Development, architecture, and the formation of heritage in late twentieth-century Iran

  • DATE

    10 February 2022

  • TIME

    11:00 am to 12:00 pm

  • AGES

    All ages welcome



Development is a globalizing project that prompts shifts in historical consciousness and with it, novel interpretations of the past, in other words, heritage. The built environment as an omnipresent cultural form that is experienced at multiple scales. It is a useful register of such shifts in historical consciousness as well as official or individual efforts to facilitate change. In short development, architecture, and heritage form a nexus.

In this lecture, using Iran as an example, Dr Ali Mozaffari will draw upon case studies to demonstrate how architecture became a conduit for the production of heritage at large in a modernizing Muslim society, and how it has been entangled with development and intellectual debates before and after the Islamic Revolution.

The main talking points will be:

How does development relate to conceptions of heritage?
How does the built environment mediate conceptions of the past in developmental contexts?
How does globality feed into localised conceptions of the past?
In Development, architecture, and the formation of heritage in late twentieth-century Iran: A Vital Past (Manchester University Press, 2020) authors Ali Mozaffari and Nigel Westbrook examine these questions in the context of architectural and heritage experiments in Iran.

The event will consist of a 40 minute author presentation followed by time for audience questions.

About the speakers:

Ali Mozaffari is an Australian Research Council Fellow (DECRA) and Senior Research Fellow with the Alfred Deakin Institute, Deakin University. He is the founding co-editor of Berghahn’s series Explorations in Heritage Studies. His other publications include Heritage Movements in Asia: Cultural Heritage Activism, Politics, and Identity (co-edited with T. Jones, Berghahn 2020). In addition to academic journals, his analyses have been published in Iran International, Radio Farda and New Eastern Europe. For more information visit:

Nigel Westbrook is an Associate Professor in Architecture, and Associate Dean (Research) at the School of Design of the University of Western Australia. He teaches and researches teaching in the fields of design, and architectural history. His research interests include historic urban topography, Late Antique and Early Byzantine high-status and palatine architecture, the urban history and topography of Constantinople/ Istanbul, the use of digital methodologies in architectural history research, and post-war Iranian modern architecture. His other publications include The Great Palace in Constantinople, an Architectural Interpretation, Brepols 2019, Late Antique Palatine Architecture: Palaces and Palace Culture: Patterns of Transculturation, (co-authored with Lynda Mulvin, Brepols 2019) and Development, Architecture, and the Formation of Heritage in Late Twentieth-Century Iran: a vital past (co-authored with A. Mozaffari, Manchester University Press 2020). He is currently working on the twentieth century field drawings of Ernest Mamboury in Istanbul, and collaborating with A. Mozaffari on modern public architecture in Iran.