Sepideh Karami is an architect, writer, teacher and researcher with a PhD in Architecture, Critical Studies, from KTH School of Architecture, Sweden (2018). She developed her thesis Interruption: Writing a Dissident Architecture, through writing practices and critical fiction as political practices of making architectural spaces. She completed her architecture education at Iran University of Science and Technology (MA Architecture, 2002), and at Chalmers University in Sweden (MSc Design for Sustainable Development, 2010). She has been committed to pedagogy, research and practice in different international contexts such as Iran, Sweden, Kenya and the UK since the beginning of her engagement in the field in 1997.
She works through artistic research, experimental methods and interdisciplinary approaches at the intersection of architecture, performing arts, literature and geology, with the ethos of decolonization, minor politics and criticality from within. She has presented, performed and exhibited her work at international conferences and platforms, and is published in peer reviewed journals.
Decolonising Infrastructures: Making Architecture in an Ecological Era
This research aims to expand architecture as decolonising infrastructures and support structures by situating it in contested ecologies and troubled sites that are complicated by the forces of labour, migration, colonization and exploitation of natural resources. These troubled sites are eradicated, occupied, destructed homes, where (dehumanized) human and non-human inhabitants are subjugated, ignored and silenced by the “human-centred” project of “development” and “progress”.
To expand how decolonizing infrastructures take shape, the project follows Walter D Mignolo’s work on decolonization as the processes of ‘de-linking’ from coloniality and ‘re-existing’ beyond colonial logic. It looks at colonization through the extraction of natural resources and takes its current case studies from ecologies shaped by oil extraction.
Oily Stories is an artistic research project that experiments with the materiality of oil and its encounter with different materials, environments, structures, bodies and political forces.
The project investigates how the stories of oil can be told through various methods of situated storytelling. In the manner of oil, oily stories are leaked, spill out of the petroleum infrastructures, flow over boundaries and expand their environmental, political and social effects by polluting the grand narratives, “white geology” and subjugating forces. This project is part of my ongoing research on Decolonising Infrastructures.
Theatres within Theatres: Experiments of Writing a Dissident Architecture
Theatres within Theatres is a series of performative writing experiments that are situated in politically-charged architectural sites ranging from public spaces to institutions and domestic spaces,exposing how a dissident architecture could be produced through the practice of writing.
Written in the intersection of architecture, performance and literature and using means of experimental writing and critical fiction, this book project offers an account of the performative acts of various characters who critically inhabit existing architectural sites and thereby construct ‘performing grounds’. The notion of theatres within theatres, borrowed from Bonnie Nadzam, refers to the complexity of dissident spaces and dissident acts. This book proposal is based on my PhD dissertation Interruption: Writing a Dissident Architecture, finalized at KTH School of Architecture in April 2018.