Posted on April 30th, 2016 by Nicole Sakr

Posted under: Things We Like

Adam Silverman’s new exhibit Ground Control will open next Thursday at Friedman Benda in New York. Having worked with Silverman in the past Nader has contributed to the catalogue (a portion of which is shared below) along with Brooke Hodge, deputy director of the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum. Friedman Benda is located at 515 W 26TH STREET NEW YORK NY 10001 (212) 239-8700.


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“Adam Silverman’s investment is in the process of working his process. He shows no anxiety of getting ‘there’, as his pleasure is precisely in the incertitude of the working path. Though the results may vary and even fail, his greatest moments come at the threshold of collapse. He is neither married to medium, nor to the singularity of discipline; however, he is adopting and internalizing the constraints of each to its maximum potential. As he travels from one art form to another, his ceramic orbs are akin to rolling stones, but with the luxury of gathering the moss of the varied disciplines he carries as part of his kit of intellectual tools..” – Nader Tehrani

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Posted on April 28th, 2016 by Nicole Sakr

Posted under: Events, Lectures

Facades+ is coming to Boston on June 17th at the Omni Parker House. Katie is co-chairing the conference with Ryan Salvas of CW Keller + Associates and Diana Darling of Architect’s Newspaper.

The program includes three sessions focused on current Boston issues:  The Seaport District Reconsidered, Facade and Regional Architecture, and Boston’s High Performance Skyline –which will include a presentation by Nader, Christopher O’Hara and Andrea Love. Also joining the discussions will be Richard Askin, Director of Planning and Design at WS Development, David Carlson of the BRA, Tim Love, David Nagahiro, Mark Pasnik, and Gerrar Gutierrez.

Join architects, engineers, and fabricators for this unique Boston-centric event. Register now!



designboom: Catenary Compression

Posted on April 28th, 2016 by Nicole Sakr

Posted under: Installations + Exhibitions, Press

Designboom’s Philip Stevens writes on NADAAA’s Catenary Compression.

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Posted on April 27th, 2016 by Nicole Sakr

Posted under: _Melbourne School of Design, Awards

Both the MSD and Aesop Fillmore have been shortlisted in this year’s WIN Awards! See the MSD’s competition in the workspace category here and Aesop’s competition in the retail category here.


“A very strong scheme; a really holistic and dynamic village of creativity.” – SH, juror


“… a very pure brand environment. I particularly like the simplicity of materials used in a really committed way.” -MM, juror




Posted on April 22nd, 2016 by Nicole Sakr

Posted under: Things We Like

van allen institute auction-blog-2

As part of the Van Alen Institute’s Auction of Art + Design Experiences – Nader is auctioning a two-day tour in Isfahan, to benefit The Van Alen Institute. He is joined by other architects including Rafael Moneo, Richard Rogers, Daniel Libeskind, Greg Lynn, Amale Andraos, and Winy Maas offering everything from yacht tours to dinner at The French Laundry. The tour with Nader includes 17th- century heritage sites like the Sheik Lotf Allah mosque and Naghsh-i Jahan.

Bidding will be open for only a few more days!

Also read designboom’s interview with Nader about the trip to Isfahan here.


Archaeology of the Digital part 3 – opening May 10

Posted on April 21st, 2016 by Nicole Sakr

Posted under: Installations + Exhibitions

The third and final installment of the Archaeology of the Digital series entitled “Archaeology of the Digital. Complexity and Convention” will open on May 10th and run through October 2nd at the Canadian Centre for Architecture. The exhibition demonstrates ways digital design has influenced architecture and the design process in the past decades. The exhibit is curated by Greg Lynn who shares previous installments below.

part one:

part two:

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Nader lecturing at Penn State

Posted on April 15th, 2016 by Nicole Sakr

Posted under: Lectures

Nader will lecture next week on “The Variable Bond” discussing innovative uses of masonry blocks in NADAAA’s work at  the Stuckeman School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture at Penn State University. Please join at 6:00pm on Friday April 22nd  in the Stuckeman Family Building Jury Space at 121 Stuckeman Family Building, University Park, PA.

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Van Alen Institute | Tour Persia’s Imperial Past with Nader

Posted on April 13th, 2016 by Nicole Sakr

Posted under: Events, Things We Like

van allen institute auction-blog

As part of the Van Alen Institute’s Auction of Art + Design Experiences – Nader is auctioning a two-day tour in Isfahan, to benefit Van Alen. He is joined by other architects including Rafael Moneo, Richard Rogers, Daniel Libeskind, Greg Lynn, Amale Andraos, and Winy Maas offering everything from yacht tours to dinner at The French Laundry.

Bidding will open Wednesday April 13th at noon and continue through April 27th at 5 pm EST.


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The Crush | Episode 06: Nader Tehrani on the Look and Feel of College Campuses

Posted on April 5th, 2016 by Nicole Sakr

Posted under: Academic, Press, The Cooper Union

Davin Sweeney, an admissions counselor for the University of Rochester and creator of the podcast The Crush asks Nader about what’s behind the unique “feel” of college campuses and the power of a campus’s atmosphere to either attract or repel prospective students. Listen HERE.

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The Divine Lady Z – by Katherine Faulkner

Posted on April 4th, 2016 by Katie Faulkner

Posted under: Press


It is often in loss that we come to understand the full value of something dear to us.  Such was my discovery last week when I learned that Zaha Hadid had unexpectedly died; a fact that upon penetrating my confused fog, produced a nauseous panic.  With her sudden departure, I feel strangely rudderless, as if a small hole has been exposed to be a crater.  Looking for solace among the pantheon of powerful women architects that she leaves behind … well, they are huddled together on the head of a pin.

I did not know her personally, had never worked for her, studied under her, or even visited a single one of her completed buildings.  The worldly Baghdad-born Ms. Hadid was likely intimidating from her outset, and had I met her, I would have been overcome with awe. Her pedigree was near perfect.  Born to privilege and raised with a sterling education, Zaha Hadid entered London’s Architectural Association during a particularly dynamic moment of the 70s, studying with Rem Koolhaus and Elia Zenghelis – starting her career as their employee at OMA, arguably the most influential firm of the last thirty years.   By the time I was a student in the late 1980s, Zaha Hadid was already famous for her brazen self-confidence and her deft navigation of a male-dominated profession.  There was in fact, little in her that I could emulate, yet she was with me from the beginning. She was the only woman architect we students revered, despite that she’d had almost nothing built.   All of us called her “Zaha” as if she were among us, making jokes at her expense, while admiring her untamable talent for drawing unfathomable form and inspired compositions of dizzying force.

Zaha Hadid’s building’s challenge our conventional notions of beauty and utility. In their autonomy, they seem to completely disregard their context, although ZHA director Patrick Schumacher would likely cut me down for being obtuse.  For once that professional grumpyman would be right.  Long before parametric modeling, Ms. Hadid was expounding upon the Russian Suprematists of the 1920s, such that Malevich looked simple.  Her work was marvelous, in the most literal sense, as color, movement, and depth were conveyed with the emotion of a Bacon painting, and the rigor of perfect math. Many wrote her off as a paper architect, banishing Zaha Hadid to the world of the Russian avant-garde, John Hedjuk, Lebbeus Woods and other draftsmen whose exquisite drawings we coveted even as we knew we’d leave them behind with our childish things.   The palpable force of her work however, would not be contained to mere paper. When the Vitra Fire Station opened in the early 90s, Zaha Hadid strode loudly into that Manhattan all-male social club – the Century – invited to a table reserved only for those who both ruled the Academy and saw their work built.  Alas, poor Philip, move over.

Within hours of her death, tributes and admiration flooded the internet such that her many achievements are revisited; dozens of accolades that include “Best Dressed,” “Most Powerful,” gold metals, Stirling Prizes, and the coveted Pritzker for which she will always hold the distinction as having been the first woman to have won.  Her work transcends conventional architectural practice to film, fashion, furnishings, and set design.  A favorite rumor or fact – in 1999 Zaha designed the set for the Pet Shop Boy’s Nightlife tour. (Were she and Dusty Springfield the original West End Girls?)  Zaha was no stranger to controversy.  Neither she nor any of her team were invited to the opening of the London 2012 Olympic Aquatics Center – oversight or snub?  In 2014 she was depicted as both heartless and clueless in connection with the death of hundreds of migrant workers preparing for Qatar’s 2022 World Cup and the ZHA-designed Al-wakrah Stadium.  As recently as last month, she made headlines with her indignant refusal to cede copyright of her scrapped stadium design to organizers of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.  In fact, the media critiqued her with scrutiny never inflicted upon her male peers.  Zaha was described as tempestuous – she dressed to be noticed; she was infinitely quotable.  Dig deep enough among her press clippings find she was a smoker – at least until recently.  She never married, had an enormous closet, loved jewelry, maintained her nails, dyed her hair, could be officious to wait staff, alternately mean and extraordinarily generous to her employees – a real diva.  Perhaps this treatment was intended to offer some logic, as if in painting her to be another Maria Callas, we could comprehend her extraordinary talent.  More likely however, critics and paparazzi-alike were fascinated by this rare bird of beauty, with a confounding ability to shape space beyond comprehension.

Reading the early postings, I am noticing pattern. “She was more than just a female architect!” her admirers proclaim, admonishing us not to remember Zaha Hadid as a great woman, but rather as a great architect.  That her legacy be protected from the inferior label of “greatest female” anything should not come as a surprise.  Whenever there is a list of most successful/powerful/influential women, at least one in the crowd will say “thanks, but I do not think of myself as a powerful woman.”  Amy Schumer becomes indignant when labeled a female comedienne (would anyone call Stephen Colbert a male comedian??), although her best material comes from the stereotypes and social norms that confine her gender.  Women want to believe they occupy the same meritocracy as men, and the women who achieve success in their male-dominated fields should be entitled to a pride in their hard work and talent. Nonetheless, whenever I hear a female colleague say she is immune to gender bias, I want to know where to get a ticket for that space shuttle – now there’s is a planet I’ve never been to. Lots of women practice in the field of architectural design – lots of women hold influential positions in schools of architecture, but very very few women ever claimed a seat at the table of the Century Club. Those seats were reserved for powerful professionals, with the ability to shape trends, shift opinion, and maintain their relevance within architectural discourse.

With her passing, Zaha Hadid gives women unanticipated (for which I’d gladly have waited decades more) gifts.  She reminds us that architecture is indeed an art; that in order to bring that art to life, one might have to sacrifice personal popularity, endure withering criticism, and expose femininity to ridicule. Zaha demonstrated that we are limited only by ourselves; that architecture’s relevance can extend far beyond conventional practice.  Above all, she exposed herself as alone on an admittedly small podium, as a singular woman among the world’s most formidable architects.  We can argue endlessly about other women, successful in their own right with bright futures, already recognized and imitated for their work.  Yet for a certain generation of architects – mine – the departure of Zaha Hadid exposes that things really are as imbalanced as they seem; that we have fallen short of the required combination of talent, endurance, and sheer bravado required for a seat at that powerful table.

image above by Nicole Sakr, adapted from a photo by the Knight Foundation

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