Iranian architecture & art today
Editorial of 2A Magazine issue 18- Ahmad Zohadi
Since 2A magazine has specific message, which is to have a positive effect globally in each edition, therefore, we have decided to dedicate the 2A current edition to culture and architecture of one of the countries of the Middle East region – Iran, and we will continue this trend with the other countries of the Middle East.
Various architectural parameters in the country have been placed in our plan to be dedicated in 2A current edition.
I would like to highlight my view points to analyze the theme and consequetly come up with a right message which reflects the actual image of Iranian Architecture.
Some major factors directly and indirectly affects and makes the cultural identity of any society and this identity in turn creates and shapes all aspects of any society including art and architecture. Because our cultural beliefs shapes the way we look at ourselves and view our world.
These factors are historical, religious, Demographic, and geographical.
Culture, consist of sets of belief, traditions and ways of life which a society adopt throughout its history.
For our purposes which is to focus specifically on Iranian architecture and art in this issue, I will briefly discus Iranian culture’s development and its history.
Iranian culture has been developed in more than 7000 years as one of the first civilizations in the history of mankind.
Iranian culture can not be looked at as one uniform culture because of its demographic diversity. There are many different groups of people living in Iran. The persians, Azeries, Kurds, Lors, Baloochies, Gilanis, Turkmens, Armenian and many other ethnic groups. Each of these groups have made their own unique contibution to Iranian society as whole, and they have successfully blended and created a special unity within the country.
Iranian culture have also been greatly influenced by religions. Iran was the birth place of Zoroaster the Founder of Zoaresterianism which was the first religion believing in one and only one god, called Ahura Mazda. Iranians have been follower of zorraster before Islam entered into Iranian culture with its emergence about 1400 years ago.
Iranians emraced Islam whole heartedly and this great religion grew and became the dominant religion very rapidly. As a result of this, the Iranian culture was greatly effected by Islamic values, toughts and guidlines. It affected all the dimensions of Iranian life, including its art and architecture, which can be clearly observed all over Iranian cities.
Geographical factor can also lead to diversificaton of customs and lifestyles and as a result create different forms of architecture and art. This can be clearly observed in Iran. For instance the hot and harsh climate of the kavir regions (desert) in central Iran, has forced the people of that area to adopt a certain type of architecture which is suitable for those weather conditions. In the city of Yazd, we can see this trend, where certain wind towers (Badgir) are built on top of their building which helps to reduce the temperature inside the building and make it cooler.
Of course the history of a Country is the most important factor in forming the cultural identity of a nation.
Because it is the sum total of all the events that a Nation has experienced and been affected by, during its existence.
Based on historical evidences, Iranian civilization have made great contributions to humanity’s scientific, cultural, artistic, social and political growth and progress. For instance, the Kourosh’s declaration of human right was the first of its kind in the history of the world, which its symbol is presently placed on top of the main entrance of the united nation.
It is beyond the scope of this article to explain all aspects of “Cultural Identity” and its effects on architectiture and art, However I hope the mentioned hints, can help us to look into Iranian architecture and art from various angles, and by doing so understand the root and sources of Traditional Iranian achitectural and artistic designs.
Furthermore, I would like to state that , Our position and belief in 2A magazine is that, The architectural designs in the contemperory era, should consider, keep and use its traditional identity, while at the same time incorprate the new and modern methods of architecture where they may be more practical and suitable for today’s needs.
Therefore the selected designs are picked from the designs which have considered both traditional Iranian architectural designs and also used the modern principles of architecture, and our categorization will be in the following fashion:
Commercial and offices