In the Safavid period, houses were decorated in Islamic design, with beautiful paintings on the wood and plaster work on the wall.

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I said, ‘Whatever I have seen in the movies, this is not it! First they sent me to high school to learn English, which I never did unfortunately.

Then I went to Cornell University for a brief while. I learned fashion design and restoration; I started working, and I lived in New York for twelve years.

So, rather than sleep, I used to count the birds and the flowers.

Then at the age of seven we moved to Tehran; my father had a government position in the Parliament.

(…) When I discovered the mirror mosaics, I realized that nothing is done spontaneously; it is all a calculation of geometry and design.

If you divide a circle at three points, it will be a triangle.

I was on the road for three months, from Tehran to Los Angeles and at last to New York.

When I finally arrived in Manhattan, I was very disappointed.

MSF: I was doing freelance fashion drawings, and I drew some flowers – we call them Iranian violets – and sold them for 0 to an agency.