Staff profile

Poone  Yazdanpanah

Dr Poone Yazdanpanah

PhD in Design


Senior Lecturer in Landscape Architecture & Garden Design
School of Sustainable Environments & Design


Poone was born and raised in the city of Isfahan and completed her studies in Art University, Tehran, and the University of Lancaster, UK.

She taught as a full time lecturer at Isfahan Art University for thirteen years where she was the Head of the Department of Architecture from 2005 to 2007. In 2008, Yazdanpanah started her PhD at ImaginationLancaster, a pioneer Design Research Centre in Lancaster University. Where she has also worked from 2016 to 2018 on an AHRC funded research project: ‘Living Design: the effective use of design for sustainability in maker enterprises.’

Her PhD focus was in the investigation of the relationship between human meanings and sustainability in Architecture; the case study being the traditional Iranian domestic courtyard, Miān-Sarā (2014). Her PhD was a theoretical investigation and aligns closely with what she designed and practised for her Master’s Dissertation, ‘Designing Prototype Domestic Architecture in a Hot Arid Region of Iran - City of Yazd’ (2000), which achieved the highest mark ever at the time in Isfahan Art University. She has been invited to talk about her findings from the PhD research in several Master’s course sessions to students in the Faculty of Arts and Social Science (FASS) and Lancaster University Management School (LUMS).

Yazdanpanah’s interest in traditional Iranian architecture started in high school, when she found the Safavid buildings in the historic part of Isfahan very fascinating. In order to study architecture at university, she needed to do extra studies in history of art and architecture, plus advanced skills in drawing and sketching, in addition to Maths and Physics, to pass the entrance exam. She received offers from three universities in Tehran but her first choice was the Art University in Isfahan; one reason being that the school of architecture in Isfahan has the privilege of being located next to Naqshe – e Jahan Square, one of UNESCO’s World Heritage sites.

Architecture education in Iran at the time was a six–year long course, incorporating undergraduate and Master’s degrees. It included both workshops (Architectural Design Studios) and theoretical courses such as History of Iranian Architecture, History of World Architecture and the Philosophy of Islamic Art. Studying, visiting and sketching Iranian architecture and its related artworks was an integral part of each the seven architectural design projects, and Yazdanpanah also made an extensive study background for her Master’s dissertation in the city of Yazd. She supplemented her studies wandering through local historic sites as well as travelling around the country and abroad, visiting other historic cities such as Rome, Venice, Delphi, Athena, Damascus, Palmira, Istanbul, Konya, among many .

Her PhD was an opportunity to do further literature review and primary research in the field (cities and towns in Iran) on Iranian traditional architecture; its functional and symbolic meanings; its relation to human meanings and values; and the impact of the Western worldview on contemporary architecture in Iran.

Pursuing her personal interests, she has achieved the certificate for the highest level of calligraphy in Nas’taliq, Naskh and ketabat from the Calligraphers Associations of Iran (in well under the five years it usually takes). During the summer holidays when she was in high school she learned traditional Isfahani needlework - Malileh Duzi, Gholab Duzi, Shabakeh Duzi and Sokmeh Duzi - from two very experienced ladies who worked for Farah Diba (Former Queen of Iran) before the Revolution.

Farsi is Poone’s native language; she is fluent in English and has a sufficient level of Arabic to be able to read Arabic calligraphies in Iranian mosques. She also has access to numerous first-hand texts and manuscripts in Farsi and is able to present them for English students, thus adding a personal context to historical and cultural aspects of their studies.

Personal Interests:

•Sketching and freehand drawing skills (advanced-level)

•Persian calligraphy (achieved certificate for the advanced-level)

•Traditional Iranian needlework (Traditional Iranian tapestry, and embroidery)


PhD in Design, Imagination Lancaster Design Research Centre, Lancaster University
Thesis Title: Architecture, Sustainability and Substantive Values, the case study: The Traditional Iranian Domestic Courtyard, Miān-Sarā
M.Arch. in Architecture, Art University, Isfahan, Iran
Dissertation Title: Designing Prototype Domestic Architecture in a Hot Arid Region of Iran- City of Yazd
Architectural Design and Theory, Foundation Course, Atelier Design Institute, Tehran, Iran
High School Diploma in Mathematics and Physics (Honours), Safoura High School, Isfahan, Iran

Subject Areas

Poone Yazdanpanah has recently joined Writtle University College, Essex, with focus on Sustainability and Landscape Architecture.

Teaching Modules 2019-2020:
Design Dissertation Studio 1 (H0460686)
Design Dissertation Studio 2 (H0460687)
Thinking Gardens (H0460688)
Landscape Dimensions Studio (h0450696)
World Gardens (H0350204)
Spatial Design Studio (H0440678)
Site and Concept Studio (H0450682)
Context, Meaning and Form Studio (H0470699)


Her research interest is on the Future of Landscape Architecture in the context of Future Smart Cities (Internet of Things). This will focus on domestic and workplace landscape architecture for the wellbeing of the residents, which is in line with Biophilic Design. Assuming a context of Future Low-Carbon Dioxide Cities and its impact on citizens’ behaviour and wellbeing, there will be a significant transition in cultural identity, perhaps more than any time in the past. Poone’s interest is to explore how public and private open green spaces in their different scales i.e. urban/rural public places, neighbourhoods and houses would increase/sustain people’s health and productivity while nourishing their beliefs and values.



Yazdanpanah, P. & Walker, S. (2018) The Mian-Sara: Tradition and Sustainability in Iranian Homes Design Roots: Local Products and Practices in a Globalized World; Bloomsbury Academic; pp 105-116

Conference proceedings

Yazdanpanah, P. & Walker, S. (2010) The Traditional Iranian Domestic Courtyard, an Enduring Example of Design for Sustainability; CIB Conference, Salford University, Manchester; 7.


AHRC research application: Walker, S. , Evans, M. & YAZDANPANAH, P. (2015) Living Design: the effective use of design for sustainability maker enterprises (submitted August 2015 and won); AHRC; 32.