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|EDRAite of the Month - Nastaran Tebyanian|
Growing up in a region with diverse climates, cultures and languages changing within a short distance, always made me curious about people-environment relationships. This curiosity along with my concern for environmentally and socially degraded cities encouraged me to pursue architecture and landscape architecture as my undergraduate and graduate field of study.
In the last few years, I have immersed myself in different fields and had enriching experiences learning new skills and synthesizing ideas across the disciplines. I worked as a research assistant in Hamer Center for Community Design at Penn State and my diverse interests led to scholarly works ranging from history, pedagogy to participatory design and design computation. I pushed my master thesis to an interdisciplinary ground between environmental design and Information Technology and I’m looking forward to continuing the research in my PhD studies. Working on my M.S. thesis, I was deeply concerned about the lack of interactions between different disciplines even in an academic environment. I also witnessed how distant many scholarships are from their adjacent communities. EDRA was different though.
My first experience with EDRA was in Los Angeles. The theme for the conference was very promising and I really enjoyed the interdisciplinary nature of the conference. But what impressed me the most was the diversity of the people, interests, programs and initiatives within one organization. I’ve always believed that significant improvement of our built environment requires reimagining the spaces around us, crossing the lines between disciplines and persistent passion for seeing the alternatives and I believe that EDRA is among few places that cherish such spirit.