Design education expert takes post as Architecture Department head

January 26, 2012

Mehrdad Hadighi, an architect that Wallpaper called one of the 25 "most intriguing, innovative and intrepid architects" in the world, is the new head of the Department of Architecture and Chair in Integrative Design in the H. Campbell and Eleanor R. Stuckeman School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, Penn State College of Arts and Architecture, effective spring 2012.

Mehrdad has been an academic for the past 25 years, teaching at both public and private universities and serving as a visiting professor in the United States and abroad. Most recently, he served two terms as chair of the Department of Architecture at the State University of New York at Buffalo.

Mehrdad earned a master of architecture from Cornell University. A licensed architect, he is founding principal of the Studio for Architecture, a design practice that is engaged in research and experimentation through building projects of different scales and scopes, site-specific gallery installations, and design competitions.

Studio for Architecture has received numerous international awards for its competition entries, as well as prestigious research awards from the NEA, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the Research Foundation. In 2003, the practice was named as one of ten "Design Vanguard" firms that "have reshaped the globe" by the Architectural Record. More recently, a project designed by the firm was named one of the ten "High Notes from 2010" by e-architect.co.uk; the Lafayette 148 headquarters building commissioned by the New York-based fashion design company was selected from a pool of more than 500 international entries.

"Professor Hadighi comes to the Stuckeman School with a strong and effective record as an architect, teaching academic, and an academic administrator," said Nathaniel Belcher, director of the Stuckeman School. "His work illustrates a broad yet detailed understanding of design pedagogy; his instructional oeuvre covers the varied realms of architectural instruction; and he articulates a clear curricular philosophy as a leader in design education. He seamlessly personifies a combined outstanding performance of both research and practice accomplishments. We are excited to have him as a colleague."

An ideal leader to advance and promote the integrity of the Department, as well as its broad, inter-disciplinary base within the College of Arts and Architecture and the larger University, Mehrdad complements the Stuckeman School's commitment to design excellence.

"Architects, artists, and engineers, in their most provocative and meaningful work, are all three at once: inseparable; yet each is clearly distinct, with distinct disciplinary boundaries," Mehrdad said. "My education, design practice, and teaching have all been founded on methodologies that work across distinct disciplines, yet attend to disciplinary depth through rigorous practices."

Penn State's H. Campbell and Eleanor R. Stuckeman School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture is a leader in professional design education comprised of an interdisciplinary confederation of strong design disciplines: architecture, design and landscape architecture.

  • Mehrdad Hadighi is the new head of the Department of Architecture and Chair in Integrative Design in the H. Campbell and Eleanor R. Stuckeman School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, effective spring 2012.

    IMAGE: Douglas Levere
Last Updated January 09, 2015