Masoud Akbarzadeh

Masoud Akbarzadeh

Philadelphia, PA, US



Masoud Akbarzadeh is a designer with a unique academic background and experience in architectural design, computation, and structural engineering. He is an Assistant Professor of Architecture in Structures and Advanced Technologies and the Director of the Polyhedral Structures Laboratory (PSL). He holds a PhD from the Institute of Technology in Architecture, ETH Zurich, where he was a Research Assistant in the Block Research Group. He holds two degrees from MIT: a Master of Science in Architecture Studies (Computation) and an MArch, the thesis for which earned him the renowned SOM award. He also has a degree in Earthquake Engineering and Dynamics of Structures from the Iran University of Science and Technology and a BS in Civil and Environmental Engineering. His main research topic is Three-Dimensional Graphical Statics, which is a novel geometric method of structural design in three dimensions.



ETH Zürich, Zürich, CH, PhD, Architectural Technology

Jan 2012 - Feb 2016

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA, US, Masters, Design Computation

Sep 2010 - Jun 2012

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA, US, MArch, Architecture

Sep 2007 - Jun 2011

Iran University of Science and Technology (IUST), Tehran, IR, Masters, Structural Engineering

Sep 2004 - Jun 2007


SOM Travel Fellowship for Architecture, Design and Urban Design, Award

Masoud’s Masters Thesis has provided the first step to further study on his research topic, “Hydro Power Cities: Generative Form Potentials of River Hydrology and Urbanization“. Masoud’s research proposal is based on a cultural and technical moment of infrastructure transition that is taking place globally as water becomes increasingly more valuable. Modern hydropower megaprojects have caused widespread social, cultural and environmental damage. Masoud’s research will explore new relationships between traditional water-based infrastructure and emergent urban form along river way sites in China, Brazil and Africa. His work will focus on the creation of multiple smaller scale hydro power stations which support local environments and populations through the design of new forms of urbanism and energy extraction in a living river system.


Areas of Specialization