Raised in the historic city of Isfahan, Mohammad Gharipour received
his Ph.D. in Architectural Theory and History from Georgia Institute of
Technology in 2008 and Masters of Architecture from the University of Tehran in
2000. He teaches architecture at Morgan State University and is the Director and Founding Editor of the International Journal of Islamic Architecture. His
areas of research include Japanese traditional and contemporary architecture,
Persianate gardens and architecture, and restorative environments. He is the
recipient of Spiro Kostof fellowship award from the Society of Architectural
Historians (SAH) in 2008 and the author of several publications including Persian Gardens and Pavilions: Reflections in
Poetry, Arts and History(I.B. Tauris, 2013). in 2014, Dr. Gharipour was presented with the National Endowment for Humanities Faculty Award for his research on Synagogues of Isfahan, Iran.
Christensen, Peter. "Dam Nation: Imaging and Imagining the 'Middle East' in Herman Sörgel’s Atlantropa." In International Journal of Islamic Architecture, Volume 1, Number 2 (pp. 325-346), edited by Mohammad Gharipour, Bristol: Intellect, 2012.
Few utopian visions surpass that of Herman Sörgel's Atlantropa, in terms of infrastructural, architectural and geopolitical ambition. Conceived in the interwar years and developed until Sörgel’s death in 1952, Atlantropa was an ambitious infrastructural proposal for a tightly linked Europe-Africa that was to be formed by damming the Strait of Gibraltar and the Dardanelles, and the creation of several transcontinental arteries supporting the flow of people and natural resources between the two 'civilizations'. Sörgel’s who emerged from a German school of geopolitical thinking that placed primacy on Lebensraum and the well-being of European races in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, was one of the first architects to wholeheartedly bridge the gap between design and this form of discursive geopolitics. While touching on architectural elements of the proposal, this article focuses on the major regional planning and macro-architectural gestures articulated. Atlantropa not only shifted conceptions of Europe's geopolitical relations with its immediate neighbours, but also countered contemporaneous predispositions to eastward as opposed to southward expansion prevalent in German geopolitical thinking in the pre-World War II years.