Interview With Bahram Shirdel(Architect) by Ahmad Zohadi (03/11/2015)

Theme: 2A Asia Architectural Award
Autumn 2015

The interview has been published in 2A Magazine issue #33-#34

Ahmad Zohadi
: How can architects, Planners and landscape designers intervene to alleviate the human afflictions in the realm of the built environment?

Bahram Shirdel: For the most part of the 19th century and all of the 20th: architects, planners and urban designers have worked according to the architecture of modernism, understanding that as ideology and style. This process has resulted in an environment that does not sustain the spatial geography of the Asian cities. This kind of approach leads to homogenic cultural/ social space which has dominated the traditional heterogenic Asian architectural heritages.
How they can alleviate this problem is to understand our own traditional heritage of architecture. This is regeneration vs ideology.

Ahmad: Please flow this idea:
Between the countries from different civilizations in the Asia continent, there has been a constant history of trade, migration and sharing of cultural practices, which has extended strongly, even in the field of architecture.
I realized these countries has a deep and true connection with moral principal, which has affected all aspects of its society (Culture, Architecture, Art and their identity in general), their root and identity has influenced their architecture.
I also understood that their traditional architecture has been naturally developed in a sustainable manner, I believe that the underlying cultural, historical and spiritual values has led to creation of this form of natural sustainability.
" It is the differing uses of history, to create varied sets of architectural languages whiten our contemporary framework that is of interest. This is especially true in the context of globalization, which has a powerful tendency to homogenize.”
Hence, I would like to ask you as a member of the jury of Asia Architecture Award, do you consider this thought when you judge the projects?

Bahram: Through decades, the meters of valuation for architectural projects have followed the same process which were outcome of western systems of thought. According to this fact that this competition has been defined in context of Asia architecture, thus juries obliged to consider the valuable factors of Asian architecture. Regard to this proposition I did my best to capture this elements as judging criteria, as well.

Ahmad: In order to understand the contemporary architectural and urban landscapes of Asia, in your opinion, what are the emergent manifestations of Asia in contemporary Architecture and Urbanism?

Bahram: Architecture in Asia has had a structure that is neither about reproduction nor invention of forms; it has been about an evolutionary repetition in form of regeneration. What is of interest today is that this concept of regeneration and sustainability that are manifest, have become global.

Ahmad: How important is context in Contemporary Architectural Design? As a professional, researcher and educator working in Asia, what are factors, criteria or even constrains that have influential impact on your profession?

Bahram:The profession of architecture in a contemporaneous sense is based on a system of education that is designed in western world. A system of thought where Asian mind has had no participation in its formation and this is superimposed on the Asian landscape (context).
Today’s young Asian manifesters tend to establish a different school of thought according to geography of Asia, instead of following the western architectural system.