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University of Virginia

June 12, 2018
UVA School of Architecture Welcomes New Faculty - Ali Fard and Ghazal Jafari

The School of Architecture is very pleased to announce the recent addition of new faculty members to UVA.

Ali Fard, a designer and researcher, with a doctorate from Harvard University Graduate School of Design, will be joining the School of Architecture as an Assistant Professor of Urban Design. Ali is the co-founder of the award-winning Op.N, a research and design practice that investigates the operational networks of urbanization, their dialectical relationship to urban agglomerations, and potential spatial registrations that arise from these contextual frictions. Op.N’s work and research exists at the critical junction of architecture, landscape and urban processes. Ali has served as the editor of the New Geographies journal since 2012 and his work has been featured in publications such as The Water Index and Bracket 3: At Extremes. He has held teaching positions at the GSD and University of Waterloo, recently teaching studios and seminars such as: “Species, Spaces and Productive Territories: New Botanic Landscapes,” “Information, Communication, and the Evolving Conceptions of Urban Space,” and “Active Media: Dynamic Representation in Design.” Ali’s current research investigates the operational landscapes of connectivity and the urban/spatial disposition of information and communication technologies. Ali will be teaching between the Urban and Environmental Planning and Architecture Departments and will be a leading contributor to the Next Cities Institute and curricula associated with the Urban Design certificate program and future MUD program. He holds a Bachelor of Arts with Honors and a Master of Architecture from the University of Toronto and a Doctor of Design from the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University. 

Ghazal Jafari, an architect and urban designer, and co-founder of Op.N with Ali Fard, will be joining UVA School of Architecture as an Assistant Professor. Ghazal holds a B.Arch. degree from Shahid Beheshti University of Tehran, a Master of Urban Design from the University of Toronto, a Master in Design Studies in Landscape, Urbanism and Ecology and a Doctor of Design, both from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. With an interdisciplinary and cross-scalar approach to design research and practice, Ghazal’s work is situated at the convergence of infrastructural landscape, geography, and complex territorial mechanisms. Ghazal has served as a co-editor and key contributor to numerous recent titles including, New Geographies 09: Posthuman (GSD and Actar, 2017), EXTRACTION EMPIRE: Undermining the Systems, States & Scales of Canada’s Global Resource Empire(MIT Press, 2018), and IMPLOSIONS / EXPLOSIONS: Towards A Study of Planetary Urbanization (Jovis, 2014). Ghazal co-authored the multi-media project, THE MISSING 400: On the Omission of Women from the Built Environment with Pierre Belanger and Hernan Bianchi, presented in the format of an open letter to Charles Jencks, and addressing the inequalities evident in the history of architectural canon. Prior to co-founding Op.N, she has work with the Planning Alliance in Toronto on projects such as the Port Lands redevelopment and the Oyu Tolgoi new mining town masterplan in Mongolia and with Lateral Office based in Toronto, on Ice Link, Next North, among others. Together, Ali and Ghazal’s research and design practice has investigated diverse and complex territorial networks through projects such as Arctic Resource Urbanization: Urbanization Processes of Resource Extraction in the Arctic, Passive >> Performative: Productive Urban Conduits as Catalysts for Development in Montreal, Parallel Networks: New York’s 6th Borough as a Blue Network, and Infostructures: New Spatial Typologies for an Emerging Information Economy in Sub-Saharan Africa.
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