UCLA Extension

Congratulations to Shaghayegh Amirshaghaghi, winner of the $3,000 Hirsch Bedner Scholarship Award!

Shaghayegh Amirshaghaghi is a current student in the Advanced Level/Master’s Program. Prior to joining this program, she received a Bachelor degree in Historical Architecture and a Master degree in the Conservation of Historical Urban Context, both from the Art University, in Iran.  Shaghayegh is a world heritage fan! She had the opportunity of working in several historical sites in her home country, Iran. This includes conservation of the historical palace Aliqapoo in Esfahan and also remodeling of a historic mansion to an art school. The latter project was a very enriching project that entailed a postmodern design, while respecting the culture and historical theme of the site and also developing a modern environment to address the continuing needs of students. The Master program in Interior Architecture, at UCLA, gave her a chance to think globally, familiarize herself with western design as well as sustainability ethics that are indispensable in modern architecture.

To find out what it takes to win the Hirsch Bedner Scholarship, we interviewed Shaghayegh about her project and also asked her some questions that prospective students would find valuable:

 Please describe your project?

Studio III was a great experience for me thanks to professor Carvalheiro who provided me with invaluable guidance through the course of the project. Our project was to design a multipurpose environment with a focus on hydroponic gardening system.

How did you come up with the concept for your project?


We were to design a hydroponic gardening system, and I was inspired by several components: Historical Persian gardens, specifically the plan dimension and the ratio of the open space to the built space in these gardens; The ziggurat-shape structure of Babylon hanging gardens in Persia; The Damian Hirst’s artworks that use glass boxes to showcase the meaning of life and death, at the same time. The ziggurat glass structure in my design keeps the hydroponic system inside it, which is a symbol of life. The material for this structure is dichroic glass that displays different colors by undergoing a color change in certain lighting conditions.

As a piece of advice for students who are looking to pursue the Master of Interior Architecture program.:

Study programs in US are good opportunities for cultural exchange. You see many ambitious students coming from diverse cultures and historical backgrounds.  Your peers and instructors are among the best sources to get exposed to distinct cultures, to broaden your design ideas and to come up with new concepts. In a friendly environment, where people respect each other, different religions and cultures, we can all work much better. We, as artists and designers, can have a key role in creating a productive dialogue across the world.

Images of Shaghayegh Amirshaghaghi’s project:

The Howard Hirsch Design Scholarship is a $3,000 tuition credit award that is granted based upon the work demonstrated in projects commended not only for outstanding and innovative design solution, but also for the tremendous focus and professionalism displayed during the final design project.  To find out if you are eligible for this scholarship or others, please see the Arc+ID Scholarships and Financial Aid information page.

If you have a success story, we want to hear about it!  Click here.

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