Texas Tech University

Interior and Environmental Design Alumnus Inspires the Next Generation of Designers

Breck Gavin

April 24, 2024

Hessam Ghamari

Hessam Ghamari uses his depth of knowledge to advance research and educate students on the impact of design

Hessam Ghamari began his education at the Iran University of Science and Technology in Tehran, Iran, where he received his bachelor's and master's degrees in architecture. From there, Ghamari came to Texas Tech, where he received his second master's degree and his doctorate in interior and environmental design.

Today, Ghamari is a leader in the environmental design field and shares his expertise with his students as an associate professor at California State University Northridge. Among many career accomplishments, Ghamari was recently honored as a 2024-2025 Fulbright U.S. Scholar, a highly competitive and esteemed national fellowship that provides unique opportunities for scholars to teach and conduct research abroad.

Ghamari also holds significant leadership positions in the field. He serves as the Director of Strategic Initiatives and is a board member of the Interior Design Educators Council (IDEC). Additionally, he holds the role of Director of Academy Awards and is a board member at the International Academy of Design and Health (IADH), demonstrating his commitment to advancing education and industry recognition within interior design.

When deciding to attend Texas Tech University, Ghamari says there are several reasons that the Department of Design stood out to him as being a place that could provide a high-quality, multi-faceted education. Among these reasons include the multidisciplinary research focus, esteemed faculty leadership, including former Department of Design chair Cherif Amor, current chair Kristi Gaines, Sharran Parkinson, Michelle Pearson, and several opportunities to collaborate across disciplines.

He also highlights his observation of a learning environment that would support him in a well-rounded way.

“The supportive and constructive environment cultivated a sense of camaraderie and collaboration, allowing me to forge strong connections with my peers,” Ghamari said. “This collaborative spirit not only enhanced the academic experience but also contributed to my personal and professional growth.”

Ghamari's industry experience and scholarly research primarily focus on evidence–based healthcare design. He credits his educational experiences to his knowledge of the field and his mindset of interior design's greater impact. He uses this mindset daily to educate his students in the classroom.

“I have been able to educate my students about the critical decisions required to create environments that promote health, wellbeing, and functionality while meeting the needs of occupants.”

Looking to the future, Ghamari hopes to accomplish several goals. He aims to focus on tackling industry challenges by conducting more insightful research. Currently, Ghamari is working on securing external funding for research that explores the impact of human-centric lighting on wayfinding behavior among individuals with mild cognitive impairments. He also aims to continue empowering the next generation of interior designers to make a difference in the lives of people and communities around the world.

“I am dedicated to educating students to become sensitive and equity-minded designers,” Ghamari said. “This involves instilling in them a deep understanding of the social and cultural implications of design decisions and empowering them to create spaces that promote social justice and equality.”