MDes Interior Design School of Design

Asal Ahmadi

Persian Dreamscapes

Persian Dreamscapes

The World of Imagination in Persian miniature paintings

Looking at a Persian miniature, which appears at first as a little painting, provides a portal to a space of boundless imagination. These miniatures have a special power that goes beyond simply visual representation. They turn the flat canvas into a place that combines reality and fantasy in a magnificent combination. Rather than simply presenting everyday scenes, these works of art reveal an alternative realm. This reality is not restricted by physical limitations, yet it is also not simply a product of the mind. It exists as a middle ground, between the known and the imagined.

The rules of this unusual realm deviate from the norm. Time, space, colours, and forms move beyond understanding, events unfold in ways that violate the rules of the physical world. Like a dream When the foundations of reality are recreated, generating an unusual yet incredibly authentic masterpiece. Philosophers probe into the depths of this domain, naming it the “imaginal world” that becomes a safe place where the mind rises above the mundane and achieves greater levels of awareness. So, seeing a Persian miniature is more than just looking at a small piece of art; it’s like seeing through a doorway into a realm where reality and enchantment dwell peacefully. (Seyyed Hossein Nasr, The World of Imagination and The Concept of Space in Persian Miniature)

View of The Exhibition

The goal of the project is to create an engaging exhibition space inspired by the enchanting nature of Persian miniatures. These miniatures have the unique ability to transport viewers to a realm where imagination merges with reality. The intention is to craft an immersive experience that combines traditional and contemporary elements. This is achieved by incorporating both virtual reality and physical space to enhance the narrative and audience comprehension. Within a Persian miniature, two distinct realms are noticeable: the tangible world rendered in delicate shades of reality and an intangible space brought to life through techniques like two-dimensional perspective. These features underscore the concept of disconnect from the familiar physical reality. This notion aligns with the significance of virtual reality (VR) as a suitable medium to bring this narrative to life.

Persian Gardens: A Heterotopia in Art and Craft

Persian gardens hold a profound significance in the realm of Persian miniature art, symbolizing paradisiacal and tranquil spaces. These meticulously depicted gardens serve as symbols of paradise and function as heterotopian domains, transporting individuals beyond the complexities of daily life. (Solmaz Kive, 2012) Persian gardens not only inspire miniature art but also leave their mark on a diverse array of artistic crafts. The fusion of Persian garden motifs within the intricate tapestry of carpets is a captivating journey that resonates across various creative mediums. The abstracted visuals and landscape depictions within Persian carpets form a cornerstone of Iranian arts, akin to revealing a paridaeza—akin to the heavens and an alternate dimension. This interplay of metaphor and symbol extends beyond carpets, influencing architecture, tiles, paintings, ceramics, and sculptures. The resulting fabric of art forms weaves a cohesive heterotopian essence, where the ordinary transcends into the extraordinary—an alternate space fostering imagination and artistic evolution. (Salehin, 2023)

The World of Material

The garden motif becomes a dynamic element, progressing through the space’s layout. It commences as a woven carpet within the garden pavilion, transforming into colourful tiles decorates the walls of the market’s structure. Ultimately, it evolves into brick patterns that shape the structure of the house.

Finding through making

To find answer for my research question, I began investigating to uncover innovative ways of infusing traditional art and craft with contemporary materials and ways of making. This led me to explore a range of inventive techniques, including digital modeling, 3D printing, laser cutting of shapes, and casting employing diverse materials. My underlying hypothesis was that by harnessing the potential of modern technologies and materials, I could forge a connection between the realms of old and new, effectively bridging the gap between traditional and modern paradigms.

Garden Pavilion

The design of the garden pavilion specifically encourages an immersive sensation of unrestricted movement. Its architecture expresses spaciousness, and wide entrances smoothly blend interior and exterior, promoting easy exploration. Seating areas provide a tranquil haven for visitors to unwind and connect with their surroundings. Selective design elements create a relaxing environment, allowing guests to enjoy freedom of wandering in and out, creating a serene relationship between space and visitor reminiscent of a tranquil garden retreat.

VR Station of Garden Pavilion

VR Environment of The Garden Pavilion


The design of the market space draws inspiration from the traditional “hojreh” buildings of old bazaars, along with their intricate alleyways. This design aims to replicate the sensation of wandering through a bustling market, enveloped by structures and shops in narrow passages. Visitors are likely to experience a mix of immersion and occasional confusion, akin to the ambience of a real marketplace. By skillfully manipulating scale, the exhibition’s market section strives to convey an atmosphere of controlled chaos, capturing the authentic feeling of being amidst an unorganized yet vibrant setting.

VR Station of Market

VR Environment of Market

VR Environment of Market


The house section of the exhibition creates a carefully curated atmosphere that combines security and comfort. The spatial design goes beyond physical walls, applying them to provide emotional shelter. These enclosing walls establish an intimate connection, offering visitors a sense of safety similar to being at home.

VR Station of House

VR Environment of House

VR Environment of House