Ali Heshmati

Ali Heshmati's picture
Founding Member

Ali Heshmati received his professional degree with the highest distinction from the College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture at the University of Minnesota. As an architect with more than 24 years experience in architecture, public art, and fine arts, Ali has worked on numerous large-scale award-winning projects. His architectural work during the last two decades has focused on cultural and public arenas. Mr. Heshmati has taught as an adjunct assistant professor at the Department of Architecture of the University of Minnesota From 1996. In 2002 he joined Fabric Architecture magazine as a contributing editor. 

Heshmati is a founding partner at Laboratory for Environments, Architecture, and Design a collaborative inter-disciplinary firm with studios in USA and Norway. LEADinc, pronounced like 'led', is a progressive design laboratory whose guiding principle is the idea that creative architecture is rooted in the process of research, discovery and critique of existing conventions. Consistent with LEADinc’s vision, Heshmati’s practice, teaching, research, and writing focuses on the role of building methods, technologies, materials, natural and built environments in the formation of design objects. Through his work, he explores the effects of building activity on the natural, and built environments.

since the late 80's with a background in fine arts, he has been exploring the juncture between art and architecture. The consideration of human body and culture in the public theater, and architecture as the stage for this theater, has been the focal point of Heshmati's professional and collaborative work. Ali Heshmati has received numerous awards of excellence, grants, Scholarships and fellowships for his design work.



University of Minnesota

College of Architectureand Landscape Architecture

First Professional Degree, BArch, with Distinction 


Tehran Academy of Fine Arts

Three years program in Persian Fine arts: Miniature

Painting, Qajar Painting, Illumination, and Watercolor


Academic Experience              

Adjunct Assistant Professor, Architecture Department, University of Minnesota, 2013-2014

Visiting Studio Instructor, Bergen Architecture School, January, 2006

Adjunct Assistant Professor, Architecture Department, University of Minnesota, 1996-2004

Undergraduate Studio Coordinator, 5282, 2001-2002

Presenter, ARCC/EAAE Conference “Research and Education” Teaching how to learn, 2002

Co-presenter, Undergraduate Faculty Seminar, 1999

Intern Development Program Coordinator, Architecture Department,University of Minnesota 98-02

Architecture Instructor, Minnesota Institute for Talented Youth, 1998-2000

Guest Critic, Architecture Department, University of Minnesota, 1993-1996

Co-Teacher, Continuing Scholar Program 1995


Professional Experience          

Registered Architect, State of Minnesota license number 42835

Sivilarkitekt, Norway

Founder and President, Laboratory for Environments,

Architecture and Design Inc. 2001-Present

Contributing Editor, Fabric Architecture magazine 2002-Pressent

Co-founder and Partner, CONstruct Architects, Inc. 1996-2001

Designer, Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle 1992-1996

Co-founder, Studio CONstruct, 1994


Exhibitions + Presentations      

REFLEKS Symposium, Art in Public Realm, Presentation and lecture on our design process regarding Hetervig Observatory, Feb, 2010.

Health and Aesthetic, The Work Environment, Lecture presentation at Valen Mental Health Hospital, May 2006

Aesthetic of Health, Healthy Aesthetic, lecture presentation atUniversity ofBergen on Design and health of the built environment, March 2006

Architecture Research Centers Consortium and European Association for Architectural Education, Lecture Presentation at the Symposium: Research and Architectural Education, School of Architecture, McGill University, Montreal, Canada, May 2002

Frozen Tears, a public art presentation in the memory of lost lives regarding September 11, 2001, 2003

Recent Work, presentation to Studio Arts program atMcalesterCollege, 2002

Islamic Architecture of Iran, lecture presentation to the American Association of University Women, 2001

Recent Work, presentation to Studio Arts program atMcalesterCollege, 2001

Selected Work, CONstruct Architects, Inc. 1999, CALA Faculty Exhibit,University ofMinnesota

Little Lots Competition Entry, 1999,Plymouth Church, Minneapolis

The Vault, an Architectural Performance, 1994, Southern Theater, Minneapolis



Fabric Architecture, “Tensioned Fabric Structure Brings Performance and Sculpture Together”, Dar Luz, February, 2010

Bauen Mit Holz, “Wood, Fabric, Light and Sound”, Dar Luz, May, 2009

Fabric Architecture, “Interactive Installation Lights Up Eindhoven”, Dar Luz, March, 2009

Mondo arc, “Rhythm of the night”, Tempo, Apr/May, 2008

Byggeindustrien, ”Landemerke på Husnes”, Apr, 2008

Fabric Architecture, Tempo, Nov/Dec, 2007

Byggaktuelt, “Verdig vinner”, 12. 2007

Architecture Minnesota, “Whirlwind Romance”, Mar/Apr, 2007

Public Art Review, Tempo, Fall/Winter, 2006

Fabric Architecture, “Norwegian Fabric” July-August, 2006

The Magic of Tents Transforming Space, By Alejandro Bahamon, featuring Art of Chiropractic, published by Loft and HBI in 2004

Byggaktuelt, “Genial Skillevegg” No. ½ 2004

Architecture Minnesota, “Fabric Art” September-October 2002Architecture, “While the computer industry keeps our profession” August 2003

Fabric Architecture, “Faith In Design” March-April 2002

Fabric Architecture, “Snowbound” July-August 2001

Architecture Minnesota, “New Houses” May-June 2001

Architecture Minnesota, “Architectural Families” July-August 2000, Two Articles

Architecture Minnesota, “Growing Architecture Firms” July-August 1999

Architecture Minnesota, “New Residential Design” May-June 1999

Architecture Minnesota, “drawing board” March-April 1995




Art and Culture SchoolHusnes, Norway

Ambiente GallerieMinneapolis, MN, U.S.A.

Lars Hertervig ObservatoryBorgøy, Norway

Tysværvåg Kindergarten, Tysværvåg, Norway

Fjellhaug KindergartenFrakkagjerdet, Norway

Aksdal KindergartenAksdal, Norway

TempoPublic Art Installation, Husnes, Norway

Gausel, Private residence, Stavanger, Norway

Søljehauge, Private residence, Rosendal, Norway

Galleri G. Guddal, Gallery and coffee shop, Rosendal, Norway

Foundry offices, Sør-Norge Aluminium AS, Office Interior/Work Landscape, Husnes, Norway

Blokkebærhauge, Private residence, Sunde, Norway

Patrick’s Cabaret, Minneapolis, Minnesota




2009 International Achievement Award, IFAI, Outstanding Achievement Award, Dar Luz, Public Art Installation, GLOW 2008, Eindhoven, Netherlands

2009 AIA Minnesota Young Architects Award

2009 AIA National Small Project Honor Award, Dar Luz, Public Art, GLOW 2008, Eindhoven, Netherlands

2008 First Place, National Competition, Kvinnherad Kulturskulesenter, Cultural school, Husnes, Norway

2008 Nordisk Lyspris competition, Tempo, Public Art Installation, Husnes, Kvinnherad, Norway

2008 AIA National Small Project Honor Award, Tempo, Public Art Installation, Husnes, Norway

2007 Norsk Lyspris, Tempo, Public Art Installation, Husnes, Kvinnherad, Norway

2007 International Achievement Award, IFAI, Award of Excellence, Tempo, Public Art Installation, Husnes, Norway

2006 AIAMinnesota Honor Award, Tempo, Public Art Installation, Husnes, Kvinnherad, Norway

2004 AIA Minnesota, Minneapolis Merit Award, Art of Chiropractic Clinic and Gallery, Minneapolis, Minnesota

2003 AIA Minnesota Honor Award, Art of Chiropractic Clinic and Gallery, Minneapolis, Minnesota 

2002 Voted one of the Most Influential Professor and Course, Undergraduate Students, University of Minnesota 

2002 First Place, National Competition, Wildwood Pedestrian Bridge, Wildwood, Missouri

2001 AIAMinnesota Honor Award, 21320 Renovation, Nebel Residence, Excelsior,Minnesota

2000 Metal Architecture, Design Awards, Honorable Mention, BankVista Financial Center, Sartell, Minnesota

2000 Merit Winner for Awards of Excellence in Construction competition, BankVista Financial Center, Sartell,Minnesota, Associated Builders and Contractors Minnesota Chapter

2000 Associated Builders and Contractors Minnesota Chapter Merit Winner for Lighting Design, BankVista Financial Center, Sartell, Minnesota

2000 Merit Winner for Awards of Excellence in Construction competition, BankVista Financial Center, Sartell, Minnesota Associated Builders and Contractors National 

1998 Outstanding Land Development Award, Montgomery County Planning Commission, SEI Investment Corporate Headquarters (Designed while with MS&R)   

1998 Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Award for Restoration and New Addition, Hosmer Community Library (Designed while with MS&R)

1998 American Galvanizers Association, Excellence in Hot Dip Galvanizing Award, Chanhassen Pedestrian Bridge (Designed while with MS&R)

1998 City Pages “Best of the Twin Cities” Best Public Works Project, Chanhassen Pedestrian Bridge (Designed while with MS&R)

1997 AIAMinnesota Honor Award:Chanhassen Pedestrian Bridge (Designed while with MS&R)

1997 Runner Up, Rapson Travel Fellowship, Design Competition

1997 Associated Builders and Contractors Award of Excellence, SEI Investment Corporate Headquarters (Designed while with MS&R)

1997 Minneapolis Committee on Urban Environment (CUE) Award, Hosmer Community Library (Designed while with MS&R)

1996 Minneapolis Committee on Urban Environment (CUE) Award, New French Kitchen (Designed while with MS&R)

1995 Travel Study Fellowship, The Jerome Foundation

1994 Intermedia ArtsMinnesota, Divers Vision Grant, Interdisciplinary Project: Architecture and Theater (Collaboration with Jennifer Yoos, Kristin Froebel & Mary Ludington)

1993 Forecast, Public Art Affairs Project Award

1992 CALA Thesis Honor Award

1991-92 AIA, AAF HenryAdams Medal and Certificate to the Top Graduating Student

1991 First Runner Up,Evanston Public Library Competition, (Design with Harrison Fraker, FAIA)

1990-91 Ellerbe Foundation Fellowship

1989 Third Prize, Minnegasco Design Competition

1989 First Prize, Precast Concrete Competition

1988-89 AIA Merit Scholarship, National Competition

1988 Undergraduate ResearchOpportunity Program Scholarship Award

1988 First Prize, Sound Machine Design Competition