Sculptor Siah Armajani is best known for his public works in the forms of functional bridges, gardens, and rooms. He moved from Iran to Minneapolis to attend Macalester College, settling in St. Paul. Early American vernacular buildings such as log cabins, barns, and covered bridges, as well as writers such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, John Dewey, and Walt Whitman (whose texts often appear on his structures) inspire his work. His structures are gathering places for reflections on democracy and populism, and he designed the 1996 Summer Olympics cauldron. More recent installations are personal responses to political events in Iran.