22 Questions: M. Ali Navidbakhsh

I apologize for the delay of this post. Architecture happened.

Carleton University, Building 22, 11:00 pm, 2nd year studio.

I could bet you’ve been wondering the reason why we suddenly have a new pool table in building 22, or maybe you’ve been wanting to thank the person that made it possible to toast your bread at the Hub. Well, I’m currently about to interview the master mind behind it all. Ali is one of building 22’s newest acquisitions but I can already see a bright future ahead of him (accompanied by several sleepless nights and tons of caffeine of course, just the essentials.



Andrea Chiney: So Ali, Why architecture?

Ali Navidbakhsh: Why? is kinda funny. I was web surfing in 2004, cuz I’ve got a blog … i just post stuff that I find online, and i got to the Norman Foster in Paris website and there were job postings.They were looking for architects and there were positions available in New York and other cities … so I said, Oh My God! Architecture! and that was it, I got interested! At the time I couldn’t apply because I was already enrolled in civil engineering and technology, so I didn’t want to quit and I waited to finish that.

AC: So you already have a civil engineering and technology degree …?

AN: Yeah, I did it at Seneca College in Toronto. I didn’t want to quit even though it got harder. After that it took me a while to get into Carleton, I didn’t have an art background so I didn’t have a portfolio.

AC: So did you take art lessons?

AN: No, the first time I touched a pencil I started doing a portfolio. I did it by looking at artists works, and reading books and YouTube – ing. How to sketch, how to render, how to do the shading, how to do perspective … all YouTube.

AC: How are you liking the program so far ?

AN: Yeah, I love it. I live in the studio. I’ve got all zeroes so far, except for my self portrait … I got a 5 surprisingly. But still I like it, I have to like it!

AC: Did you live in Canada your whole life?

AN: I came here in 2004. It was kinda tough for me here, because everything I was doing I had to do ESL. I had to repeat some years of High School too. That’s probably why I didn’t do any art, because I was busy learning English and other stuff just to get my diploma right?

AC: Whats your favorite dance move ?

AN: Is there names for dance moves? I don’t know!

AC: You could just show me …

AN: No, I don’t dance. I’d rather run, play soccer. I don’t watch soccer, play soccer. I have a soccer ball at my desk and we kick ball now and then at studio.

AC: How do you get your hair to look so luscious and full of volume ?

AN: hahaha, to be honest I do’t do anything. I don’t even own a mirror at home. So, I take a shower at night … this is the process: take a shower at night, dry your hair with a towel – you don’t use a blow drier or whatever- and then go to bed, wake up in the morning, get dressed and just don’t touch your hair, don’t touch it. That’s what it is ( points at his hair and smile)

AC: hahaha, Perfect! next question, When was the last time you got a haircut?

AN: to be honest, my brother cuts it. For the past 15 years he’s been cutting my hair. So, last time was hm … summer.

AC: What shampoo do you use?

AN: Oh … I use the cheapest shampoo I could find in the shelfs. The one that’s more water than actual soap.

AC: What’s your favorite kind of tea ?

AN: Black tea, persian tea. My own personal mix, teapot for life! tea bags are just dust.

AC: Apparently you are very famous for your food. What’s with that ?

AN: I make my own food, I buy ingredients and make it. I like everything fresh. I store them in the fridges, lots of room in the fourth year one!

AC: What are the essential ingredients for you ?

AN: It’s all about the cheese and the bread. I buy my bread at a Jewish shop bakery on bank, its the best. And, Friliano cheese.

AC: What’s your special talent ?

AN: I can talk, lots. To any group age, I can blend in with any age group. I can talk.

AC: How you ever made food that doesn’t taste delicious?

AN: Yeah … craft dinner. I can’t make it, I don’t like it. Too cheesy.

AC: So, you can speak cockroach? How did that happen ?

AN: we were at studio the other day making animal noises and someone asked me if I can make cockroaches sounds, so i just wanted to make something up so I paused and did this – he stares blankly ahead of him for a second – and that was it. That’s cockroach.

AC: How are you liking drawing?

AN: I like Fai, I like the fact that he is so much into drawing but also does those crazy computer modeling stuff. It’s cool.

AC: Toaster, Oven, Punching bag, what’s next ?

AN: I don’t know, maybe something more personal. I need another locker so maybe that, I need more space!

AC: What do you do in your spare time?

AN: I guess I don’t have spare time anymore, but we kick ball. I like playing soccer remember ?

AC: How many maroon pieces of clothing do you have ?

AN: (Laughs) not too many maybe 3 or 4 ? I like maroon, it’s a good color.

AC: How long did it take to grow that beard ?

AN: 1-2 months maybe ?

AC: If you could save any planet (except earth) from alien invasion which would it be ?

AN: Planets? I would save the sun, does that count ?

AC: haha, sure why not. What would you do for a Klondike bar ?

AN: what ? What’s a Kondike bar ? ( He googles it) Oh, nothing. I’ve never had one.

AC: Cool thanks! That was great.

That’s all kids, you know what to do next time you see Ali, get him a Klondike bar and ask him for a sandwich in return.

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3 responses to “22 Questions: M. Ali Navidbakhsh

  1. Next can you interview Tim Birchard in 4rth year? He is super intense and really in love with tensile structures.
    If not Tim Birchard then Steph ‘Duke’ Bolduc, he won an award for the bench in the hub.

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