Stuckeman Architecture Graduate Student Named to Metropolis Future100


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Meisam Dadfarmay, a master of architecture student in the College of Arts and Architecture’s Stuckeman School who will graduate from Penn State in August, has been named one of the top 100 architecture graduate students in the United States and Canada by Metropolis magazine. The Future100 Architecture Graduate Winners list recognizes the top graduate students of the class of 2024 as determined by the Metropolis team.

“Meisam’s design [style] demonstrates a fusion of creativity, functionality and performance,” said Rahman Azari, associate professor of architecture and Dadfarmay’s nominator for the Metropolis honor. “His projects reflect a keen understanding of spatial dynamics and transform concepts into tangible spaces that meet programmatical requirements and evoke a sense of inspiration.”

Originally from Ardebil, Iran, Dadfarmay earned his bachelor of architecture at Marlik Higher Education Institute in Iran in 2010. He went on to open his own boutique design office with 20 staff members in Tehran, Iran, in 2014. Due to economic challenges affecting small offices, particularly in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, he made the difficult decision to close the office in 2022.

He then turned his attention back to his studies and said he came to Penn State to study architecture because “of the University’s reputation for high-level instruction and distinguished faculty members.”

“The blend of theoretical knowledge and practical application offered by the instructors aligns with my professional goals in architecture,” he said.

As a designer, Dadfarmay said he tries to find and address the challenges of each project, on large and small scales — such as environmental concerns and contextual factors, or the project itself, and “let these guide my design process and solutions.”

His thesis project, “Dream House,” was a project he designed for himself as an architect and resulted in an honorable mention for the Department of Architecture’s 2024 Haider Award for Design Excellence in Graduate Studies.

“It is a proposal for vertical city growth in Tokyo, which is a dialogue with my precedent project which was ‘Tower House,’ designed by Takamitsu Azuma in 1966. Tower House, a project designed for architecture itself, is located close to my thesis project site, and both are situated in on tiny sites,” Dadfarmay said. “The structure stands as a testament to distance, a medium through which the city’s pulse is both felt and muffled, allowing one to float just out of reach, yet forever within sight of the tangled lives below.”

Dadfarmy interned with Azuma Architect & Associates in Tokyo last summer, which sparked an interest in Japan’s architectural landscape that he hopes to explore further during his career. Following his graduation from Penn State in August 2024, he hopes to secure a job with a highly regarded design firm in the hopes of eventually re-opening his own office in the United States or Japan.

“The blend of theoretical knowledge and practical application offered by Penn State has enhanced my portfolio, positioning me well to pursue opportunities with reputable firms moving forward,” Dadfarmy said. “Working for such firms will not only allow me to evaluate my expertise in design but also provide invaluable insights into the industry and ultimately prepare me to reopen my own design firm.”

The complete list of Future100 Architecture Graduate Winners can be found on the Metropolis website.