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Mostafa GHaffari B.Arch American University of Sharjah 2009 M.Arch Southen California Institude of Architecture (SCI-Arc) 2013


Mostafa Ghaffari 818 –422–3446

Aug 2009-Aug 2011 Worked as a full time design architect for NAGA Architects, Dubai, U.A.E

Concept and schematic design:

Education Master of Architecture (MArch) Southern

California Institute of Architecture, Los Angeles, CA, U.S.A (2011-2013)

Advisors: Eric Owen Moss, David Ruy, Andrew Zago, Tom Wiscombe, herwig baumgartner, Andrew Atwood, Ramiro Diaz Granados, Marcelyn Gow

Bachelor of Architecture (BArch) American

University of Sharjah, Sharjah, U.A.E (2003-2009)

Al-Mazrouei private villa design, Khawaneej, Dubai, U.A.E Thmer Saeed private villa design, Khawaneej first, Dubai, U.A.E Swaidan Al Nabooda private villa design, Dubai, U.A.E Derayah master plan design, Derayah, Ryadth, K.S.A Derayah Apartment cluster design, Derayah, Ryadth, K.S.A Typical Emirati Housing, Dubai, U.A.E Abu Dhabi market renovation competition, Cornich, Abu Dhabi, U.A.E Doha palace Competition, Doha, Qatar Schematic design, DD, and Construction documentation:

Internships •

Summer 2006 Internship with ”Pasebani Architects”, Tehran, Iran Design and detailing of technical connections Residential project (Mohammadi Project) Lobby design and façade design Residential project (Mousivand Project) • Summer 2007 Internship with “Centimeter Cube”, Dubai, U.A.E Conceptual Villa design proposal Al-dhaid, Ajaman, U.A.E Façade proposal for G+10 office building Al-Barsha Area, Dubai, U.A.E Façade proposal for residential complex J-4 project, Dubai, U.A.E • Summer 2008 Internship with “ NAGA Architects”, Dubai, U.A.E Site proposal, and concept for a large scale private spa and clubhouse Ajman, U.A.E

Jasem Al Ali private Villa, Jumairah, Dubai, U.A.E Independent Projects: Rafat Apt complex(interior and facade design) Interior design for Shams Bookshop Copper Human Installation (Sculpture) Viscous coffee table design Cashier counter Design for Shams Bookshop The orosi design

Tehran,Iran Mousivand, Farmanieh, Tehran, Iran Farmanieh, Tehran, Iran Los Feliz, California Mousivand, Farmanieh, Tehran, Iran Farmanieh,Tehran, Iran

Digital Skills: • Modeling: Maya, Zbrush, Rhino, 3D s Max, Architectural desktop Revit, AutoCAD, Sketch Up, • Scripting: Processing, Grasshopper • Graphic Design: Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Indesign, • Web Design: Adobe Dreamweaver, Adobe Flash

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Hide and Seek

Pershing square, Downtown Los angeles

Advisor: Eric Owen Moss

Early Modernism’s apparent lack of interest in history and ambitions of creating new utopian architecture that addressed technological improvements of the time, were constituted in set of very distinct rules. These rules eventually created homogenous building forms and conformity. Perhaps, Lack of self-expression was the reason why post-modernist architects felt aggravated enough to break the dogma and refuse to follow many of the existed rules. Considering the question of authorship, memory and fidelity, this thesis is going to explore how one perceives an object with all its specificities without recognizing what the original resembled. Neglecting the operational meanings of the objects, Analogue processes Question the qualitative association between the original status and the concluding status of the objects. These procedures were accommodated to highlight relationships between the formal condition before and after the transformation. This exploration is not interested in the gradient of transformation rather it’s invested in the middle condition where the objects are neither as articulated as the start nor as banal as the end, and they are formed by discrete transitions within each collective. When it comes to the site, the manifestation of the middle condition tends to create a mystery that leaves strategic visual traces for further exploration by the inhabitant of the space. These visual traces and their relationships are used as means of creating curiosity and mobilization of the inhabitants in the site.

looking at different analogue processes such as

Melting Reconfiguring Cutting, slicing that questioned the recognizability of the two original objects. Since every part of the whole has a different level of familiarity, for example the head of the robot vs its legs, or the wheel of the bike versus its body. Decisions were made base on what

you see? What you don’t see? and how much of each do you see? Within this process Loss of information becomes a productive design tool.

Conventionally cuts in architecture are affiliated with revealing the interior, rather in here a cut is perceived as an autonomous object that seats between the two other objects, so the moment the sliced pieces shifts along their axis of cut and partially removed, what remains from the object is the memory of it through the filter of that actual cut.

Pershing square

Los angeles, California

Proposed Program: concert Areas, recreation programs, Art Galleries solid walls around the perimeter and the raised platform to contain garage underneath creates a visually disconnected raised platform that does not engage the pedestrian going through one block to another. The manifestation of the middle condition tends to create a mystery that leaves strategic visual traces for further exploration by the inhabitant of the space. These visual traces and their relationships are used as means of creating curiosity and mobilization of the inhabitants in the site.


Third st bridge design, Los angeles

Advisor: Eric Owen Moss

What is a Bridge? Inspired by “The Slowness� novel by Milan Kundera, in which he describes philosophy of modernity, technology, and sensuality, while criticizing the human urge for speed, this project is about extenuating the pleasure that sustains in the moment of transition, rather than arriving to the destination. Conventionally bridges connect one point to another, although there were cases in which the bridges created as destinations, for example, Ponte Vecchio in Italy. The bridge housed everybody from medieval merchants, to butchers, souvenir stalls, and art dealers. Looking at some of these examples, the project started to develop considering two very distinct neighborhoods, on two sides of the bridge; on one side, Boyle heights and the other Art district. To highlight the significance of the Third street Bridge where these two neighborhoods meet, the directionality of the streets going through each side was highlighted. Using the transition sequences within each side, each mass starts to dematerialize and visually present each neighborhood. Approaching the middle point, the two parts start to poetically move away from each other, one entering the underground, breaking through the water canal, the other raising up to the sky, creating a visually powerful and poetic moment in the middle of the site.

Site sequence Analysis

Physical Model

Technological Sublime

Gemalsolar field, Seville, Spain

Advisor: David Ruy

Neglecting the operational aspect of a solar field in Seville, Spain, which is not designed by architects and it’s solely appreciated for its operational means, gives it a total new architectural reading. There is a sublime quality to the way these four thousand and eight hundred objects point at a single vertical element, and create an enormous vast field. Where does an architect intervene in such project, to extend and amplify such feelings, without interfering with its operational status? The project started to look at the idea of interiority and exteriority, as, what’s underneath, and what’s above. Visually the members where organized to maximize the effiecency of the field and they formed a symmetrical composition. In order to create tension between what’s above, and below( exterior vs interior) decision was made to dig under and develop a landscape underneath that’s made with aggregations of objects with highly specific details that tries to deceive one into not recognizing the original objects, rather seeing a sublime landscape

Initial drawings were created using collection of 2d images, taking advantage of pixel based configuration. the drawings dealt with part to whole relationship, using architectectural sensibilities rather than technical sensibilities, and this was used in such way to decieve the viewer into believing that the whole has an unknown function.

Using 3dcoat, a pixel based 3d modeling software, different modules were created, by aggregations of highly specific parts and pieces. the inted was again to create similar coherent object that appear to be doing a certain opertaion, but they were only placed becuase of their aesthetic placement. further these collection of objects were fused with eachother using the pixel advantage, to lose their

scale, and their true readings.

sense of

to create tension between what’s above, and below( exterior vs interior) decision was made to dig under and develop a landscape underneath that’s made with aggregations of objects with highly specific details that tries to deceive one into not recognizing the original objects, rather seeing a sublime landscape

Aside from the digital model, there was a side by side attempt to replicate the digital condition as a physical model by manually

melting and cutting objects. This started to address the question of


that always exist in any architectural project, from the digital world to the actual execution.

Close up shots of the physical models capturing some of the most surreal formal conditions

Projective Sensibility

Renovating Barnes foundation, Philadelphia

Advisor: Andrew Zago

Reflections and shadows are not susceptible to contingencies of perception. experimenting with a single cube, different type of operations dealing with different type of orthographic projections manifested the renovation of the old barnes foundation. the old Barnes building has a symmetrical plan layout, that uses enfilade to connect one room to another.The existing condition, strongly contrasts with the different layers of projections that take place within the same space and creates conflict, that creates much more dynamicity. Another reason for using the old barnes was to perserve the memory of the old barnes foundation, due to its historic importance as a building and its impotance as a significant collection of art work. The results were ment to create a fresh new way of looking at the art work.

Series of Projection studies were created

, experimenting with a single cube, but different type of operations, dealing with various orthographic projections.

to perserve the memory of the old barnes foundation, the existing building was used as the origin of the transformation.

Location of the barnes foundation

Neglecting the conventional ways of addressing the site,The realtionship of the building to the site was highlighted by looking at the site as another object that was placed in an orthographic view, and further extends the domain of the projections to the site.

Physical model

Different layers of transformation


Physical model (BUILDING SKIN)

Artwork layout before transformation

Ground Floor Plan

Longitudinal Section First Floor Plan

Artwork layout After transformation

Third Floor Plan

Cross Section Fourth Floor Plan

Incongruous Transformation

Black box theater design, Santa monica, Ca

Advisor: Ramiro Diaz Granados Looking at new methods of form making, The following project is Hinting on the social agenda of indexicality by narrowing down the dialogues that could possibly happen between a linear figure and a volumetric object. The goal of the project is to achieve incongruity by developing new strategies for transformation of two significantly distinct elements. Rather than colliding the two objects in a collage manner, each individual entity changes its physical behavior through usage of anamorphic projection. The figure is being transformed in different ways to signify how it indexes itself in different areas of the site. As the figure grabs onto the black box theater, to emphasize the solidity of the mass it stretches itself on the outside , on the other side since the program allows more flexibility the figure carves its way into the gallery and gradually changes its three dimensionality into two dimensional pattern that allows opennings and skylights.

Generative Morphologies

L.A Media center, Los angeles, ca

Advisor: Andrew Atwood

Using igeo script, line drawings were produced that imply significant depth, those drawings were interpreted both in their presentational and geometrical relationships into surface conditions. further through the project implied depth was amplified by obscuring the edge conditions between the surface and the 3d manifestation of the surface. In order to alter this obscurity these layers require having visual homogeneity, yet they have to be distinguished as separate objects. Moving to site, placing the surface condition in vertical and horizontal axis, sets new set of relationships between them that produce a void space in which the garden takes place. Further, by exaggerating edge conditions and articulating them the space between the 3d manifestation and the surface becomes a habitable exterior space. Due to the directionality of the surface geometry another challenge was to use similar articulation to terminate the skin at ends. Looking back at earlier line work studies, those presentation qualities were used as a design tool to offer another set of qualities that was to utilize and transform the surface edges and creases into a 3d fraying condition at ends. These conditions offered a solution to the corner problem in the site, as well as introducing diffused fuzzy light into the interior spaces.

3d section showing how line drawings were used as a design tool to offer another set of qualities. It starts to utilize and transform the surface edges and creases into a 3d condition at ends. These conditions offered a solution to the corner

problem in the site, as well as introducing diffused fuzzy light into the interior spaces.


Invisible Act&Threshhold

Dubai sound museum

Advisor: george katodrytis

Dubai, A transient place, where People come and leave after several years, where it never feels like home. In such city it would be significant to try to capture a day, and expressively hold it in stillness. The project was an opportunity to emphasize, explore, and further capture a day in a city where things transform from one day to another. Looking at it not as a historian, rather as an architect, the process begin with carefully looking at activities within an urban threshold in the civic center of old part of Dubai, Al Raas area. Carefully taking samples of different type of sounds in different part of this urban threshold, a day in the site was represented by its invisible activities. Further transforming these data to architectural aesthetics manifested itself into an architectural project.

Analysis of sound sequences in the site

Front Elevation showing how the building penetrates the site buildings and announces it self in their interior.

3D section through the threshhold


Sciarc shop Addition Advisor: Tom Wiscombe, Herwig Baumgartner

In a competition to design a digital fabrication lab next to the Sci arc woodshop, ZIP attempted to create a dialogue between aesthetic values and operational meanings. Merging of two cubes manifests a totality in which the seams are highlighted by structural as well as visually intriguing element, one cube holds all the programmatic elements, and the other provides a space for transition zone, as well as filtering light into the first cube.

3d Wall Section

Primary Structure

Secondary Structure

Primary Structure+wood structure

Tattoo Structure









Professional Projects

Naga Architects, Dubai, UAE 2009-2011 Tasks: Conceptual Design, Schematic design, Design development, Construction Documentation





Al Mazroui Luxury Villa Location: Khawaneej, Dubai. U.A.E Net Area: 2400 sq.m Conceptual design, schematic design

Swaidan Al Nabooda Luxury Villa Location: Khawaneej, Dubai. U.A.E Net Area: 2800 sq.m Conceptual design, schematic design

Jasem Al Ali Luxury Villa

Location: Jumairah, Dubai. U.A.E Net Area: 2600 sq.m Schematic design, design development, construction documentation

Ground Floor 3d Cut

VIew A

VIew B

First Floor 3d Cut

VIew A: Going up to the Roof Garden

VIew B: Swimming pool in the dropped garden

Thamer Saeed Villa Location: Khawaneej first, Dubai. U.A.E Net Area: 1800 sq.m Conceptual design, schematic design

Rafal city planning Location: Ad diriyah, K.S.A Conceptual design, schematic design

Doha Palace competition Location: Ad diriyah, K.S.A Conceptual design, schematic design






Furniture, Fashion & Interior Design






Performative surfaces

solid sheets

The project started with understanding a certain material and highlighting its formal performative properties and trying to extend those qualities by designing a single object. Solid sheets (Corian) was picked as a material which has various interesting qualities to work with, such as possibilities of thermoforming, seamless bounding, sculpting, and translucensy.therefore, the object could be a translucent solid looking mass with double curvature surfaces

Exploded axone

Contours in different elevations

Locaion for snack bowl

Natural texture vs Digital mesh

Laminated Oak wood

The Viscous

Coffee Table for Mohsen

The Viscous is a coffee table that uses functionality as a cause to create a more visually intriguing object. The relationship between the table and the object that sits on top is fetishized by creating ripples on the surface; the effect challenges the materiality of the table and presents the solid wood as a viscous material.

Brushed L profile steel bar

Ourside Rusted steel surface

The Oxymora The Oxymora is a statement that seeks perfection in modesty, intimacy and appreciation of the ingenuous integrity of natural objects and processes. Familiar entities, baby chair, solid block of wood, and various door knobs were transfigured into a new object that is emotionally unstable. Keeping the original metal body of the chair contributes to its nostalgic feel; where the way the knobs poke through the legs, or create green cuffs carry a sense of naivety. Further, the metal frame is highly contrasted by the articulated door knobs. The block of wood is carved round on one side with green slits, almost bee looking, and on the other side it ends in sharp spikes, colored the same as the slits.

Modern Orosi

for Maryam's House

In a city like Tehran, where dense clusters of building are built very close to each other, culturally privacy and views become very significant issue. An apartment in north of Tehran with views to the neighbors solid wall was what inspired this project to use orosi, traditional Iranian stained glass, as inspiration. Different schemes were produced and then digitally fabricated. when installed , not only privacy issues were resolved, the pannelizations also started to produce dynamic colored light reflections and colorful shades in the interior.

The Eyesicles Adjacencies tend to change status of both parties, so if an object is transfigured and the relationship between its parts change, the new whole could still carry the memory of the oldobject, but develop a total new status. The eyesicles was made using parts of another object, and the parts were reconfigured in order to extenuate feminine appeal in a non-conventional way.

Mostafa ghaffari portfolio  

Architecture and design, academic and professional portfolio

Mostafa ghaffari portfolio  

Architecture and design, academic and professional portfolio