Changing discourses on visibility and invisibility in Iranian domestic architecture: a case study in Vali-Asr district in Tabriz (1980-2000)

Golabi, Maryam
This thesis aims to investigate the influence of socio-cultural transformations on the domestic architecture in the twentieth century in Iran in general and in Tabriz in particular. Pierre Bourdieu’s theoretical framework on the relation of social space and physical space provided conceptual tools for this study. The house is conceptualized as a physical embodiment of the social space. The attempt is to understand how the structure of social space, which is influenced by the ideology of the state is mirrored and spatialized in the domestic architecture. The thesis devises the concept of the ‘aesthetics of invisibility’ for understanding the residential architecture in the post-revolutionary Iran. This study employs a combined research methodology. Firstly, the development of Iranian architectural discourse in terms of domestic architecture is investigated through publications from early twentieth century onwards. Changing ideas and thoughts on visibility and invisibility in the residential architecture is studied in the contemporary Iran. Secondly, the shifts in the identity of Iranian women and their influence on the design of the domestic space is investigated through the mass media. Finally, a case study is conducted in Vali-asr district in Tabriz to examine the plan and façade organizations of houses built between 1980 and 2000. The findings of the study demonstrate that the domestic architecture cannot be evaluated comprehensively in an abstract way, in isolation from contextual factors. This study highlights how the revival of Islamic values in Iran influences the organization of the plans and elevations of houses. It shows how the domestic space is the product of the social space and any change in gender relations, habitus, and individuals’ identity is translated in the domestic architecture.


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Citation Formats
M. Golabi, “Changing discourses on visibility and invisibility in Iranian domestic architecture: a case study in Vali-Asr district in Tabriz (1980-2000),” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2018.