Volume 7, Issue 4 (winter 2020 2020)                   JRIA 2020, 7(4): 137-153 | Back to browse issues page

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Ahmadi Z, Habib F. The Meaning of Emptiness and Its Role in Islamic Architecture (Case Study: Historical Houses of Yazd). JRIA 2020; 7 (4) :137-153
URL: http://jria.iust.ac.ir/article-1-1252-en.html
Professor, Azad University, Tehran
Abstract:   (4917 Views)
In this study emptiness is considered as a transcendental and effective concept that appears in the form and content of things. What is seen as internally present in an entity is existent in the first instance because of the external presence of its opposite. The entity and its opposite are intertwined through the principle of inverse correspondence, a higher level of accord that emerges from the disposition of asymmetrical qualities. this symmetrical, yet reversed, reciprocity is the logic of ‘‘is and yet is not’’ and that of ‘‘simultaneity, and biconditionality, of opposites without their higher synthesis.
Emptiness is often understood as nonexistence, a void that is symptomatic of a predominant fixation on objects. In contrast emptiness is neither nothing nor the suffocating void of limitless expansion in which things are at best desolately scattered. Rather, it is the ultimate foundation of reality that transcends ideas of ‘‘being’’ and ‘‘non-being.’’ Subsequently, what is operating in emptiness is a double negation: the negation of being, which leads to nonbeing, and the negation of nonbeing.  Existential Identity depends on the dialectical relationship of that thing with its opposites. The identity of a being is determined not by what is believed to be existent within itself but by its dialectical relationship with the opposite, like the moment in which one finds one’s self to be the being of warmth in reference to coldness enveloping and penetrating the body.
Ignoring Emptiness and empty space caused intensifying the focus of designers and architects on the full space and this has increased the contemporary architecture crisis. this study aims to take advantage of the values of the vernacular architecture of Iran and its continuity. It relies on the theory of empty space and the opposite pairs, as the first pillar of creating empty space. Answers to this question: what is the role of empty space in the vernacular Yazd houses in semantic dimension?
 This study aimed to clarify the role of this concept in the vernacular architecture of Iran by understanding the meaning of emptiness. and evaluating selected houses as a case study. This research has been done in qualitative research and data is collected by observation and study of written documents.
The emergence of empty concept coincides with two elements or opposite qualities in such a way that the two opposites are interconnected without diminishing one another. Based on theoretical findings, the expression of the empty concept is conditional on the existence of three pillars: The first: the contradiction, the second: interaction, the third: balance and unity.
Based on the theoretical findings, expression of emptiness concept has three main pillars. Firstly: the contradiction (Coexistence of two opposing elements), secondly: the interaction of two opposites, thirdly: balance and unity. Since the emptiness operates as the foundational principle in traditional genres of architecture in Asia suchas Iran, the process of integrating the three pillars extracted from theoretical foundations were evaluated and analyzed in five vernacular houses of Yazd. In the phenomenological study of five houses in Yazd as a case study houses were investigated in three aspects: shape - body, functional, semantic. This article focuses on semantic aspect.
The findings depict that the emptiness as a transcendental concept is the result of the process of opposite elements and their interactions and the development of the unity of opposites. According this study, the philosophy of emptiness has manifested in the form of the dialectic of opposites. this study has brought one’s attention to the arrangement of contrasting qualities in the yazd houses such as the crossing and peresence inside and outside.
The architect of an Iranian traditional house positions things of spiritual character in such a way that they create a coordinated balance between forces. In this fashion, the house ‘‘brings into special focus the underlying relatedness of things, the mutuality which exists in spite of differences between outside and inside, great and small, and observer and observed.
Vernacular architects had understood the necessity of companionship of opposing pairs and their dialectical as an essential element of empty concept. They have considered interactive opposite qualities such as darkness and light, outside and inside, male and female, silence and talk, simplicity and complexity, uniformityand variety. The results of the research show that empty space plays a major role in the vernacular architecture of Iran. The empty spaces are more focused and authentic and solid spaces take their identity and credit from empty and void spaces.
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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: 2020/04/24 | Accepted: 2020/04/24 | Published: 2020/04/24

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