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Lecture by Hamed Khosravi

6 november 2018
IISH, Amsterdam, 15.00 hrs, Posthumus Room

'Planning a Revolution. An Unfinished Project for Tehran (1955-1977)


The aftermath of the Second World War not only marked the beginning of new geopo­litical order but also once again brought back discourses of architecture and planning to the frontline of those confrontations. The immediate needs for the post-war reconstruction left almost no time for a comprehensive theoretical development in comprehensive architecture and planning principles, however the ‘occupied’ and ‘liberated’ territories became laboratories in which the new concepts of territory, city, and its forms of life were tested.
Since 1948 the U.S. initiatives such as Marshall Plan or the Truman’s Point IV program, operated in order to counter the Soviet’s ideological colonization of the Eastern European and Middle Eastern countries, as territories that could immediately block the expanding Socialist System. The extension of those projects and counter-projects into the domains of architecture and planning inevitably enabled architectural theory as devices through which the ideologies of the power blocs could be exported, towards shaping a global socialist utopia.
Although in the history and theory of architecture the project of ‘Westernization’ has been largely discussed however the counter-project by the Soviet bloc has not been fully unveiled. Planning a Revolution: An Unfinished Project for Tehran, would revisit a joint mission initiated by the USSR and GDR (1955-77) to develop a research project on theorization of the Socialist Architecture. The project was planned aiming to socio-politically transform the Capitalist world from within through architecture and planning principles. While most part of the research remained unpublished, and the project was never finalized due to the political circumstances in the both countries, however many aspects of the ‘socialist architecture principles’ were already implemented during the research process in the targeted countries such as Iran.

Hamed Khosravi
Hamed Khosravi is an architect, researcher, and educator. He graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Tehran. Hamed holds his Masters in Architecture from Iran University of Science and Technology, and Post-graduate masters in Urbanism at TU Delft and Istituto di Architettura di Venezia (IUAV). Hamed received his PhD in History and Theory of Architecture within ‘The City as a Project’ program at TU Delft/ Berlage Institute.
He has been teaching History and Theory courses, seminars, and design studios in various schools of architecture. Currently Khosravi is a Studio Master at the Architectural Association School of Architecture, running Diploma Unit 7 and the Projective Cities MPhil programme. He has been coordinating the ‘Transitional Territories’ (formerly known as Delta Interventions) graduation studio and research group at TU Delft Faculty of Architecture. Previously Khosravi held an associate lecturer position, leading a MArchD RIBA Part II Design Studio, at the School of Architecture, Oxford Brookes University. Hamed has recently completed a Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship at the International Institute of Social History (IISH) in Amsterdam on ‘Labour Movements and the Architecture of the City’.
Hamed is co-founder of research collectives, The City as a Project and Behemoth Press, based in London and Rotterdam; both active in architectural education at the Phd and post-graduate levels as well as research and curatorial projects. Khosravi’s projects are exhibited internationally at the Venice Biennale 2012, 2014, and 2016, Oslo Architecture Triennale 2016, Lisbon Architecture Triennale 2016, Dallas Museum of Art, Maxxi Museum (Rome), Triumph Gallery (Moscow), Anise Gallery (London), and Campo (Rome). He is the co-curator of ‘The Port and the Fall of Icarus’, a narrative-based project for the Extended Program of Dutch Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2018.
As a writer, Hamed regularly publishes articles, essays, and books. He is co-author of Sir Banister Fletcher’s History of Architecture, 21st Edition (upcoming, 2018), Rituals and Walls; The Architecture of Sacred Space (2016), The City as a Project (2013), Cities to be Tamed (2013), among other titles. Hamed’s recent book Tehran- Life Within Walls, is published by Hatje Cantz in 2017.

IISH Seminar
This lecture is part of the monthly IISH Seminar series. In principle, seminars take place every first Tuesday of the month. The seminar is open to the public, but with regard to accommodation, we would like you to register with Jacqueline Rutte, jacqueline.rutte@bb.huc.knaw.nl.
The complete lecture programme for 2018-2019 can be found in the pdf below.