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Ameneh Solati

MA work

The Sacred and the Profane: An Alternative Modernity

Iran has long been the stage of competing and contradictory projects of modernisation, where not only the people and the cities are at the heart of this dispute, but everyday seemingly banal devices such as objects, furniture and semiotic devices are deployed to play part in the production of an Iranian subjectivity. Today the dispute continues as the power shifts every few years producing a prevailing state of pro- and anti-West sentiment. The universities and the dormitories have become central spaces of this dispute. However, the defensive qualities of the campus also widens the gap between these islands and the broader population. In this context, the project asks how can architecture contribute to the production of an alternative modernity; its purpose is to explore an architecture which isn't merely a reactionary rejection nor a submissive acceptance of either influences of the contesting ideologies.

The project proposes a student dormitory; an alternative type of urban and social space, that brings students and the locals together through the banal everyday practices and rituals. The dormitory operates through series of different scales of devices to meet its two main goals: to mobilise students through their relationship with their peers; and beyond, with the broader community through encounters that can breed alliances and solidarities. The program is divided into two key components: a series of student accommodation units with detached private living rooms and a central public program of collective facilities. The components appear to declare themselves as simple programs but promotes and allows for different modes of living. Each space tells a tale different to what it seems to declare.

The sacred and the profane are deployed to generate spaces of tension and radical encounters, while speculating on their dual use in scenarios of political unrest.


  • MA Degree


    School of Architecture


    MA Architecture, 2017



  • Degrees

  • BSc Architecture, Ajman University of Science and Technology, 2011
  • Experience

  • Zwarts and Jansma Architects, Amsterdam 2012–2015; CRAB Studio, London, 2010