Member Profile: Robabeh Sarvi, Assoc. AIA
My career as an architect is related to my early childhood experiences and travels. I always loved the trips I would take with my parents and siblings. Each summer we would journey to a new place. My father loved driving and long trips, taking me and my other five siblings to show us different towns and villages and sometimes other countries. I was a very curious child. As I grew older my interest in exploring expanded. I wanted to see and learn more. I visited Germany, Russia and Turkey which wasn’t too far from my home town in Iran. The path led me from Tehran, where I was born and raised, to continue my education in Dubai. I was moved by the new architecture and technology that was being developed there. It all looked surreal and it motivated me to pursue my design education. Ultimately, art and design are a part of my life that has been present through all of my travels; It has never left me. From magnificent ruins of Persepolis to Istanbul and Moscow with their colorful tiles and details, to the twisting forms of the towers in Dubai, it has all inspired me.
After graduating in 2007 with a BFA in interior architecture from the American University in Dubai, I worked as an intern and had a few interior projects on my own. But I always felt that something was missing. I was excited by the work I saw being done by Zaha Hadid, Frank Gehry and Thom Mayne. They designed comprehensive projects and total experiences. I was drawn to a more complete vision of space and form and realized that architecture could provide that. I wanted to be an architect. I applied to AAU in San Francisco in 2009, and while it was a big leap to make, being so far from family, my father encouraged me to pursue my dreams. After two years of working through the challenges of a new country, a new culture and a new language, I had my Masters in Architecture. I worked as a designer and last year, I founded ROBABEH, my design and development studio. Having a studio has given me the opportunity to participate in amazing work and I’m where I always wanted to be. I believe that design and architecture can change the way people live and work and make a better place for people of all race, classes and beliefs. I hope my work will accomplish these objectives in time.