Degree(s) Earned
Ph.D. Arch ’19

Current Employer: School of Architecture and Planning, University at Buffalo

Hometown/Country: Tehran, Iran

Current City/Country: Portland, OR

/ Alumni / Ph.D. in Architecture,

Anahita Khodadadi

Assistant Professor

“The diversity of the Taubman College community is its core competency.”

Why did you choose Taubman College?

I was passionate about investigating the relationship between geometry and the behavior of structural systems. I was looking for a doctoral program to prepare me for a future academic role in the architecture profession. Taubman College was my most desirable destination as my research interest was most aligned with Professor Peter von Bülow’s field of work.

Describe the work that you do.

My Ph.D. dissertation introduced a multi-objective design-exploration method that assists designers in problem-structuring, resolving contradictions among design objectives, and making a final decision. I founded this design-exploration method on the idea that the design context and both quantitative performance-based and qualitative design goals should be considered in computer-aided design procedures. I employed a genetic algorithm (GA) and the Theory of Innovative Problem Solving (TRIZ) to expose designers to a wide diversity of suitable solutions versus minimizing the objective functions to find a single high-performing solution. The interdisciplinary scope of my dissertation contributes to not only the form-finding of structural systems but also creative design thinking.

What are some of the projects that you have worked on recently?

Recently, I have worked on:

  • Configuration processing of branching structures using Formex algebra
  • Development of clean technologies in architectural design
  • Pedagogical equity and inclusiveness

How did Taubman College prepare you for your career?

I learned about the cutting-edge knowledge of computational design exploration methodology developed at Hyra Lab at Taubman College, which inspired my dissertation topic. Moreover, CRLT’s (Center for Research on Learning and Teaching) program on inclusive teaching prepared me for my current role in academia. Perhaps my inquisitive approach and passion for teaching brought me the Excellence in Teaching Sustainability Award at Portland State University in 2021.

What is an important lesson that has stayed with you from your time at Taubman College?

Perseverance and passion are my two wings to fly up toward my goals.

What did you like best about attending Taubman College?

The diversity of the Taubman College community is its core competency. Also, I found the U of M community very supportive during the socio-political crisis in 2017.