Human-centered design guides new interior architecture professor Mohammad Dastmalchi's teaching and research

The University of Kansas School of Architecture & Design has boosted its digital design capabilities with the addition of Mohammad Dastmalchi, who joined KU in the spring 2022 semester as assistant professor of interior architecture.  

Dastmalchi earned his Bachelor’s degree in interior design from Ajman University of Science and Technology in United Arab Emirates. He then earned a Master’s degree in design pedagogy from the University of North Texas. He earned his PhD in Design with Digital Media from the University of Missouri. Before joining KU, he taught different levels of interior and architecture studios, as well as various digital design communication courses at the University of Missouri. He has over 8 years of teaching experience in multiple CIDA-accredited Interior Design programs.  

As a designer, Dastmalchi’s work has spanned the globe with projects in Iran, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States. He has collaborated with teams of different sizes to design and build commercial and educational projects. With over seven years of research experience working on many interdisciplinary funded projects, his research focuses on collaborative design thinking and how emerging technologies like Virtual Reality (VR) can influence design communication and process. In his latest study, Dastmalchi is investigating the role of virtual embodiment on spatial comprehension. 

Dastmalchi teaches the final interior architecture studio at KU, where his design pedagogy relies on empathic communication. His goal is to cultivate students’ creativity through the principles of human-centered design. By utilizing technologies such as VR systems, he helps students effectively evaluate their ideas and “see” their designs from the perspective of the end-users. 

“We cannot be more thrilled to have Dr. Dastmalchi join us in the Interior Architecture program in the School of Architecture & Design,” said Director of Interior Architecture Nisha Fernando. “He brings strong teaching experience and research expertise to educate our students in a variety of ways, including cutting edge VR technology. From day one, he has been a wonderful team member with great contributions to teaching, research, and service in our program as well as in the school.”