Nader Ardalan

Meanings, Forms & Signs: The Influence of Persian Culture on Art & Architecture in Islamic and Global Societies

Series: Evening Lecture organised by Parasol Unit
Date: Friday 31 May 2019
Time: 18:30
Venue: AA Lecture Hall
Running time: 0 mins

This lecture will explore an overview of core myths and worldviews, key aesthetic concepts, symbols and forms that have resulted in the tangible and intangible expressions of the ancient and evolving Persian civilization, geographically situated at the crossroad between ‘Occident and Orient’.  It will reflect on how this culture has been formed, transformed and in turn, the ways that it has significantly impacted the art, architecture and urbanism of its surrounding and distant societies. Borrowing from the approach of cultural theorist, Stuart Hall, Ardalan describes ‘Persian Culture’ in terms of three distinct ‘identities’ that are simultaneously present to varying degrees even today: The Shahnameh Identity (Pre-history to 7 AD); The Islamic Identity (7 AD onwards); and Contemporary Identity (19th century to today).
This event has been organised by Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art on the occasion of Nine Iranian Artists in London: The Spark Is You (22 May – 30 August 2019), an exhibition of works by a selected group of Iranian artists whose vision speaks of the importance of dialogue and positive interaction between different cultures.
Nader Ardalan is President of Ardalan Associates, Architects with a MArch, Harvard and BArch, Carnegie Mellon. As a Visiting Design Critic at Harvard, Yale, MIT and Tehran University he first Co-authored The Sense of Unity-The Sufi Tradition in Persian Architecture and most recently the pending Harvard research publication: Persian Gulf Sustainable Urbanism. He serves on the Board of Directors of The Forum for Architecture, Culture & Spirituality; the Advisory Board, International Journal of Islamic Architecture and was a founding member of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture Steering Committee.

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Image Courtesy Nader Ardalan

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October 2019
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The Architectural Association receives Taught Degree Awarding Powers by the Lords of Her Majesty’s Most Honourable Privy Council.

The Architectural Association (AA), the oldest independent school of architecture in the United Kingdom, is pleased to announce that it has been granted the power to award its own degrees. As of 1 October 2019, the AA has the right to establish new academic programmes and degree awards and is working to create some of the world’s most pioneering courses in architecture to shape and build the future.

Taught Degree Awarding Powers (TDAP) give UK higher education institutions the right to award bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Prospective students worldwide can apply to the AA Foundation Course (Foundation Certificate), Experimental Programme BA(Hons), Diploma Programme (MArch), and nine taught postgraduate programmes encompassing History and Critical Thinking in Architecture (MA), Projective Cities (Taught MPhil) and Sustainable Environmental Design (MSc/MArch), amongst others.

AA Director, Eva Franch said, ‘since our founding in 1847 we have never ceased to create new horizons, institutionally and academically. This is a significant milestone for the AA and demonstrates how we have grown and progressed as an institution that has always valued independence. Receiving TDAP marks a new era for our institution; these are exciting times for the AA. The process has required considerable work from all members of staff and students. I would like to take this opportunity to credit them for this major achievement’.

President of the AA Council, Victoria Thornton added, ‘the TDAP process has recognised our strong governance, academic standards, scholarship and teaching as well as the environment supporting the delivery of taught higher education programmes’.

The School’s application for Taught Degree Awarding Powers was supported by the Architects Registration Board, the Royal Institute of British Architects and The Open University.