Seyed Alavi received a Bachelor of Science degree from San Jose State University and a Masters of Fine Art from the San Francisco Art Institute. Alavi's work is often engaged with the poetics of language and space and their power to shape reality.

He has created site-specific installations for The New Museum of Contemporary Art and Franklin Furnace in New York City; The University Art Museum- Cal State Long Beach; The Museum of Santa Cruz County; The deSaisset Museum; The University Art Museum, Sonoma State; The University Art Museum, Cal State San Bernadino and San Francisco's Capp Street Project.

His public art projects include; Fountain Head in Walnut Creek, CA; Tree of Life in Seattle, WA; Room for Hope and Flying Carpet in Sacramento, CA; Tale of Time in Kochi, Japan; Seed of Knowledge in Saint Paul, MN; Nature of Life and A Sense of Unity in San Jose, CA; Signs of the Time in Emeryville, CA; Where Is Fairfield in Fairfield, CA; Words by Roads in Oakland, Selected Words in San Rafael, CA; Forgotten Language for the City of Palo Alto; Speaking Stones, Golden Gateway and What Do You Think? in San Francisco.

He has also received grants from the NEA/ US-Japan Creative Artists' Fellowship; The California Art Council; Western States Arts Federation; Art Matters Inc.; The Pollock-Krasner Foundation; New Langton Arts; City of Oakland Creative Artists Fellowship; The Creative Work Fund, and The LEF Foundation.

Alavi has taught classes and workshops at The San Francisco Art Institute; California College of the Arts in Oakland; San Francisco State University; The University of California, Davis; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. He has also been a visiting artist at Kyoto Seika University in Kyoto, Japan, and the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California.

He has been an artist-in-residence at the University of Washington in Seattle; Capp Street Project in San Francisco; The John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, Wisconsin; The Blue Mountain Artists Residency, New York, and at the Djerassi Foundation in Woodside, California.