The Culture of Islamic Architecture and Urbanism

Published by Armenian Green Publishing Co.
Online ISSN: 2383-0247
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آﺷﻨﺎﻳﻲ ﺑﺎ «ﺷﺠﺮهﻧﺎﻣﺔ ﻣﻌﻤﺎري اﻳﺮان» و ﺑﻬﺮهﮔﻴﺮي از «ﻣﺒﺎﻧﻲ، اﺻﻮل و اﻟﮕﻮﻫﺎي» ﭘﺎﻳﺪار ﻧﻬﻔﺘﻪ در آن، در ﻣﺮﺣﻠﺔ ﻧﺨﺴﺖ ﻧﻴﺎزﻣﻨﺪ ﺧﻮاﻧﺪن ﺻﺤﻴﺢ ﻣﻌﻤﺎري اﻳﺮان ﻣﻲﺑﺎﺷﺪ. در ﻓﺮاﻳﻨﺪ ﺧﻮاﻧﺪن ﻣﻌﻤﺎري ﺑﺎ ﺳﻪ ﭘﺮﺳﺶ اﺻﻠﻲ روﺑﻪرو ﻫﺴﺘﻴﻢ. ﻧﺨﺴﺖ اﻳﻨﻜﻪ ﭼﻪ ﭼﻴﺰ را ﺑﺨﻮاﻧﻴﻢ؟ )ﺑﻪ ﭼﻪ وﺟﻮه و اﺑﻌﺎدي از ﻣﻌﻤﺎري ﺗﻮﺟﻪ ﻛﻨﻴﻢ؟(. دوم اﻳﻨﻜﻪ ﭼﺮا ﺑﺨﻮاﻧﻴﻢ )ﻫﺪف و ﻣﺤﺼﻮل ﺧﻮاﻧﺪن ﻣﻌﻤﺎري ﭼﻪ ﺑﺎﻳﺪ ﺑﺎﺷﺪ؟(. و در ﻧﻬﺎﻳﺖ ﭼﮕﻮﻧﻪ ﺑﺨﻮاﻧﻴﻢ؟ )ﭼﻪ ﻣﺴﻴﺮ و روﺷﻲ ﺑﺮاي رﺳﻴﺪن ﺑﻪ ﻫﺪف در ﭘـﻴﺶ ﺑﮕﻴﺮﻳﻢ؟(. ﻧﻮﺷﺘﺎر ﭘﻴﺶ رو، در ﭘﮋوﻫﺸﻲ ﻛﻴﻔﻲ ﺑﺎ ﺗﺠﺰﻳﻪ و ﺗﺤﻠﻴﻞ ﮔﻔﺘﺎرﻫﺎ و ﺑﻴﺎﻧﻴﻪ ﻫﺎي «ﭘﮋوﻫﺸﮕﺮان و ﻃﺮاﺣﺎن» ﻣﻌﺎﺻﺮ و ﺳﭙﺲ ﻃﺒﻘﻪﺑﻨﺪي و ﻣﺪلﺳﺎزي دادهﻫﺎ ﺗﻼش دارد راﻫﻲ ﺑﺮاي ﻧﺰدﻳﻚ ﺷﺪن ﺑﻪ ﭘﺎﺳﺦ اﻳﻦ ﺳﻪ ﭘﺮﺳﺶ در ﭘﻴﺶﮔﻴﺮد. ﺑﺮاي اﻳﻦ ﻣﻨﻈﻮر، ﭘﺲ از ﺑﺮرﺳﻲ دﻳﺪﮔﺎه اﻳﻦ دو ﮔﺮوه، ﻣﺪﻟﻲ ﻣﻔﻬﻮﻣﻲ ﻃﺮاﺣﻲ ﻣﻲﮔﺮدد ﻛﻪ در آن ﺳﻌﻲ ﺷﺪه ﺗﻌﺮﻳﻔﻲ ﻧﺴﺒﺘﺎً ﺟﺎﻣﻊ از ﻣﻌﻤﺎري اﻳﺮان ﺑﺮ اﺳﺎس ﻋﻠﺖﻫﺎي ﭼﻬﺎرﮔﺎﻧﻪ و ﺑﺴﺘﺮﻫﺎي ﺳﻪﮔﺎﻧﺔ ﻣﺆﺛﺮ در ﺗﺸﻜﻴﻞ و ﺗﻐﻴﻴﺮ ﻣﻌﻤﺎري ﻣﻌﺮﻓﻲ ﺷﻮد. اﻳﻦ ﻣﺪل ﺑﻪ ﻣﻨﺰﻟﺔ ﭘﺎﺳﺦ ﺑﻪ «ﭼﻴﺴﺘﻲ ﻣﻌﻤﺎري» و ﭼﻬﺎرﭼﻮﺑﻲ ﺑﺮاي «ﭼﺮاﻳﻲ و ﭼﮕﻮﻧﮕﻲ» ﺧﻮاﻧﺪن آن ﻣﻲﺑﺎﺷﺪ. ﺳﭙﺲ ﭼﺮاﻳﻲ ﻳﺎ اﻫﺪاف و ﻛﺎرﺑﺮد ﻫﺎي ﺧﻮاﻧﺪن ﻣﻌﻤﺎري ﺗﺒﻴﻴﻦ ﻣﻲ ﺷﻮد. ﻣﺮﺣﻠﺔ ﺑﻌﺪ ﺑﻪ ﺗﻮﺿﻴﺢ ﭼﮕﻮﻧﮕﻲ ﺧﻮاﻧﺪن ﻣﻌﻤﺎري و ﻣﺴﻴﺮ و روش اﻳﻦ ﻓﺮاﻳﻨﺪ ﻣﻲﭘﺮدازد و ﺳﭙﺲ ﭘﻴﺸﻨﻬﺎدي در ﻗﺎﻟﺐ ﻳﻚ ﺟﺪول از ﻓﻬﺮﺳﺖ ﻓﻌﺎﻟﻴﺖ ﻫﺎي ﻻزم ﺑﺮاي ﺧﻮاﻧـﺪن ﻣﻌﻤـﺎري و ﭘﻴﺶﺑﻴﻨﻲ روشﻫﺎي اﻧﺠﺎم آن اراﺋﻪ ﻣﻲﮔﺮدد. در ﭘﺎﻳﺎن ﻧﺘﺎﻳﺞ و ﻛﺎرﺑﺮدﻫﺎي اﻳﻦ ﭘﮋوﻫﺶ در ﭘﻨﺞ ﻋﺮﺻﺔ «ﺳﭙﻬﺮ ﻣﻌﻤﺎري»، ﺑﻴﺎن ﺷﺪه اﺳﺖ.
 
Article
The culture of a city is the pattern that at once repre­sents the city as a whole and the semantic atmos­phere or context in which it develops and evolves. In this respect, a city’s culture is nothing other than its system of meanings – of meaningful symbols or sym­bolic meanings – and their formal/physical patterns. An essential strategy to identify an urban culture is to take account of the various types or forms of urban spaces as well as their meanings and concepts. Therefore, it seems necessary to gain a comprehen­sive understanding of the stages of develop­ment/evolution of urban spaces as well as the relation between representations of meaning and culture in a given period. With a cultural approach to the research subject and an exploration of the city from a cultural point of view, we aim to categorize the effects of cul­ture on the formation of urban structures and forms. By analyzing the meanings and concepts of structural urban elements, we intend to present a reading of the formal/physical concepts and meanings of the case, i.e., the city of Ardabil. Urban spaces are thought of as influential cultural environments that may be effec­tive in shaping community infrastructure. Throughout history, there have been many cities across the world that used to be important for short or long periods due to political, social or cultural reasons, thus, rank­ing high among cities. One of them is Ardabil, which used to be of special importance for its political and cultural status and reached its culmination in the Sa­favid era. Ardabil was deemed a sacred place by the Safavid Dynasty. Because of Sheikh Safi al-Din’s Shrine, the religious status of the city was multiplied. It should be noted that Ardabil acquired a new and quite unprecedented significance in the Safavid era. The present research addresses the conceptual posi­tion of the city of Ardabil during the Safavid era, which is considered by many Iranians as the era of the resurgence of Shiite Islam. The main question is: How did culture manifest itself in the formation and devel­opment of the city of Ardabil in the Safavid era? To answer this question, we represent the meanings of culture in three major urban spaces of Ardabil, in­cluding Sheikh Safi al-Din’s Shrine, the Bazaar and Jom’e (Jame’) Mosque. The main purpose of this study is to analyze the meanings of prominent spaces in Ardabil city from a cultural perspective, in particu­lar, through representing the meanings and concepts of the city’s culture in the Safavid era. The study uses an exploratory method and literature review proce­dures to present an analysis based on Stuart Hall’s “Circuit of Culture” for representations of meanings. The findings indicate that the holy concept of Sheikh Safial-Din’s shrine as Safavid governance origin; ba­zaar as a main part of urban life and city magnificent; and Jom'e mosque as a religious center conceptually consolidating urban spaces represent the meaning of urban spaces. Representation of spatial meanings in the Safavid-era Ardabil was closely linked to power relations and, thus, the city’s culture reflected the re­ligious system, which was based on the legitimacy of the Shiite Safavid rule.
 
Article
Due to its special respect to human being and his living environment, the Herat School has used plethora of architectural elements. Architecture in the Herat School is an element, spread in the space of miniature, in order to arrange the structure and create an appropriate position for the characters of miniature. What is revealed in the present study is the development of architectural elements and their influence on the structure of the artworks which have been investigated using an expression-analytic method. The effect of architectural elements have never been constant throughout the history; starting with a bare facade of a building and improving gradually to an evolutionary state in miniatures of the School which has been converted to an alive and dynamic space, affecting the entire structure of the composition, as included in this study. The experimental elements of the current study have been selected from the artworks of early and late eras of Timurid miniatures. A particular perspective by the help of the architectural elements along with a frequently changing point of view and simultaneous illustration of several spaces of a building are the main characteristics of Timurid miniatures. Buildings demonstrated in Timurid miniatures include a vast spectrum from religious buildings such as mosques to civil ones like martial constructions and bathhouses, which have been deliberately selected to have the elements of the architectural factors, highlighted in two various time and chronological viewpoints; before the School and after it. To consider the elements of the Herat School in comparison with the previous approaches is a proper way to realize the importance of the appropriate position for the characters of the miniature. There are some significant aspects in Herat School which have turned it into a more practical school. The factors can be summarized as having special abundance, having proper vision to architectural aspects, having the special details of the architecture, increasing the vision domination, and setting proper frames. Comparing different structures before and after the Herat School reveals that Timurid miniature has drawn special attention over some specific aspects. The significant religious factors which can be considered in the architectural structures of the mosques are the specific domes and the fantastic miniature of the walls and floors. On the other hand, the spectrum of the non- religious structures could even be probed from miniature viewpoint. In non-religious structures, inspired by external factors, the design of the characters as well as the floor artworks have had a great impact on the colors which had been chosen to have the pattern of these structures and to highlight the dominant role of the architecture in the artworks of the non-religious structures. Consequently, minaturing has had a special position in the artworks of the structures which could be scrutinized after and before the Herat School.
 
Article
What distinguishes mankind from other creatures is that man has been settled within a world of meaning. Urban space as a cultural context is a space that includes spatial and mental aspects and the presence of man and his actions in that space is very important in its meaning. The importance of research on the meaning of urban space arises from qualitative aspects in human-environmental issues. Patterns and models related to the perception and recognition of human meanings of the environment in Western societies may not be relevant in accordance with Islamic culture. In the analysis of this process, the use of sciences related to cognitive and perceptual structures of the individual to explain the process of meaning development in urban space seems necessary and allows the study of situated processes involved in the formation of meaning perception. On the other hand, the cognitive-situated process of meaning perception in Islamic philosophy can be studied through the theory of Conventional perception (E'tebariat) theory and the philosophical level is a step to localize and recognize the cognitive-cultural process of developing environmental meanings. This study seeks to explain the position of Conventional perception theory in the situated meaning of urban space and for this purpose, by comparative study of meaning perception process from the perspective of situated cognition theory and Conventional perception theory of Allameh, uses two fields of cognitive science and Islamic philosophy. By examining the factors of Conventional (E'tebari) meanings development in urban spaces in accordance with the theory of situated cognition, the situated process of meaning development in urban space is presented from the perspective of Conventional perception theory. According to the research findings, the situated process of meaning development can be explained according to Conventional perception theory in two processes: contextual and voluntary processes. In the contextual process of meaning development, real perceptions under the influence of one's theoretical science lead to the development of real meanings of urban space. This process is in accordance with reality (objective facts) and is therefore a process with a fixed structure. The process underlies the development of the urban space meaning in Conventional perception theory based on objective facts in urban space. In this process, every urban space is a bed of artificial and natural physical affordances that can be perceived and identified by the physical and objective factors in it. In the voluntary process of meaning development, unrealistic perceptions under the influence of one's practical intellect lead to the development of Conventional meanings from the environment. Conventional meanings are defined based on real meanings and in line with the will of the individual have individual and collective actions as the real effects of Conventional meanings. Individual Conventional meanings are universal and social Conventional meanings are specific and variable meanings that depend on time and place situations. The voluntary process of meaning development in Conventional perception theory is based on the Conventional meanings of the environment. In the voluntary process of meaning development, unrealistic perceptions under the influence of one's practical intellect lead to the development of Conventional meanings of urban space. Conventional meanings are defined based on real meanings that have individual and collective actions as the real effects. Individual Conventional meanings are universal, and social Conventional meanings are specific and variable, which depend on time and place situations and are always redeveloped by changing Conventional meanings. In this process, each urban space is a bed of cognitive-social affordances that can be perceived and identified by the Conventional characteristics attributed to it, and culture is the main background for the formation of these affordances. Considering that the field of Islamic urbanism is a nascent branch of urbanism, in order to theorize, explain and strengthen the scientific position of this field at the philosophical level and studying issues related to man and the environment from the perspective of Islamic thought. Tabatabai's Conventional perception theory is a step towards localization of Western theories.
 
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The phenomenon of rapid urbanization and transformation of existing cities has put the conservation of heritage areas in the core of urban planning agenda. However, the traditional notions of monuments, groups of buildings or city sections, identifying them as separate entities within a wider urban context, is no longer sufficient to protect the characteristics and qualities of heritage from fragmentation, degeneration and subtraction of significance. Therefore, there was a transformation in both concept and scale of conservation, aroused from the challenges in this field, and as a consequence, a new approach to deal with properties in territorial scale, the Historic Urban Landscape, emerged. This approach moves the consideration of urban areas into an ecological framework , and accepts a dynamic rather than static view of cultural heritage in general, and urban heritage in particular. On 10 November 2011 UNESCO's General Conference adopted the new Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape (HUL) by acclamation, the first by UNESCO regarding urban heritage since 1976 (UNESCO 1976), aiming to facilitate the integration of heritage management and urban development. This Recommendation promotes a landscape-based approach, in which the existence of an inventory of resources and the identification of values and vulnerabilities are essential factors when drawing up urban development policies. Likewise, particular emphasis is placed, not only on the involvement of different disciplines but also on the role of other stakeholders and the community in heritage management and consequently in urban development where relevant. The HUL concept is not limited to the physical and spatial organization of the urban territory and its surroundings; it can also refer to social and cultural practices, economic processes, as well as other intangible dimensions of heritage. The HUL approach is an answer to the management of historic cities under new forms of development pressure with the main goal to preserve the significance and qualities of the city itself. In fact, the question in HUL should be about "historic urban landscape concept and approach," which aims at preserving the quality of the human environment. There is an important role for all actors in gaining an understanding of the HUL concept and approach, and then developing and applying tools and best practices to implement this important guidance. The outcomes of applying the HUL approach include continuity of historic urban identity as part of daily life, thriving social interaction and economic activity, and environmental quality in historic settlements of all types. The HUL approach can aid in achieving these objectives. These goals can be achieved by applying the four tools through a six steps action plan that is circular in nature. In this way, the research aims to study the significance of the HUL concept and approach, gives answer to "what HUL is about" and "how can it be used in urban heritage management," using qualitative content analysis technique. This paper, addressing the UNESCO (2011) Recommendation, is structured as an explication employing sections of the HUL text with discussions of their meaning and import. Discussions are used to express the implications and diversity of applications of this important statement on the urban future.
 
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Spatial Organization of Tabriz in the Turkmen Period and its Influence on the Relationship System between the Old City Center and the New Government Center in the Safavid Capitals .......................................................................................................................................... With the arrival of Shah Ismail I (1513-1551 A.D) to Tabriz and his coronation at Sahib-Abad government house, the Safavid dynasty was established in 907 AH/ 1502 AD. The city of Tabriz, as the first capital of the Safavids, has had an elaborate spatial organization since the Turkmen period (Qara Qoyunlu and Aq Qoyunlu). What impressed the nature of such a structure was how the old city center was linked with the new governmental city center. The design of new governmental Arsans (complex) in Qazvin (962 AH) and Isfahan (1006 AH) as the next capitals of the Safavids was influenced by this structure. In the city of Tabriz, the Atiq Square as an old urban space was connected to Sahib Abad Square as the new government city square via commercial spaces such as Bazaars and Qeysaries. With changes in the hierarchy of the communication elements, this system can also be tracked in the Second Safavid capital of Qazvin, in the garden complex of Jafarabad Garden, Saādat Abad Square, and the new market complex and street. But the milestone of this developmental trend took place in the urbanization of the Isfahan school in Isfahan as the third Safavid capital. The present research attempts to answer the questions related to the spatial organization of Tabriz during the Turkmen period, and how the urban elements in the form of a communication system in the Safavid capitals were used. The objective of this study is to investigate the effect of the pattern of the spatial organization formed during the Turkmen period in Tabriz on Safavid urbanization in terms of the communication between the old and the new city centers. In order to explain the objectives of our research, a comparative study was carried out between the Safavid structure in three cities of Tabriz, Qazvin and Isfahan. The data were compiled and interpreted using the qualitative content analysis method. Finally, with the comparative analysis of the cases, it has been concluded that the pattern of commercial and public spaces in the form of a bazaar complex to link the old town center with the new government center has been a successful factor in creating a coherent urban structure.
 
Top-cited authors
Morteza Mirgholami
  • Tabriz Islamic Art University
Mohammad Taghi Pirbabaei
  • Tabriz Islamic Art University
Ahad Nejad Ebrahimi
  • Tabriz Islamic Art University