Masoud Akbarzadeh, who in June 2011 received an M. Arch degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is the 2011 Recipient of the Foundation’s $20,000 Research and Travel Fellowship. Prior to entering graduate school at MIT, Masoud pursued an honors program in Civil Engineering at Iran University of Science and Technology, IUST, from which he received his Master of Science in Earthquake Engineering and Dynamics of Structures degree in 2007.
Masoud’s Masters Thesis has provided the first step to further study on his research topic, “Hydro Power Cities: Generative Form Potentials of River Hydrology and Urbanization“. Masoud’s research proposal is based on a cultural and technical moment of infrastructure transition that is taking place globally as water becomes increasingly more valuable. Modern hydropower megaprojects have caused widespread social, cultural and environmental damage. Masoud’s research will explore new relationships between traditional water-based infrastructure and emergent urban form along river way sites in China, Brazil and Africa. His work will focus on the creation of multiple smaller scale hydro power stations which support local environments and populations through the design of new forms of urbanism and energy extraction in a living river system.
In September 2011 through June 2012, Masoud will continue his studies at MIT, with the intent to earn a Master of Science in Architectural Design degree in Computation and study computational aspects of Hydropower Cities design. Masoud’s professional plans include teaching and establishing a professional practice that focuses on the design issues of transformative large scale infrastructure.