Background and Objectives: Creativity has been a constant concern of artists and architects in different periods of history. Contemporary challenges and problems require new solutions that fit the requirements of current period. Knowing that the ultimate goal of architecture is to create a place for people to live, creativity in this field should also be directed towards enhancing the quality of human existence and addressing the evolving challenges of each period. Therefore, achieving a systematic model that allows assessing the creativity of the architectural works that introduces the influential components of this field, can solve many problems related to both human society and the environment. Such a model can also contribute significantly to the design of innovative and valuable architectural creations. In this study, a model for evaluating the creativity of architectural designs has been introduced, utilizing the SAPPhIRE method, adapting it to architectural contexts, and considering the authentic human environmental needs. This model takes into account multiple facets of architectural creativity and its compatibility with human well-being, ultimately quantifying the creativity level of each building with a specific numerical value. The model was applied to assess the creativity of LalehPark, Atlas, and Setarehbaran Commercial Buildings in Tabriz city, and the findings have been deliberated upon.
Methods: In this research, two research strategies have been used. At first, with the aim of providing a model to assess the creativity of architectural work, the Delphi research method has been used. The Delphi technique provides a convenient way for experts to reach consensus on a topic without face-to-face interaction. According to this method, in order to adapt and interpret the SAPPhIRE creativity assessment method with the architectural space, an open interview was conducted with architectural elites in the first stage. Next, every participant in the Delphi panel received a questionnaire and ranked and assigned scores to the summarized points derived from the initial phase. By specifying the desired components of the elite panel, the architectural creativity assessment model was completed. Then, with the aim of assessing the level of creativity of selected commercial buildings in Tabriz city, a survey strategy has been used with a quantitative approach. To achieve this objective, the approach involved distributing questionnaires to individuals who had firsthand experience residing in the designated areas, as well as conducting interviews with architects and experts in the field of architecture within the city. Finally, in the present research, after collecting information based on bibliographic studies and understanding the concepts and components of architectural creativity and establishing a logical connection between these components through the Delphi technique and using the opinions of experts, a model was provided for assessing the creativity of architectural works. The authors utilized the provided model to evaluate the creativity levels of LalehPark, Atlas, and Setarehbaran Commercial Buildings in Tabriz city. This assessment involved the completion of questionnaires and conducting interviews, and the subsequent compilation and presentation of the results.
Findings: In most definitions of creativity, two main elements have been introduced for an architectural work to be recognized as creative, innovative and useful. The main benefit and purpose of architecture is to create a suitable environment for human life; therefore, the creativity of architectural works should also be realized in line with attention to human beings and their quality of life. It is not possible to provide human living environment without considering human needs. This is when architecture becomes important – it helps meet those needs in the environment. On the other hand, architectural creativity is valuable when it serves human life and responds to human needs. As a result, architectural creativity should focus on finding fresh and innovative ways to meet human needs in the environment. In this article, we introduced a model to assess the creativity of architectural designs by evaluating their ability to meet human needs within the environment (the benefit of architecture) and measuring the uniqueness of these solutions (architectural innovation). This model was used to assess the creativity of three commercial complexes: LalehPark, Atlas, and Setarehbaran Commercial Buildings. Our findings indicated that LalehPark scored 0.77 in terms of benefit, Atlas scored 0.71, and Setarehbaran scored 0.67. Regarding creativity, LalehPark scored 0.36, Atlas scored 0.35, and Setarehbaran scored 0.30. Consequently, the overall creativity ratings were as follows: LalehPark at 0.28, Atlas at 0.25, and Setarehbaran at 0.20.
Conclusion: Based on the test results, the foremost priority for users of commercial complexes is addressing their physical requirements. In these buildings, spiritual needs hold the least significance for users. Over the past decade, especially during the shopping mall trend in Tabriz city, designers and builders have taken these preferences of the public into account. By incorporating elements like spacious lobbies, enhanced spatial transparency, establishing visual connections between levels, and ensuring clear visibility of vertical access points from main areas, they have successfully created an environment contributing to creativity and meeting the physical needs of visitors. Simultaneously, the introduction of diverse amenities such as cinemas, food courts, amusement parks, and coffee shops has attracted a wide range of people from various age groups and societal backgrounds, leading to the prosperity of these complexes.