SOAS University of London

Centre for Iranian Studies

Water Culture Revival in Iran

Sara Kamalvand
Sara Kamalvand, HydroCity

Date: 27 January 2015Time: 7:00 PM

Finishes: 27 January 2015Time: 9:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: L67

Type of Event: Seminar

The grandeur of the Persian Empire was in its ability to create civilisation in the driest area of the world. The oasis cities of the arid plateaus were built through an infrastructure called the qanat: an underground canalisation system that subsisted during 3000 years without any technological evolution until it was abandoned at the wake of modernisation in 1960. Today in a state of semi-abandonment, the network continues to carry water, though considered archaic and obsolete by the majority of the population. At a time of looming water crisis in Iran, HydroCity investigates how the revival of this infrastructure can be used as an alternative water source, and as a means to create an urban palimpsest. Retracing memory, the invisible network has the ability to restructure the landscape after decades of mass urbanisation.

Sara Kamalvand is an Iranian-Canadian architect and urbanist, graduate of Ecole Spéciale d’Architecture, Paris. In 2006 she published Tehran 2050, an award-winning thesis on how to rethink the Persian capital through its watershed. She is director of HydroCity, an international research and design platform on urbanism, water and cities. HydroCity engages with universities, municipalities, and private organisations through projects, workshops, exhibitions, and publications, leading research on cities as a campaign to bring ecological awareness and to produce visionary proposals for real time opportunities and challenges.

Organiser: Centre for Iranian Studies

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Contact Tel: 020 7898 4330 / 4490

Sponsor: Soudavar Memorial Foundation