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. He is also curator of the Archnet collection on Synagogues of Isfahan.
Mack, Jennifer. "Form Follows Faith: Swedish Architects, Expertise and New Religious Spaces in the Stockholm Suburbs." In International Journal of Islamic Architecture, Volume 4, Number 2 (pp. 401-415), edited by Mohammad Gharipour, Bristol: Intellect, 2015.
In 2007, the City of Stockholm initiated the Järva Lift to remodel several ‘segregated’ suburbs, originally constructed during the state-sponsored ‘Million Programme’ (1965–1974). Recognizing the area’s large immigrant population, the Lift proposed several new mosques; Spridd’s Multicultural Centre, Johan Celsing’s Rinkeby Mosque and a new building for the Stockholm Large Mosque Organization with collaboration from Tengbom are now planned. Here, I explore how these projects travel, both across domains of design expertise and through the planning regimes of the Swedish capital. Many constituents have origins in Somalia, yet architects from countries like Kuwait and Saudi Arabia have been asked to submit sketches, and Swedish architects have ultimately been hired to create or reshape designs that appeal to the local planning bureaucracy. Intriguingly, all three Swedish firms – ranging from boutique to corporate – have never before designed a mosque. Clients request intricate façade details or distinct interior spaces for men and women, moves that are considered ‘un-Swedish’ for formal and social reasons respectively. In response, two mosques are described as merging Muslim and Scandinavian design traditions, and one architect proposes the eventual disappearance of a mobile panelling system designed to separate worshippers of different genders. Has bureaucratic expertise trumped the design knowledge that a more seasoned mosque architect might bring?