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Ebrahim Poustinchi, an award-winning designer, artist, and inventor, is Assistant Professor of Architecture and founder/director of the Robotically Augmented Design (RAD) Lab at Kent State University and the founding principle of the STUDIO EP L.L.C. Poustinchi’s research is focused on the intersection of design, space, media and robotics, with an emphasis on an alternative reading of “post-digital” discourse through UI/UX, Human-Machine Interaction (HMI), and physical computation and tangible interfaces.

Ebrahim has widely lectured, taught workshops, and exhibited his work nationally and internationally. His research and creative work have been disseminated worldwide in various Journals, conferences, galleries, and museums including the International Journal of Architectural Computing (IJAC), Journal of Engineering Technology (JET), ACADIA, CAADRIA, eCAADe, SIGraDi, ASCAAD, ASCA, the Museum of Moscow and the Meyerhold Theatre Center in Russia, the Arab American National Museum in Michigan, Jan Koniarek Gallery in Slovakia, Fully Booked Art Fair in Dubai, and Levantine Cultural Center, Perloff Gallery, Architecture and Design (A+D) Museum in Los Angeles, and over ten different galleries, and museums in Iran.

Poustinchi is the author/editor and art-director for multiple books and is the inventor of two patents/inventions focusing on the creative use of industrial robotics. He has also served on numerous scientific committees for multiple journals and conferences including, ACADIA, CAADRIA, Architectural Science Review, SIGRaDi, and the International Journal of Architectural Computing (IJAC) among others. Additionally, Ebrahim is a frequent visiting critic at various universities and institutions including SCI-Arc, UCLA, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), Pratt, Ohio State University, Syracuse University, University of Kentucky, Washington State University, Ball State University, University of Miami, and New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) amongst others.

Ebrahim Poustinchi has completed his post-professional degree in architecture--with a focus on robotics and technology, under Greg Lynn at UCLA, and holds a bachelor’s degree in architecture from the University of Tehran, Iran. He has previously taught at the University of Kentucky, and UCLA.

A Conversation : .

What led you to the A+D community?

I have always admired the museum’s experimental agenda towards Design and Architecture; it’s been fascinating to see how the fuzzy edges of design disciplines are challenged, mixed, matched, and juxtaposed in A+D shows. In particular, I think the A+D museum is one of the very few museums/cultural venues celebrating the tension between different modes/scales of Design and various readings/means of Architecture.

What is your go-to inspiration?

Surrealism, Iranian(Persian) mythology, Baroque/Rococo art, Pop culture, Grotesques and Gargoyles, new-age world music, Vanitas still-lifes, exquisite food, robotic performance, typography, blobby awkward objects; you name it!

I am a formalist; I think in almost everything, there is at least something or a moment that keeps me on my toes and excited—in favor, against, or somewhere in between. But currently, some of the designers/artists whose work is a constant inspiration for me are Ali Akbar Sadeghi, Hossein Alizadeh, Salvador Dalí, Jessica Walsh, Hayv Kahraman, Farhad Fozouni, Hieronymus Bosch, Reza Abedini, Nai Barghouti, Pablo Rochat, Nychos, Yayoi Kusama, and Greg Lynn.

Any words for the community?

I just hope that all of us—including myself, as the Architecture and Design community, more appreciate and embrace each other’s individuality, rights and differences—in any form; personally, socially, politically, professionally, etc. We can still do much better when it comes to respecting each other’s rights and advocating for justice—in any and every way. I believe it’s a bottom-up—as well as top-down, process that can/should start by every one of us and our social/professional “circles.”

Favorite thing about being in design?

There are so many things, I guess; but—not to put in an ideological or religious way, I think design—and for me, formalism at large, serves as a filter/layer which changes one’s vision about and engagement with life, world, and existence forever. I think this experience/quality is priceless; it almost feels like living/existing “more,” by embracing different layers of being. 

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