crMaryam Mahvash Photo


Mahvash, Maryam

Emily Carr University of Art and Design


Vancouver, British Columbia

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Dr. Maryam Mahvash is an interdisciplinary educator, researcher, and designer in architecture and urbanism, with demonstrated experience in practice and in academia.

Maryam has taught at several universities and has served as scientific advisor for conferences, festivals, and periodicals. She has published several papers in academic and professional journals and has spoken and presented her work at conferences and universities—nationally and internationally—including but not limited to the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, and the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) Annual Conference.

Maryam’s interests span a broader context of the history and theory of architecture, including light, spatial perception, the phenomenology of place, aesthetic and contextual design values, the evolution of urban forms and the public realm, urban interventions, collective memory, and place-making.

Having conducted research projects on various topics in architecture and urbanism for more than two decades, Maryam considers her specialty to be the study of light in architecture. She is the author of an award-winning academic book on the qualitative dimensions of light in Persian architecture, published in Iran (CRB, 2014). The book is an outgrowth of her doctoral dissertation explicating the why, the what, and the how in the realm of the use of (day)light and introduces sustainable principles of daylighting in Persian architecture: Ḥuz̤ūr-i kayfī-i nūr dar miʻmārī-i qadīm-i Īrān : hastī, chigūnagī, vīzhagī (The Qualitative Presence of Light in Historical Persian Architecture : The Why, the What, and the How)

“From Monochrome to Polychrome in Historical Persian Architecture” illustrates the findings of her latest research (at SFU) on the comparative study of light in Safavid and Seljuq architecture, published in the scholarly book, Colour and Light in Ancient and Medieval Art (Routledge, 2017).

Maryam holds a Ph.D. in Architecture from the University of Tehran, Master’s degrees in Urban Design from the UBC and the University of Tehran, and an M.Arch. and a B.Arch. from Tehran Azad University (IAU). Currently, she teaches at the Emily Carr University of Art and Design (ECUAD) in Vancouver, Canada.