Improving Lives Through Architecture:
MAF Scholarship Recipient
Tamzid Jaigirdar


Tamzid Jaigirdar’s love for architecture started by seeing the impact it can have on people’s lives. “Growing up, I’ve been lucky to explore many distinct kinds of cities and witness the effects of them firsthand,” he said.

“Whether it was the walkable streets of New York or the chaotic beauty of Dhaka, the built environment provides the stage for life. In that way, I view the architect as someone who could make the lives of those they serve better, and I have made a conscious effort in all my recent work to design spaces that improve and enhance the lives of those who occupy them.”

A graduate student at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Architecture and Community Development (UDM SACD), Tamzid is the 2022 recipient of the HED Alvin Ernest Harley AIAS Graduate Scholarship.  His active participation in the AIAS chapter and strong commitment to a career in the profession, along with his outstanding work portfolio, made Tamzid a natural choice for the scholarship.

“Receiving the 2022 HED Alvin Ernest Harley AIAS Graduate Scholarship was not only a huge honor, but it also helped alleviate some of the financial concerns I had heading into Fall semester. I am grateful for the recognition and the support the scholarship provided.”  (Tamzid started the fourth year of his program this Fall).

As part of the MAF scholarship application, students must include a personal statement describing their interest, experience, and plans related to architecture, along with information on their leadership and extracurricular activities. “in my application, I spoke about competitions I have entered, which present a great opportunity to be bold and try out new things,” said Tamzid. “I am excited to start the next one, whatever it will be. I also currently serve as the AIAS Vice-President for UDM SACD and have held this position since Fall semester 2021. During my leadership, we revived the club which had collapsed during Covid. We also took the opportunity to redesign the club to better fit the needs of our students.”

He continues, “I also reacquainted myself with an old hobby, photography, while studying abroad.” (Tamzid studied in Italy for the entirety of last summer). “Viewing your surroundings as art forces you to pay a higher level of attention to the world and I can already see how this hobby has improved my design skills as well. “

Tamzid appreciates that sharpening his artistic abilities has positively impacted his design skills, but acknowledges that architecture is a more structured profession. “Architects do not have total freedom, as they are contained by the needs of client, site, user, function, and a multitude of other factors. Finding ways to address these issues in an attractive package is what makes the design of architecture challenging.”

Tamzid is also enjoying the deep community engagement UDM’s SACD has to offer, and said many of the design works being created by professors as well as architecture students are being implemented to create change in neighborhoods.

While Tamzid has enjoyed every project type he has designed so far, if he had to choose a favorite, it would be public or institutional buildings. “I enjoy designing with multiple kinds of people in mind, and these typologies often offer more interesting and rewarding opportunities both professionally and to suit their needs.”

Michigan Architectural Foundation’s mission is to advance awareness of how architecture enriches life. How does Tamzid think architecture enriches life? “Architecture at its best enriches the activities of those who experience it – for example, a good house enhances and brings joy to its occupants.”

photos, top to bottom: Tamzid; a render done by Tamzid for a competition; Tamzid, studying abroad in Italy this past Summer; an example of Tamzid’s work