Architectonics in Pre- and Post-revolutionary Iran

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The 1908 discovery of oil in southwest Iran resulted in rapid industrialisation and a constant escalation of the rate of technological advancement in the country. Since then, the general attitude of the populace toward technological expression in architectural “image” has transformed drastically. In the pre-revolutionary era, 1908–1978, the Pahlavi dynasty utilised architechnological statements, along with the prevailing commodification of culture, to position the nation on the global modernisation track, and to propagate a new identity for the existing semi-peasant society. At the time, many argued that Westoxification and Technological Toxicity had invaded the traditional fabric of cities; as a result, the 1978 Islamic revolution took place in resistance to the government’s allegedly hostile modern policies. Interestingly enough, since the revolution, not only has the trend for the technification of architecture been supported by a large number of intellectuals, architects and the masses, but the desire for Islamic Utopia has, paradoxically, gradually dissolved. This development has left architectural historians and critics with one fundamental question: why has the country’s attitude towards the modernization and technification of architecture significantly transformed in a short period of time Discussing a number of contemporary architectural projects from these two contradictory historical junctures, this paper posits that the revolutionary power of technology, along with the domination of consumerism, have played a decisive role in changing the society’s attitude towards the modern lifestyle and its expression in architecture after the Islamic Revolution.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHistoriographies of Technology and Architecture
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 35th Annual Conference of the Society of Architectural Historians of Australia and New Zealand
Editors Joanna Merwood-Salisbury, Michael Dudding, Christopher McDonald
Place of PublicationNew Zealand
PublisherSociety of Architectural Historians of Australia and New Zealand (SAHANZ)
Number of pages24
ISBN (Print)9780473457136
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventHistoriographies of Technology and Architecture: The 35th Annual Conference of the Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand - Faculty of Architecture and Design, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand
Duration: 4 Jul 20187 Jul 2018


ConferenceHistoriographies of Technology and Architecture
Country/TerritoryNew Zealand


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