the context of content-driven type design.
In collaboration with Pouya Ahmadi | Exhibited at Typefoce 7 | Presented at TypeCon and Typographics | Winner of Print Magazine's Regional Award, 2016
Pardeh (literal translation: curtain) is a premise about material and immaterial spaces, a participatory artwork that allows us to express our interest in the realms of contradiction, interloping, and immateriality. It is an exercise in language, an elegantly simple poetic device for designating what is there but not there, real but intangible. It’s about rethinking the spaces and remaking meaning through language rather than producing handcrafted visual objects merely for retinal pleasure. By putting the everyday experience of opening a curtain in a different context we built a new narrative and interaction with the object.
Pardeh is a medium rather than an end in itself, an idea communicated by metaphors rather than its formal aspects. It was conceived to construct a dialogue between the space and its viewer. In a sense, the audience becomes the actor upon the stage as the work does not exist without the viewer there actually taking part. This interaction constructs a theatre of poetic imagination, seamlessly weaving together poetry and movement.
In collaboration with Pouya Ahmadi | Exhibited at Typeforce X | Presented at Typographics
Immigration at its core poses many challenges to those who commit to it. While these challenges may remain unseen by those who have not ever experienced it, they build every moment of an immigrant’s life. Identity being at the center of those challenges consumes the mind of an immigrant. How can one seek individuality while integrating into society with major value differences compared to one’s origin? One has to go through many stages in order to find oneself integrated into this new socio-political environment.
This installation visualizes the very transition by using two different letterforms—as a sign of cultural differences—from a Latin and a non-Latin alphabet. The 3D typography explores notions such as transnational identity and multi consciousness. It gives the typically 2D medium a new sculptural life. It morphs from one to the other letterform depicting several stages of identity formation. Stringing together 29 sheets of paper, the sculpture creates a cavernous path between two custom letterforms (“Alef” آ the first letter in Perso-Arabic alphabet and “Z” the last one in Latin-script alphabet). The total number of the sheets represents the average number of letters in Farsi and English alphabets combined.
In collaboration with Pouya Ahmadi and Renata Graw | Exhibited at Design Museum of Chicago | Preserved at the permanent collection of Design Museum of Chicago
Finding sweets at night can be difficult. You go to one place and it’s closed. By the time you make it to your next option, you realize it sucks and there’s something better down the way. SweetScense is an experimental app design inspired by Yelp that understands your true motivations.
But it's not just an app, it’s a tool for satisfying cravings and overcoming depression with a sweet sense of success. The app basically helps you find the nearest bakery in a hurry. Follow the spinning sweet (the donut, the pie, or the cookie) to discover a bakery nearby.
Share your favorite sweet spots with friends, find open hours and see reviews so you know you’re not going to eat something that tastes like cardboard. It sounds like a silly app, but it’s probably the greatest tool ever conceptualized for those who have a huge sweet tooth!
Re-Percieving Urban Space Undergoing Change
Urban spaces are in a constant state of flux, ceaselessly undergoing change and being reinterpreted. As such, their existence is pliable and suffused with temporality. They are formed and perceived by many different people at many different times. The urban physical form is thus composed of an evolving field of changing configurations, reflected in the movements and encounters of people engaging with the space. Urban milieus are impermanent entities, concurrently expressed as mental and material constructions. They are not solely the accumulation of buildings, streets and avenues; their existence is also embedded in the way individuals conceive of them. The pictures of urban spaces which accumulate in one’s mind are transient and are in a constant state of transformation. As an individual moves through a space, new mental images arise at every instant while others fade away. Therefore, an urban space is not merely a physical form or an artificial construction, but also a process of quickly merging countless images to comprise a mental image of the space. Consequently, we can no longer regard urban spaces as fixed entities with clear forms. There is a need to find new ways of representing them through progressive images undergoing a continual transformation.
The project focuses on visualizing the temporary quality of space. Urban spaces are not defined by relation, history, or identity, but rather transformation and change.
MFA final project at Basel School of Design | Basel, Switzerland, 2010
This project illustrates my reflection on climate change, the design of an artificial island. Enkidu Island is a model of our world depicting various aspects of global warming at a small scale. Its name is inspired by the Epic of Gilgamesh, one of the earliest known works of literary fiction. The tale tells the story of Gilgamesh, Enkidu, and the quest to become immortal. The top view of Enkidu island evokes Pangea, the early geologic land mass incorporating all continents. Intended as an uninhabited monumental super-structure, the entire island consists of five immense icebergs attached at the sides. The joints connecting the islands are thinner, allowing them to melt faster so the smaller “continents” will separate and float away through the ocean.