Graduate Scholar Recipients

Robert Anderson Ina Graur
Onur Cobanli Phillipa Marsh
Ali Tavakoli Dinani Solmaz Sadeghi
Michael Elwell Melissa Santana
Vincent Gélinas-Lemaire

Graduate Scholar Winners

Robert Anderson
Robert received his undergraduate degree in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Kansas in the Fall of 2007. After a year of undergraduate geography requirements, he was accepted to the Geography masters program at KU in the spring of 2009. That fall, Johannes J. Feddema, a climatologist at the University of Kansas, hired him to research the future distribution of emerging urban planning, architectural styles and building materials. The research from this work will be used to better calibrate climate models run at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). While the effects of urban morphology and building materials on the microclimates of urban areas took up one major line of his research, Robert also explored the future of electronic devices, energy production and various energy-use prediction models in his ancillary data, leading to his geographical deconstruction of various energy-use moralities. In his future research, he plans on contributing to a cybernetic argument about the built environment and human habitation.

Onur Cobanli
Onur Cobanli is working towards a PhD in Advanced Design Research at Politecnico di Milano in Milan, Italy. He comes from an economics background, and is currently working on issues that bridge economics and design in fundamental ways, such as utility theory, theory of choice, standardization, specialization, and measurement of design quality. His thesis is about Design Competitions and how Design Competitions could lead to new system innovation.

Ali Tavakoli Dinani
Ali Tavakoli Dinani is an architect and researcher. He received his MA from the Faculty of Art & Architecture at Azad University Central Tehran Campus, Iran and is currently pursuing a PhD of Architecture at the Science and Research University in Tehran, Iran.

A.T.Dinani is a lecturer in the Architectural Design Course at Azad University Central Tehran and Sooreh University since 2008 and is also a supervisor for BA students of architecture and interior design. He also participated in the Visiting Teachers’ Programme at the Architectural Association, London in 2010.

He has collaborated with prominent architectural companies in Iran since 2003 as a designer and project manager, and he is also co-founder of Inter-Esse Studio, a design and research studio which is focused on using design research to devise new design solutions and concepts founded on Iranian Historical Architecture.

His research interests include architectural theory, design and practice, design processes, teaching methods, contemporary art & architecture, Iranian historic and vernacular architecture and research by design.

Michael Elwell
Michael Elwell graduated Bachelor of Fine Arts in Industrial Design from the University of Notre Dame in 2005. He was then employed at Coachmen Recreational Vehicles, Radio Flyer, and the design firm Process4. He is currently pursuing his Master of Fine Arts in Industrial Design degree at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

A former IDSA Merit Award winner, Michael has also won third place in the International Housewares Association Student Design Competition for his product “Magnificare,” a prescription pill container opener and label magnifier. The product is now licensed to Jokari, Inc. as “Medi-Grip,” won Best in Category at the 2010 Housewares Design Awards, and was named an Honoree in the 2009 Design Defined product design recognition.

Vincent Gélinas-Lemaire
Vincent Gélinas-Lemaire, was born January 17, 1986 in Montréal, Canada. He first studied architectural design for two years at the Université de Montréal. He acquired a certificate in creative writing at the Université du Québec à Montréal and a Master’s degree in French Literatures (U. de M.) with a thesis titled Archéologies, suivi de Constructions et déconstruction de la totalité chez Perec, Bon et Ponge. He recently began a PhD in Romance Languages and Literatures (French track) at Harvard University in Massachusetts. His first interest is the study of the mechanisms and roles of space in literature. His doctoral thesis will aim to use in parallel the analytical theories of both written and built spaces to allow new readings of canonical modern and contemporary novels.

Ina Graur
Currently, Ina Graur is an interior designer at Casteco SRL company of constructions in Chisinau, Moldova. She graduated from the Technical University of Moldova as a Licentiate Engineer in the field of education Architecture and Constructions and field of training Architecture and Urban Planning with a specialty in Interior Design. She has worked as an interior designer for three years, and as a student she was employed at the Supraten company.

Phillipa Marsh
Phillipa Marsh is currently researching for a PhD in Architecture at the University of Nottingham, considering the influence of technology on the design practice of sustainable housing. She also teaches widely as Senior Lecturer for Interior Architecture as well as in Marketing; teaching design concepts for the Nottingham Business School at Nottingham Trent University. She completed a Masters degree in Research Methods in 2004 that focused on craftsmanship, creativity and the construction of making. Her previous industry experience is as an interior designer within architectural practice and as a product designer, as well as previously teaching design theory in Furniture and Product Design disciplines.

Solmaz Sadeghi
Solmaz Sadeghi is an architect and researcher. She received her master of architecture from the Faculty of Art & Architecture, Azad University Central Tehran Campus, Iran in 2006. Her master thesis is about A Practice Method in Design in the name of Inter-Esse (by Designing of The Institute of Physics and Mathematics Campus in Iran). She is now pursuing a PhD of Architectural Design at Azad University, Tehran, Iran since 2009.

After graduating with her MA she worked as a designer and manager of national projects within the field of Iranian contemporary architecture. In addition to her studies and research, she also is a teaching assistant and lecturer of Architectural Design at Azad University Central in Tehran since 2002.

Solmaz is co-founder of Inter-Esse Studio, a design and research studio which is focused on using design research to devise new design solutions and concepts founded on Iranian Historical Architecture.

Melissa Santana
Melissa earned her BA in Interior Design from Michigan State University. After working several years at small residential design firms, she made the decision to continue on with her education and earn an MFA in design. She was accepted to the University of Central Oklahoma in the spring of 2009 where she is currently attending and teaching design foundation and interior design classes. The focus of most of her research is on historic preservation, particularly in Havana, Cuba. Melissa was awarded a research grant in the fall of 2010 which funded her most recent trip to Cuba over the winter break. Currently she is working on her thesis which deals with the social implications of historic preservation in Old Havana. In her free time she likes to spend time with her husband and travel as much as possible.