Geva, Anat. "Revisiting a Graduate Design Studio on Sacred Architecture: A Mosque Design in Yazd, Iran." In International Journal of Islamic Architecture, Volume 4, Number 1 (pp. 161-187), edited by Mohammad Gharipour, Bristol: Intellect, 2014.
This essay describes a graduate studio where students were asked to design a new mosque in the historic old town of Yazd, Iran. The project was formed under the broader theme ‘Sacred Architecture in International Historic and Sustainable Contexts’ and required the students to think critically about design within historic, cultural, environmental and tectonic contexts. The studio also responded to concerns expressed by the American National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) about the limited international training and experience in architectural programmes. As such, the project addressed a particular design problem (a mosque design in Yazd, Iran) and responded to broader issues within the field of architectural pedagogy. Five examples of students’ projects demonstrate a variety of design concepts and architectural approaches to the design of the new mosque. All examples show attentiveness to faith requirements and sensitivity to the specific site restrictions, as well as to local climate conditions. The latter was emphasized by sustainable design proposals, which accommodate the harsh desert environment of Yazd. Reflections and recommendations follow the description of students’ projects and relate to the pedagogical issues in teaching global architectural history and contemporary practice.
Keywords: global and historic context; international design studio; mosque design; pedagogy; sacred architecture; sustainable design