“Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray.” - Rumi
I was first introduced to the ancient and mysterious Landscapes of Iran at the age of ten when my family decided to make a major physical and philosophical move from the west to the east. From the day we arrived, it was total immersion; Total Immersion into a new language, culture, tradition, and societal context! Through the process of assimilation into what was a foreign place to me, I learned to observe and interpret the big picture as well as the nuances of an ancient land and culture that are an integral part of my DNA.
Many years have passed, and I have since made another major physical and philosophical move, this time from east to west, to pursue a career in Landscape Architecture. As a Landscape and Urban designer, I am often asked what constitutes “good design”. During a most recent visit to the country of my ancestors, a road trip from the northern peaks of the Alborz Mountains to the stunning high desert landscapes of Kashan and Abyaneh in central Iran confirmed that the essence of good design lies in a deep understanding, appreciation, and celebration of environmental and cultural context. It is only through this understanding, that the design of spaces can transcend being purely form based, and remain relevant to people’s lives through time.
The photographs below show a glimpse of the big picture and nuances from the Landscapes of Ancient Kings, that have solidified my idea of “good design”. Enjoy!
Written and Photographed By: Yasmine Farazian, Full Time Faculty, Academy of Art University