Staff Members & Contacts

An international team

A project such as DOMES couldn’t succeed without the active participation of a international group of multidisciplinary experts working in their respective fields with their own perspectives. Architectural historians, structural engineers, survey technicians, restorers, and archeologists all joined their efforts to understand the Mausoleum of Oljaitu / Gonbad_e_Soltaniye. Both Italian and Iranian theoretical approaches and practical traditions in preservation have been considered to maximize the accuracy and the interoperability of the results to international standards.

Lorenzo Vigotti, Ph.D.

Role: Grant recipient. Lorenzo is an architect and architectural historian, currently the recipient of a 3-year Marie Curie Fellowship from the European Union in partnership with the University of Bologna, the University of Tehran, and Shahid Beheshti University. Lorenzo is also the head of the archival project Pupilli, which focuses on the study of 3,000 household inventories that show the shift in spatial organization in domestic residences between the 14th and the 15th century.
Lorenzo received a M.Arch. from the University of Florence, Italy, and a Ph.D. in architectural history from Columbia University; he has been the recipient of fellowships and grants from the NEH, the Kress and Mellon Foundations, the Society of the Architectural Historians, and the Centro Internazionale di Studi di Architettura Andrea Palladio. He taught courses on Western architecture and urban planning at Columbia, NYU, Stanford University in Florence, Pratt Institute, University of Utah, Union College, and University of Bologna. Link to UniBo and Academia personal pages.

Prof. Francesco benelli

Role: Supervisor in Bologna. Prof. Benelli is associate professor of history of architecture in the Department of the Arts at the University of Bologna, where he teaches a wide range of courses on medieval and early modern architecture, with a focus on building practices and materiality. Prof. Benelli holds a jointly-awarded PhD in Architectural History by IUAV (Istituto Universitario di Architettura di Venezia) and Harvard University, in addition to a background as practicing architect, making him the perfect reference for a project focused not only on the history of architecture but also on material and structural aspects of the built environment. Prof. Benelli is deeply invested in issues related to the survival, protection, and conservation of cultural heritage, both practical and theoretical. He is a member of the International Observatory for Cultural Heritage at the Italian Academy at Columbia University, where he was associate professor for fourteen years. Link to UniBo and Academia personal pages.

Prof. Saeid Khaghani

Role: Supervisor in Tehran. Prof. Khaghani, assistant professor at the School of Architecture at the University of Tehran. In his Ph.D. at the University of Manchester, Prof. Khaghani specialized in historiography of Persian art and architecture; he is currently lecturing in architectural theory and history at Tehran University. Prof. Khaghani is also member of Iranian Architecture Research department which is a specific graduate progam working on Iranian architectural history. Among his many publications, Prof. Khaghani has published in Historiography of Iranian architecture (2012); Islamic Architecture in Iran: Poststructural Theory and the Architectural History of Iranian Mosques (2011). Link to Tehran and Academia personal pages.

Prof. Hadi Safaeipour

Role: Director of the Architectural Documentation Center. Prof. Safaeipour is assistant professor of architecture at Shahid Beheshti University in Tehran (the same institution where Sanpaolesi and his team worked in the 1970s). His primary teaching and research interests encompass the study of historic load-bearing structures, especially vaults and domes, including their documentation, morphology, constructional process, and structural behaviour. He coedited Persian Architecture: Its Structure and Construction, which was awarded the annual Iranian Book Prize in 2014. He was visiting scholar at the University of Pennsylvania and since 2016 he has been one of the members of the Getty Connecting Art Histories Project led by the Courtauld Institute of Art. He has been involved with the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and since 2019 he is the director of the Architectural Documentation Center at Shahid Beheshti University, where the Sanpaolesi archive is held. Prof. Safaeipour has supervised dozens of M.Sc. thesis and organized several projects involving on-site survey programs and archival research. Link to SBU’s Gonbad-e Qabus project and Academia personal pages.

Farzad Zerehdaran

Role: Graduate Student Assistant in Tehran. Farzad Zerehdaran is an architectural researcher interested in architectural mentalities, construction culture, archival studies, architectural criticism, and the architectural history of Iran. Currently pursuing his PhD at the Department of Art and Architecture at BASU, Farzad also serves as the chief editor of Asmaneh, a Persian-language digital media platform focusing on art and architecture, where he has been a member of the editorial board since 2020. Previously, he collaborated with the Great Islamic Encyclopedia, contributing articles to their publication, and worked as an assistant at SBU. He obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Architecture Engineering from the Art University of Tehran and his Master’s degree in Iranian Architectural Studies from SBU.

Manizheh Khademi

Role: Graduate Student Assistant in Tehran. Manizheh Khademi is an architectural historian with a focus on the construction history of Khorasan region during the Middle Ages. She is currently pursuing her MA in the Department of Architecture and Urbanism at SBU, where she is working on the Jame Mosque of Faryumad. In addition to her studies, Manizheh serves as the assistant to Prof. Nasrin Faghih.

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