Not too long ago, I wrote briefly about the political implications of design ideology and practice, couched in a review of my experience at a particularly good restaurant. What I wrote is that “[architecture] is a mediated interaction, and careful practitioners of architecture have argued beautifully for a wide-ranging spectrum of sociopolitical and philosophical imperatives, of which I believe they are fully justified in doing so.”
I don’t know how I feel about that last statement now, but it has come to my attention that Mir Hussein Moussavi, the opposition candidate in the recent Iranian elections, is a trained (and practicing) architect. This was brought to my attention by one of my favorite blogs, the A/N Blog (a web component of the print publication Architects Newspaper).
This follows from a New York Times article published a couple of days ago, which called Moussavi “a soft-spoken architect who loves to watch movies at home and was overshadowed for years by his distinguished wife, Zahra Rahnavard, a professor and artist.” It also mentioned that Moussavi considered Renzo Piano a primary influence, spent most of his time studying painting and architecture, and has a daughter who is a nuclear physicist.
The A/N Blog also posted a link to a blog, Tehran 24, that posted some photographs of some of Moussavi’s most recent completed building, the Iran Art Portico in Tehran (I’ve posted the photos here), as well as reported that Moussavi graduated with a Masters in Architecture from Shahid Beheshti University.
Middle-eastern architecture is woefully understudied, and I’d love to see/know more about it.