Parsa Aghaei
Product Designer
About me

Hi, I’m Parsa. From Tehran to Chicago, my journey as a designer has been fueled by pushing boundaries. I've honed my experience design, research, architecture, and photography skills, bringing a unique perspective to design challenges.
I've exceeded client expectations on hundreds of projects worldwide. I thrive in fast-paced studios, managing tight deadlines and multiple projects. My greatest satisfaction comes from solving complex design problems to improve the daily lives of humans.
I enjoy discussing art, design, and music in my free time. I live in Chicago with my cat, where we cuddle and watch TV shows at night and he is also my biggest fan of guitar playing.
Scroll to read the story of how I became who I am.


Tehran's Symphony and a Pixelated Playground

The honking symphony of Tehran's rush hour was a constant in my childhood. I'd grip my mom's hand tightly, mesmerized by the towering buildings and the blur of activity.  The city pulsed with an energy that mirrored my own growing curiosity.
I learned how to work with Microsoft Office apps around the age of 5 and learned basics of Adobe Photoshop from him when I had just started elementary school at the age of 7. I still remember the old Photoshop app icon which used to be this eye before they make it a PS.

Web Designer at 10

My 10th birthday was more than cake and presents; it marked a digital milestone. My dad, always encouraging my tech interests, gifted me a domain name and hosting for my website –
Using Microsoft Frontpage, I dived into web design. To me, this website was the coolest thing about me. I would export the source files and upload them to the host via an FTP connection. Alas people in Iran barely knew what a website was in 2005.

Architecture as the Perfect intersection

For a while, I dreamt of becoming a rockstar, channeling the energy of Chester Bennington and Amy Lee playing the electric guitar and the piano. High school was a time of exploration, a clash between logic and creativity that became a defining feature of my personality.
Choosing a college major felt like finding the missing piece of a puzzle.  By then, I had developed a love for both engineering and artistic expression. Architecture seemed like the perfect marriage of the two. It offered a chance to create spaces, to blend functionality with beauty, all grounded in the strong foundation of mathematics and physics.  So, with a heart full of excitement, I embarked on a journey to become an architect.


The multi-disciplinary designer hustler

Architecture school wasn't cheap, especially for a teenager in the expensive city of Tehran. To make ends meet, I became a freelance graphic designer, photographer, and even an architect-in-training.  My first logo design gig, landed during the summer after high school graduation, still holds a special place in my heart – a testament to the hustle that fueled my journey.
Website design, branding, portraits, architectural photography, 3D renderings, animations – you name it, I learned it and offered it as a service. This constant learning and juggling act became a defining feature of my professional life.


Going Global - The Rise of the UI/UX Designer

The year was 2018, and the world of UI/UX design was booming. Everyone seemed to be looking for skilled professionals, and there weren't enough of us to fill the demand.  Capitalizing on this wave, I started promoting myself on social media platforms like Instagram and Dribbble. It wasn't long before my work caught the eye of international clients, and soon I was designing user experiences for people across the globe.


The American Dream - A Calculated Leap

The decision to move to the US was bittersweet. It meant leaving behind everything I had built in Iran, venturing into the unknown in search of something potentially much bigger. But it was a calculated move, fueled by a desire to further my education and explore the vast possibilities within American architecture.In 2019, with a mix of excitement and apprehension, I stepped into the US as a student, ready to take the next big step in my life.


Dream architecture job achieved

After years of dedication, I finally graduated with a Master's degree in Architecture. It had been a long road, a journey that combined the practical skills of freelance work with the theoretical foundation of academia.Landing an internship at HKS, one of the top architecture firms in the US, felt like a dream come true. My diverse skillset, honed through years of juggling freelance projects, proved to be a valuable asset. I was finally putting my knowledge and passion to work in a real-world setting.


Permanent resident with glory

Post-graduation my U.S. work authorization neared its end. The H1B lottery, the usual path, held no luck for me. So I had to pursue another route. The O-1 visa, a rare pathway for "individuals of extraordinary ability and achievements" - as put by USCIS - became my new focus. Months of tireless work culminated in a 200 - page portfolio – research, industry contributions, awards, and academic credentials meticulously documented. The US government recognized my "extraordinary ability," granting the O-1 visa and a chance to build a long-term future in the US.
Yet, the visa dance wasn't over. Similar to the O-1, I pursued a green card based on my skills and achievements. Then, in January 2024, a simple letter transformed my life. The green card, a symbol of years of uncertainty and visa applications, was finally mine. Relief washed over me, replaced by a profound sense of accomplishment. The journey, fueled by perseverance, had culminated in the freedom of a secure future in the US.


A passionate designer

Today, I stand tall, a testament to the power of perseverance and a love for learning. My journey has shaped me into a multi-faceted individual who thrives on understanding the world through different lenses. I speak the languages of design, research, and business, allowing me to approach projects with a unique blend of creativity and practicality.
Sharing my life isn't just about work, though. There's a furry supervisor who also calls my apartment home: a mischievous cat with an unwavering belief that he owns the apartment. Between juggling projects and navigating the complexities of human life, he brings a healthy dose of amusement (and the occasional hairball) into the mix.
So, this is where I stand – a designer, researcher, architect, and, perhaps most importantly, a reluctant servant to a feline overlord. It's a life that's constantly evolving, a testament to embracing new challenges and finding joy in the unexpected.
Thanks for reading my story! 

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Copyright Parsa Aghaei Twenty24