Christina Dukes on
Nov 29, 2021
Meet Farnaz Sadeghi
From multiple Master’s degrees to various perspectives from living around the country and world, Farnaz Sadeghi is an incredible addition to the BBA team. Ms. Sadeghi joined BBA in July and has brought her background in structural engineering and passion for presence to each project she’s worked on so far.
“My parents were completely supportive of me doing what I want and trying different things to figure it out,” Farnaz explained to me over Zoom, describing the path she’s taken to land here. “Rather than discouraging me from change, they’ve supported my journey and the changes I’ve made to my own life.”
Ms. Sadeghi studied civil engineering while completing both her Undergrad and first Master’s degree in Iran, her home country. Part of that curriculum included multiple architectural design courses that sparked her interest.
“I decided to start working on drawing various perspectives by hand,” by she told me. “When I graduated and took my first job as an engineer, I was able to observe architects in the office and realized what they were doing was what I had always been looking for.”
Farnaz decided to follow her passion and moved to America to study architecture in Memphis.
There are some key differences between architectural design and structural engineering. For engineering, you need to know how buildings are physically put together - which columns, beams, slabs to use. “But I want to create more than just empty buildings, I want to create experiences,” says Ms. Sadeghi, “That’s where the architecture comes in.”
While Farnaz was studying in Memphis she was introduced to the idea of Mindfulness in Architecture.
“For many years I was into the idea of presence in the moment and to be conscious about your body, thoughts, emotions, and environment. When we do this it eventually leads to this state of mindfulness and psychological balance and mental wellness,” Farnaz tells me. “My thought was to bring these concepts to architecture.”
She credits leaders in the field such as Steven Holl and Peter Zumthor for inspiration, “They create spaces that off people a chance to achieve higher levels of consciousness and happiness.”
This idea still inspires Farnaz and BBA seems to be an ideal place to explore the mindfulness because they work specifically in people’s homes. “People’s homes are where they spend most of their time,” she tells me. “Why not make it the best for their mental health and wellbeing?”
Mindfulness comes into play particularly with Ms. Sadeghi’s role at BBA. “I’ve learned so much since starting here. It’s important to be able to focus on so many new parts of architecture,” she tells me. Some of those new things include drawing productions, understanding zoning laws, and 3D modeling. She’s been specifically interested in the care the city of Chicago takes in preserving its history, even down to maintaining classic building facades.
Asked about the design influence of growing up in Iran, Farnaz explains that while growing up there absolutely influenced her, the approach she brings to projects is the same regardless of where in the world. “My approach in architectural design doesn’t relate to any specific country, it’s universal. It’s about humans. Everyone around the world will experience the same emotions. I’m concerned about engaging all five senses. If people immerse themselves in an environment that engages all their senses, it doesn’t matter what country they’re in or what style they like.”