The theoretical inapplicability of regionalism to analysing architectural aspects of Islamic shrines in Iran in the last two centuries
AuthorHASSAN POUR, FARAMARZ; LEWIS, MILES; GUO, QINGHUA
Source TitleInternational Congress of Imam's Descendants (Imamzadegan)
PublisherThe Charity Organisation
AffiliationFaculty of Architecture, Building and Planning
Document TypeConference Paper
CitationsHassan Pour, F., Lewis, M. & Guo, Q. (2013). The theoretical inapplicability of regionalism to analysing architectural aspects of Islamic shrines in Iran in the last two centuries. In International Congress of Imam's Descendants (Imamzadegan), Esfahan, Iran.
Access StatusOpen Access
Regionalism, as a counter process to internationalism through which modernism was criticised, could have been an encompassing system in analysing architectural works, if the main theorists of regionalism had not limited the scope of this theory to only modern and abstract way of designing and thinking in architecture. Some of them, like Curtis, criticises Islamic ways of cultural expression in symbolic and popular architectural designs while the other, like Frampton, only count a modern expression of regional identity in architecture as ‘critical regionalism’. The major architectural characteristics of Islamic shrines in the Qajar and more recent periods, has undergone significant changes. The main role of the domes of the shrines, for example, became symbolic rather than functional. This study examines the ways in which Western Orientalism, even in regionalist language, has failed to present a comprehensive image in analysing architectural works in developing countries, like Iran, in which internationalism did not change every aspect of architectural forms. Islamic shrines were of the places that their architectural elements persisted to change in confronting the Western cultural tsunami, which was accelerated in the last two hundred years. However, the main form of these shrines is not functional, as it was before, and this allows the interaction of Irano-Islamic and modern architecture to happen easily. The present study will discuss how theories and methodologies, which seem quite logical in analysing Western architecture during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, are not applicable to the study of the Islamic shrines in the same period in Iran.
Keywordsarchitecture; regionalism; Islamic shrines; Iran; Persia; Qajar; 19th and 20th centuries
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