Art and Media Research

Public Defence in Contemporary Art, MA Ali Mousavi

Ali Mousavi will defend the thesis: "Beautiful Rotten Tehran. A Multi-Sensory Artistic Research On Contemporary Urban Design in Tehran (Pardis Phase 11)" on December 8th, 2023, at 15:00 in Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Department of Art and Media, online in Zoom:

Collage style image with construction site and Iranian tapestry

Public Announcement 

The issues and crisis around housing is developing rapidly and more people are being pushed to periphery of cities. This multi-sensory research project examines the condition of Iranian urban design and uses regression-progression method which is a movement between the past and present. The constant move between the historical and contemporary condition sheds light and provides better understanding of current issues that Iranian urban design and built environment is facing. Additionally, the inquiry of this multi-sensorial research delves into specific location close to the city of Tehran, Iran, called Pardis Phase 11. Employing visual, cartography, acoustemological methodologies, interviews, and discussions with residents of Pardis Phase 11 provides new insight and information on analysing and observing the condition of life of this sub-urban social housing construction. By extension, multi-sensory methodologies employed in this research as a tool for analysing and observing architecture, urban design can be applied to any built environment, city, and housing area. The conclusion that can be drawn from such multi-sensorial research can provide: A) a combination of understanding how senses is influenced by built form and how urban designers, architects, policy makers and other agencies involved in shaping the cities ought to consider the sense faculty of inhabitants; B) The research also attempts to show that imposing/applying external concepts and methods between different societies should consider internal logic of that society and other factors such as history, tradition, and cultural values. The combination of internal logic and external concepts without contextualisation does not create a dialectical development and process. Moreover, this may result in creating a conflictual and contradictory space devoid of any historical and cultural background particular to that society. 


Doctoral candidate: Ali Mousavi

Opponent: Prof. Pamela Karimi, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. 

Custos: Prof. Mira Kallio-Tavin, Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Department of Art and Media

Time: Friday, 08/11/2023, 15.00- 18.00 

Location: Online ZOOM platform: 

Event Language: English 

Links: The dissertation is publicly displayed online 10 days before the defence on

Event page at Aalto website: 

Contact information of doctoral candidate: 

Email: [email protected] 

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