The Architecture of the Iranian World, 1000-1250

About the conference

This conference is the first for more than a generation that has as its focus the architecture of the Iranian world in a golden age that set the parameters for centuries of future development. Classic forms were developed for mosques, minarets, madrasas, mausolea and caravansarais. The definitive choice of brick as the medium of construction and decoration changed the face of Iranian architecture in the Iranian world, leading to the creation of monumental dome chambers, spectacular developments in vaulting technique and an astonishing range of ornaments. New heights were attained in fields as disparate as architectural epigraphy and multi-layered carved stucco. The dimension of colour as a key element in the repertoire of decoration began to be seriously exploited. A building boom in the 12th century fostered the emergence of a series of local styles across the vast area between the Tigris and the Indus, the Persian Gulf and the Aral Sea. This period, then, consolidated the tentative experiments of the previous three centuries and embarked on a series of bold innovations that propelled this region into pole position in the architecture of the contemporary Islamic world.


Dr Alireza ANISI (Iranian Research Center for Cultural Heritage and Tourism, Tehran)
Mr Warwick BALL (Independent Scholar)
Professor Sheila BLAIR (Boston College, Massachusetts)
Professor Jonathan BLOOM (Boston College, Massachusetts)
Professor Abbas DANESHVARI (California State University, Los Angeles)
Dr Eisa ESFANJARY (Art University of Isfahan, Isfahan)
Dr Abdullah GHOUCHANI (The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York)
Dr Joachim GIERLICHS (Qatar National Library, Doha)
Professor Roberta GIUNTA (University of Naples)
Professor Robert HILLENBRAND (University of St Andrews/ University of Edinburgh)
Professor Mohammad KHAZAIE (Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran)
Prof. Dr. Lorenz KORN (University of Bamberg)
Dr Richard McCLARY (University of Edinburgh)
Professor Marcus MILWRIGHT (University of Victoria, Canada)
Professor Bernard O’KANE (American University in Cairo)
Professor Mahnaz SHAYESTEHFAR (Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran)
Dr Paul WORDSWORTH (University of Oxford)
Mr Mustafa TUPEV (University of Bamberg)


We gratefully acknowledge the organisational and financial support of the University of St Andrews, as well as financial support of the British Institute of Persian Studies (BIPS) and the Iran Heritage Foundation (IHF).


The conference booklet, containing both the programme and abstracts, is available in PDF format here.


How do I attend the conference?
To attend the Conference download an application form, complete and save* and email as an attachment to the workshop organiser, Dr Paul Churchill, at

*The application form fields can be completed and saved using Adobe Acrobat Reader from version IX onwards. If you have an earlier version please download and install the latest version from the Adobe website:

Alternatively, if you encounter problems, you may print out and scan the completed form instead and send that as an attachment. Or you may send a paper copy to the postal address specified on the second page of the form.

The closing date for completed applications is Monday, 18 April 2016, 5.00pm BST (GMT+1).

How much does it cost?
Provided this form is returned before Monday 18 April 2016, 5pm BST (GMT +1) there is no conference fee to pay. Please note that free places are limited by our budget constraints so early return of this form is strongly recommended. Please note that there is a charge if you wish to attend the conference dinner.

The conference dinner is on the evening of Friday 22 April. The dinner includes three courses, plus up to 2 (175ml) glasses of wine. Please note places at the venue are limited, so early booking is strongly recommended. The cost of the dinner is £30.00 per person.

How do I get to St Andrews?
The University website provides useful information on various methods for getting to St Andrews. Please refer to the following URL:

Where can I stay?
The website provides a wide range options for places to stay in St Andrews. Please refer to the following URL: for accommodation information.