Transitions in domestic architecture and home culture in twentieth century Iran
Author(s)Karimi, Z. Pamela (Zahra Pamela)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Architecture.
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This dissertation explores the transformation of the Iranian home in twentieth century Iran. While surveying the socio political underpinnings and aesthetic ends of domesticity in Iranian culture from the early twentieth century through the first two decades of the revolution, this study also examines the impact of the Cold War on the daily life of Iranians. A showcase for the West's humanitarian efforts in the region, the "reform" of the Iranian home was first brought about by missionaries, architects, and other foreign parties. They engaged in a hybrid dialogue that helped bring about a reconfiguration of houses, home cultures, and behaviors and tastes in domestic life. The Point IV Program of the Truman administration exported American home life by establishing home economics schools for Iranian girls. Subsequently, the Iranian domestic market was flooded with a plethora of new home goods. The influx of new spaces and goods raised questions about the authenticity of Shiite daily life, indigenous taste, consumer culture, and gender relations. Since 1979 the focus on Iran's internal politics and its foreign relations has distracted attention from more subtle transformations, which took place prior to and in the aftermath of the Islamic Revolution. By looking at the roles and opinions of religious scholars, the Left, and the revolutionary elites this study can also be seen as one that re-examines the history of Iran's revolution through the lens of the everyday and private lives of people.(cont.) Subsequently, this dissertation details the ways in which new ideas regarding the relationship between public and private spaces were put forward by numerous architects, urban planners, and cultural critics both during the reign of Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi (1941-1979) and in the two decades following the revolution. Finally, it shows how, since 1979, Iranians have contested the dichotomies of "public" and "private" as manifested in the Islamic Republic's texts, images, and actual physical spaces. Towards this end, this dissertation explores the interplay between foreign influences, religious rhetoric, gender roles, economic factors, and education as they intersect with taste, fashion, and architecture.
Thesis (Ph. D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Architecture, 2009.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (p. 296-320).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Architecture.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology