Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Discover Stories of Iranian-American Architects in LA

April 28, 2022 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm PDT

Discover Stories of Iranian-American Architects in LA (JEDI Voices Series)

This is a virtual event.

Southern California boasts the largest population of Iranians outside Iran, and Los Angeles is home to vast majority. Like Angelenos, Iranians are diverse in race, religion, and culture. As part of the ongoing J.E.D.I. Voices series, we feature the second event of Iranian-American architects, showcasing local architects journey in architecture and design.

Join SoCalNOMA and AIA LA on a discussion on identity, representation and community engagement.



Arman Massahi, AIA – Project Architect, KFA Architecture
Arman attended the Azad University of Tabriz where he earned a Bachelor of Architectural Engineering degree. In 2011, he ventured out to Los Angeles where he graduated with a Master of Architecture degree from SCI-Arc. His experience in designing projects in Los Angeles for the past ten years has driven him to become an architect with deep knowledge in the building systems and sustainable design. Arman enjoys hiking, running, and camping all California area trails, as well as riding his bike along the PCH and Santa Monica mountains. He currently works as a project architect for KFA architects where he believes firms’ vision of architecture has a lot in common with his way of looking into the industry.


Hasti Khodabakhsh, AIA – Project Manager, Design Illustration Group
Hasti Khodabakhsh, RA, LEED AP BD+C & ND, Fitwel Amb, has been engaged in the built environment for more than a decade as an architect, urban designer, project manager, and environmental steward. Her professional experience in the US includes working at HOK, SOM, and Gensler, working on a variety of architecture and planning projects. She now helps run DIG, a visualization studio in Los Angeles. Hasti has been an active member of AIA DC | Design + Wellbeing Committee and continues to promote design strategies that are environmentally-friendly and improve occupants’ health and well-being as a member of AIA LA COTE.


Ziba Ghassemi, AIA – Vice President of Airport Design, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield
Ziba is Vice President of Airport Design at Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, a global developer focused on making positive social, cultural, environmental and economic contributions to users and communities. She has led the experiential design of airport terminals across the country, including LAX Bradley International, Terminals 1, 2, 3 and 6, Chicago O’Hare, and Boston Logan. Her approach to design brings local architects and experts from the private and public sector together with an internal team of multi-disciplinary experts, to foster an investigative and explorative process where smart products, technology, sustainable features and strategies for resiliency all contribute to creating a more connected transportation facility and traveler experience.


Mitra Memari, AIA – Partner, ZGF Architects
Born in Iran, Mitra emigrated to the U.S. as a teenager. With the last name Memari, which means architect in Farsi, one thing is clear: Mitra was born to be an architect. Through adapting to a new culture and language at a young age, she developed a passion for diversity, inclusion, and equity. In her practice and in her role as a partner, Mitra has made it her mission to create a more equitable profession that represents the communities where we live and work. Mitra’s ethics-driven approach also leverages a passion for sustainable design to create seamless, collaborative, lasting relationships across client and project teams.

Dr. Hessam Ghambari – Associate Professor of Interior Design for the Department of Family & Consumer Sciences, California State University, Northridge
Dr. Hessam Ghamari is an Associate Professor of Interior Design for the Department of Family & Consumer Sciences at California State University, Northridge (CSUN). Dr. Ghamari has more than 15+ years working as an architect and an interior designer in Iran and the United States. He has experience working on healthcare, hospitality, commercial, and residential projects. Prior to his appointment at CSUN, Dr. Ghamari taught at Appalachian State University for four years. He received his Ph.D. in Environmental Interior Design in 2014 from Texas Tech University. He has published articles in peer-reviewed journals and presented at international conferences on environmental psychology, evidence-based design, and healthcare design. The decision-making process in the interior design discipline should take the physiological and psychological needs of the people. Dr. Ghamari’ s design philosophy revolves around providing healthy and humanistic environments that can positively impact its users–to improve the quality of life of people in different settings. This attests to his interests in interdisciplinary approaches to improve health and well-being outcomes in healthcare environments. His design philosophy revolves around providing healthy and humanistic environments that can positively impact the users of those environments. From his perspective, design can significantly improve the health and well-being of the user of the environment. He is also the co-founder of IDO (Interdisciplinary Design Organization).


Amir Habibabadi
Amir Habibabadi is a futuristic contemporary furniture designer who lives in Los Angeles. A native of Iran, his creativity and specialty in furniture and his artistic family background in antique collections and exhibitions pay homage to his homeland. Amir earned his first Master of Architecture in Europe and his second master’s degree in Emerging Technology from SCI-ARC in Los Angeles. After Amir received his degrees, he started utilizing his specialty in emerging technology by working with well-known architects; however, his strong passion in furniture design eventually led him to further immerse his passion and ambition to start his own company, A-morph. From a young age, Amir has believed, “you can create anything once you see it in your mind”. Amir’s main focus is in creating futuristic architectural components based on amorphous designs by bringing an extensive mastery of complex and unique geometry.


Bijan Armandpour, AIA – Design/Managing Principal and Founder, Bijan & Associates
Mr. Armandpour is Design/ Managing principal and founder of Bijan & Associates. He has over 44 years of experience in master planning, commercial / office, hospitality, industrial, entertainment and residential projects. Prior to establishing Bijan & Associates, Mr. Armandpour served as project designer and job captain with Leon J. Myers, Architects, Savannah, Georgia. He was responsible for Client Liaison and design of his projects. Mr. Armandpour believes that “balance between technology and nature leads to excellence in architecture.” This belief has led the firm to maintain world-class design at a most efficient cost. The high and consistent quality of performance and management are the reasons for repeat clients who believe in Mr. Armandpour’s ability to manage their projects from site analysis to post construction services. Mr. Armandpour has worked on several projects in Los Angeles within CRA jurisdiction. His previous notable accomplishments in providing Design/ Management include: rehabilitation of two hi-rise office buildings in Los Angeles; several housing developments in City of Los Angeles and Los Angeles County; an old theatre building on Hope Street. He has led the firm in gaining extensive experience in dealing with local communities as well as Neighborhood Councils and Los Angeles Housing Department staff and personnel.


Ferial Asadies, AIA – Principal, Health Market Leader, HDR
Ferial is a healthcare futurist focusing on resiliency and equity in healthcare. With 22 years of experience in design, programming, and project management for healthcare facilities in the U.K. and the U.S., Ferial has focused her design philosophy on creating healing spaces that engage and inspire patients, their loved ones, and caregivers alike. Both her work and reputation illustrate passion, motivation, and a commitment to the clients with whom she partners, rooted in deep project involvement from inception to completion. As the health market leader for HDR’s Los Angeles office, Ferial nurtures new client relationships and spearheads project delivery efforts. She has been the co-founder and co-chair of the AIA PF Academy of Architecture in Health since 2018.


Ziba Esmaeilian – Designer, Woods Bagot
Ziba is from Iran who studied Interior Architecture in AICA-SF and she worked on several high-end Interior projects and decided to pursue Architecture degree at SCI-Arc in Los Angeles. She graduated from Master program in 2013. During the school, she was using 3d printing technology for architectural form finding where she saw the opportunity to create and explore these pieces as a jewelry and learned a design in context of human body. So, she started to create her own jewelries and few years later she establish Zimarty as a side business to explore form and materiality. Ziba has been working on different types of projects from single-family homes, multi-family, mixed-use to Healthcare projects. She has experience in designing projects in Los Angeles for the past ten years.


April 28, 2022
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm PDT
Event Category:


AIA|LA JEDI Committee