Showing posts from 2021

City, Public Space & Body

  I co-organised an international conference titled: City, Public Space & Body , hosted by the  Goldsmiths' ICCE Department . The conference was virtual and took place on 14-15 December 2021. For further details, please see the conference website .  Conference Theme The growing of urban population and the rapid change of urban environments, accelerated even more in the current century, entails challenges to defining and practising public spaces in cities. The public space, its implications and accompanied expectations, its embodiment and consequent social impacts, have been the focus of ongoing theorisation and debates. Ideally, the dynamics of gathering in and passing through urban public spaces, indoor and outdoor –from streets, squares, parks, libraries, museums, to other cultural and leisure centres – could lead to a culture more open to differences. Yet, in our time, governmental power and the force of privatisation have been inflicted upon these spaces, squeezed not only

'The Right to the City' and the Problem of Tehran

  'The Right to the City' and the Problem of Tehran Published in AMPS Proceedings Series 24.2 (chapter 23, p. 233-243) I presented this piece as part of the panel:  Political Economy and the City , in the  ‘Cities in a Changing World: Questions of Culture, Climate and Design’ conference, jointly hosted by AMPS and City Tech , City University of New York, 16-18 June 2021. Synopsis ‘The right to the city is like a cry and a demand’, wrote Henri Lefebvre in his 1968 book Le droit à la ville . In the noted urban scholar Peter Marcuse’s words, Lefebvre’s right is ‘a cry out of necessity and a demand for something more’. Despite rather astonishing efforts of former IRGC (Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps) Commander turned mayor Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, to portray a deceptive picture of Tehran on a global stage – either by inviting world-renowned urban thinkers such as Setha Low, David Harvey and Saskia Sassen, or by being invited as a key-note speaker by world-renowned institution

The House of Tyranny: Thoughts on Iran’s Pyramid of Power

Representatives of the first Iranian parliament, National Military Academy, Tehran, Iran, 1906.  The National Library and Archives of Iran, World Digital Library,  The House of Tyranny: Thoughts on Iran’s Pyramid of Power , a piece I presented  as part of the panel: 'Exhibiting Democracies - Religious and Colonial Assemblies', in  Parliament Buildings Conference  hosted by  the Bartlett School of Architecture and the UCL European Institute. 

The Oil and the Brick; Tales of a Scotsman in Persia

  ‘Abadan — The Fruit of British Industry that Persia Covets.’ The Illustrated London News, 8 September 1951 (cited in Damluji, 2013) The Oil and the Brick; Tales of a Scotsman in Persia Ahmadreza Hakiminejad On a late-spring day in 1901, the King of Persia signed a notorious concession and gave the English millionaire William Knox D’Arcy the rights to prospect for and market oil. Seven years later, the black substance was no longer a mystery in the  land of Persia . In 1909, the London-based Anglo-Persian Oil Company (APOC) was born and by 1912, the liquid began to flow in the pipeline from the oil fields of  Masjed Soleyman  to what was yet to become the world’s largest refinery on the desert island of Abadan; putting a poor, deprived village on the map. This was the time when, far from Abadan, a 25-year-old Scotsman, through “a remarkable stroke of good fortune” [1], was about to join the office of Edwin Lutyens – the empire’s eminent architect – who had just been commissioned to cr