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Postgraduate Profile Kieran Gaya

Kieran Gaya

Biography: Kieran Gaya was born in Ireland of Mauritian parents but spent his formative years in Asia, Africa as well as Europe. This diversity of cultures, languages, and socio-cultural contexts has informed his research interests. After a Bachelor of Architecture in Design from the USA, he went on to earn graduate degrees in Italy and Switzerland. Each thesis focused on the cultural production of disparate persons into a specific context and how visible changes in the urban fabric transform civic identities.

Photo of Kieran Gaya

Research: Kieran’s thesis is on the architecture of Islamabad in Pakistan. Its architects had to scrupulously consider what cohesive typologies could be devised, which were informed by both the local and international visual language necessary for a capital city. The dilemma lay in how to re-connect with pre-colonial traditional forms, which had represented authority in the region, without lapsing into pointless anachronisms. Modern 20th-century architecture's idioms had to be infused with local iconography so as to represent both the state and the principal religion to which it owed its existence.

In a 21st-century world of translated visual languages, with often a global artistic ethos rather than a regional one, Kieran joins other researchers in exploring how ideologies have been expressed by international designers into an architectural context intended to shape national identity. An analysis of the relations between the choices for the built environment of Islamabad and the political purposes behind can certainly add much to contemporary scholarship on the architectural production of Islamic nations in the 20th century.

Contact: kieran.gaya@ucdconnect.ie

Supervisor: Professor Kathleen James-Chakraborty 

UCD School of Art History and Cultural Policy

Newman Building, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.
T: +353 1 716 8162 | E: arthistory.culturalpolicy@ucd.ie