year 1, Issue 1 (Fall & Winter 2016)                   CIAUJ 2016, 1(1): 39-62 | Back to browse issues page

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Moazzami M. Iran's Contemporary Architecture; Short-term society - short-term architecture. CIAUJ. 2016; 1 (1) :39-62
URL: http://ciau-tabriziau.ir/article-1-68-en.html
Ministry of Road and Urban Development , m.moazzami@ut.ac.ir
Abstract:   (3518 Views)

Some of the experts in the two fields of cultural domain and Iranian society, believe in “historical experience accumulation”, which is the outcome of historical cohesive idea; on the other hand, some experts believe that compared to historical experience accumulation, we are facing “historical rupture” and the repetition of past experiences; our “temporary society” concept, comes from this school of thought which is a consequence of studying and observing Iranian culture, character and attributes through the course of history. According to temporary society concept, society has faced essential changes during two brief periods and as a result its history has changed into short period strings, attached to each other. Unfinished searches to find architectural space and a safe haven and some other, different city has filled Iranian history with fear and hope. Iranians have always had ideals for themselves in the course of civil evolution and were in pursuit of making spaces and housings with bright futures, but the real crisis started at the time when news came in from other parts of the world expressing that there had been occurrences on the other side of the planet that had resulted in a better city and life for people, and specially in contemporary era, the society started dreaming and fantasizingabout those ideals. In Pahlavi era, this fact combined with the appeal of urbanization and emigration, directed the society toward civilization crisis and failure of dreams.

What Pahlavi government did to reform the society economically and socially, had some direct effects on structure and skeleton of urban and rural architecture; but its deepest and most noticeable effect was the change it initiated in Iranians perspective toward the dream they had about their past. Iranian addressee’s dreaming had trapped him in the conflict between his internal and external life, and his desired being unfulfilled in the surrounding world, caused a passive rupture to emerge which has caused the internal crisis in contemporary Iranian people.

In a situation like this, “architecture”, which, after “language”(or as a demonstrative language) is considered to be the most important symbol of culture and “vessel of life”; has been the subject to change and crisis due to cultural crisis. A kind of excitement, uncertaintyand multiplicity is clear when looking at creations of architects and the class and position of architecture has been given to construction and installation. There are as many views, criterions, tastes and demands for construction as there are people in the society and this makes “being different” to be the most cardinal aspect of the contemporary architecture. 

The realm of architecture and the scenery of contemporary Iranian cities, especially those like Tehran, are filled with fascinating developing designs which are different from the past and different with eachother. The dominance of contemporary thought school combined with attributes of idealism and development, is a fixed issue, taking a new form every day and while seeming to end, it will reborn in a new form.In the new constructive perspective, architecture is regarded as a form of “commodity” and not a “place to live”, city as a “commodity warehouse” and not “civil ground”; as a result, Iranian architecture is becoming more of a “simple architecture”.

Although, rays of hope have always been visible in a temporarily manner in Iranian architecture, character and behavior of Iranian people, extreme mental uncertainty and unpredictability of the future, have never allowed them a long term perception of life, or a long term dream for architecture and city (as the structural place of residing); but they have given an unreliable identity to the optimum quality of contemporary architecture. In a short term perspective, architecture does not mature enough and does not take a solid form, and is ready to produce a newer form.

The main source of the present disordered condition of Iranian architecture is the dominant confusion on mental state and dreams of Iranian society and lack of cultural awareness and also the ruptures and cultural degradation (cultural confusion) in the Iranian society. A society in which being “short term” is its most obvious feature and the speed, volume and process of transformations in it, have had a deepening and intensifying effect on its changes and on enduring and unfinished dreaming of society; in a way that when we consider the contemporary era, we see a clear recessionary effect.

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