Mojdeh Mahdavi

Mojdeh Mahdavi is an architect and urban designer with ten years of professional experience and a Doctor of Design student at Harvard University Graduate School of Design. At the GSD, she is also the co-editor of the twelfth volume of New Geographies: Commons, forthcoming fall 2020. Mojdeh’s doctoral research investigates the constructed and contested, yet unknown digital geographies formed by technoscientific urban restructuring through the lens of critical urban theory, critical data studies, and planetary urbanization. The research asks how the incorporation of digital and information technologies into the built environment affects the already-existing sites of chronic segregation and poverty in the American post-industrial, mid-size cities. Bridging the gap between theoretical and practical knowledge, it also investigates alternative pathways to the application of ‘spatialized intelligence’ to urban planning and design. Her broader research focuses on the relationship between the evolving processes of urbanization, socio-spatial justice, participative urban design and planning, and politics of urban intelligence.

Mojdeh received a research-based (mention recherche) Post-Master degree in Architecture and Urbanism from École Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture Paris LaVillette, ENSAPLV, and a Master in Landscape Architecture from University of Tehran where she was graduated with honors. She has practiced urban and architectural design in Paris, Tehran, and Almaty in well-established firms as well as experimental design groups. Her work has been presented in conferences at Paris, Tehran, Zurich, and Montreal. Since her collaboration with Tehran Urban Innovation Center in 2016, where she is currently a partner, she has examined the efficiency of a combination of offline and online methods as well as digital technologies in the complex process of public participation. As a Harvard Bloomberg fellow in City Leadership Initiative, she used her knowledge of civic engagement and community empowerment in helping Syracuse’s Office of Accountability, Performance and Innovation to devise a socially-conscious, inclusive, and economically-responsive smart city plan. At Harvard, she has held various teaching appointments.

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Mojdeh has visited 27 countries and is always trying to catch a train or flight.