Volume 8, Issue 4 (winter 2020 2021)                   JRIA 2021, 8(4): 61-84 | Back to browse issues page

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Mohamad Hoseini P, Javan Foruzandeh A, Jahani Dolatabad E, Heidari A A. Analysis of the role of cultural choices in shaping the structure of vernacular houses (Case study: Ardabil houses in late Qajar and Pahlavi first). JRIA 2021; 8 (4) :61-84
URL: http://jria.iust.ac.ir/article-1-1393-en.html
Abstract:   (5678 Views)
The home as the oldest and closest human shelter has a direct relationship with human culture. The connection between culture and architecture is more pronounced in vernacular residential architecture. Vernacular houses are the result of choices and adaptation of humans to the environment over time. They have evolved from the evolution of human experiences against various cultural, natural, biological, and economic factors. Human beings are always in the position of choosing different subjects of their lives. But what is true is that people usually choose things in different situations that are consistent with their mental structures, and at the same time, the result of that choice can meet their needs. It can be assumed that human culture is the basis of its various choices. Choosing is, on the one hand, influenced by the environmental conditions, which, basically, the type of response to these conditions influenced by cultural variables and attitudes of individuals.
Therefore, the main question is the question of what, how and why the effect of the «choice» factor, especially cultural choices, is on the formation of the vernacular house›s structure in Ardebil. The purpose of this study is to understand the semantic dimensions of the vernacular houses of Ardebil and to analyze the role of cultural choices in shaping of spatial_ physical and behavioral patterns, and in organizing the structure of houses. Accordingly, a number of houses belonging to the middle class of the city from the late Qajar and early Pahlavi periods in the traditional context of the city of Ardabil were chosen as a case study. Then the physical dimensions and cultural and behavioral components related to their inhabitants were extracted. The methodology of this research is qualitative. The method of data collection is field studies, documentary studies, and semi-structured interviews. The method of analyzing data is descriptive-analytic based on the rational reasoning method and qualitative content. The research steps are pursued in four steps: in the first step, the «basis of choice», which consists of two sections: «environmental factors» and «basic assumptions of culture» or the third level of culture, are explained; In the second step, the «Indicators of choice», which include the second-level variables of culture, such as do›s and don›ts, norms, rules, expectations, and valuations, were analyzed; In the third step, the «manifestation of choice», which are examples of the Indicators of choice as «meanings», were examined; And in the final step, «Impressions of choice» or Patterns of space and patterns of current behaviors related to
housing were analyzed. Following the above process in the formation of the structure of vernacular Ardebil houses in the late Qajar and early Pahlavi, the results were as follows: Environmental factors such as economic bottlenecks and cold climates formed meanings such as courtesy, self-sufficiency, foresight for the winter and ... as examples of choice indicators. These factors have had a great influence on the physical structure and discipline of the residential spaces of vernacular Ardebil houses in all three macro, middle, and small scales. For example, the orientation of the building, the establishment of the kitchen inside the house, the use of thick walls of brickwork and double-glazed windows, the presence of minimal spaces (consisting of a linear extension of a two-part pattern of the atrial chamber), simplicity in the components of the building, the use of indigenous materials and ... . Social and cultural commonalities such as worldview, religion, values, and beliefs, and ideals in the homogeneous and traditional Ardebil community of the time have shaped such meanings as the need to preserve kinship and neighborliness, the importance of the structure and position of the family, and norms and values such as religiosity, traditionalism, veil, Empathy with the people was in the minds of the people. The physical implications of these meanings are building houses of the same spatial pattern, without indicating superiority and isolation from other buildings, observing Islamic norms in the construction of houses, adopting solutions to privacy in houses, and so on. On the other hand, the behavior settings, the type of use of spaces, spatial divisions, territories and spatial boundaries, the relations of spaces, the use of communal spaces, etc. have also been influenced by valuations, norms, requirements, and the necessities of cultural factors. In sum, it can be said that culture in two stages affects human choices in relation to the issue of housing: 1) The basic assumptions or variables of the third level of culture (Figure 1), determine and explain the range of choice options for individuals. 2) Indicators of choice or second-level variables of culture (Figure 1), by defining a set of values, requirements, and necessities, generate meanings and orientations for the basis of choice, including environmental factors. This will prioritize some options against other options. Hence, human choices can be considered «cultural choices». Cultural differences are one of the most important factors influencing people›s choices. This means that differences in the culture of different societies create different meanings in people›s minds that create different behavioral and physical- spatial patterns. The research process of this paper for the recognition of vernacular Ardebil houses can be used as a model for understanding the structure of other houses in other regions and cultures. However, the method used in this research will have different results for different climates and cultures. However, given the fact that many variables of the basis of choices, such as climatic conditions and some of the basic assumptions of culture in different societies, have remained constant over time, one can use the results of the analysis of the structure of vernacular houses to improve the housing situation today in order to help make the house more consistent with the ecosystem, climate, and culture of societies.
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Type of Study: Research | Subject: Subject- oriented researches in Islamic architecture and urbanism, eg. Spatial-geometrical ideas, symbols and ornaments
Received: 2020/12/4 | Accepted: 2021/02/28 | Published: 2021/02/28

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