The Position of the Iranian Critique of Architecture Relation to the Topography of Western Critique of Architecture

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Ph.D. Candidate in Faculty of Art & Architecture, Central Tehran Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran

2 Assistant Professor of Architecture, Faculty of Art & Architecture, Central Tehran Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran


The critique of architecture has always followed architects and those involved in this field and is in fact quite indispensable from it. Therefore before going around asking why it is so, it seems appropriate to ask ourselves the how. Conceding to the fact that the ultimate goal in the critique of architecture is to discover a specific style with which to think about architecture, the main question leading this research is where exactly does the modern Persian critique of architecture fit into the international arena of criticism? This article is a study into the historic-analytic critique in the west and their equivalent attempts in Iran and the subsequent conclusion that the critique of architecture in Iran unfortunately does not have a strong past and is suffering from a weak philosophical point of view as a result, also the traditional point of views has pushed this critique to hover between positivist critique and an descriptive one. This research is based on the qualitative researches and in order to explore the question it poses, the data came from library documents and comparative method is used in analyzing the facts found.
For proving assertion of this paper, we had a look over all of the studies which have ever been done in Iran around critique of architecture. We accumulated important notions in this area and rearrange them. In next step, we would dive deep into what, literally, critique of architecture is; we used leading researchers' theories to represent tangible description of critique in architecture. Critique had a vital role in growth of modernism in west, also in architecture. It also is a controversial implication which has brought together many different notions and ideas. So for getting to know what happened, we decided to scrutinize the topography of critique in the architecture in its homeland, Western Europe. By contrast in Iran, we found critique as an imported notion in literature of architecture, like many other modern ones. It was obvious that the triangle of our framework would fulfill by position of critique in contemporary architecture of Iran. In fact, we followed critique in wider context of modernism, then in narrower one, architecture. Then we tried to mention every defect and lack of knowledge in this area in Iran. Finally, our comparative analysis would show us how the architecture of Iran has faced with critique. In a nutshell, we found critique of contemporary architecture of Iran as a vague. Architecture's critique of Iran, without any philosophical basis, is hovering between positivist critique and descriptive one; it is actually suffering from what we called philosophical schizophrenia. An illusion which has penetrated to all aspect of critique in contemporary architecture of Iran; critics in Iran think they are professional in critique while they are sank to all of possible disorders in architecture. Our studies show that researches in Iran use the ideas of descriptive critique, but they apply the principles of positivists. Maybe, this challenge lays on critical identity between social layers of Iran. We, perhaps, need to rearrange pyramid from to top, not vice versa.