Niknaz Aftahi

LEED AP BD+C, Designer

Niknaz received her bachelor degree in architecture in Iran, moved to the U.S. in 2010, got into UC Berkeley’s master of architecture program, and graduated with distinction in 2014. She loves teamwork, designing, teaching, learning about technology, doing research, and getting to know different countries and cultures. She is pursuing architecture licensure in California, learning about computational design, and teaches design in her free time. She is the director of the Design Technology Committee at ELS.

Idea Competitions

University of California, Berkeley, M.Arch. Bahai Institute for Higher Education, B.A. in Architecture.

started at ELS


cities you’ve lived in

I have lived in Tehran, Vienna, San Diego, and Berkeley and I have never been homesick for one single day! People have more similarities than differences all over the world. My favorite city is Tehran.


The Salk Institute in San Diego, Temple of Light in Chile, and the Broad Museum in LA.


Nature, prisoners of conscience in Iran and self-made entrepreneurs


Teaching architecture online to Baha’i students in Iran who don’t have access to education

secret talent

Improvising new dishes

most proud of

Introducing my undergraduate degree in architecture (which is not official in Iran due to religious persecution) to UC Berkeley

personal motto

Fewness of words and abundance of deeds