Impression of meaning of home from physical transformation in Contemporary Era of Tehran

Document Type : Research Paper


Department of Architecture, Faculty of Architecture and Urban Design


The present research intends to narrate changes which contemporary home have undergone. The meaning of home has been studied from many different perspectives such as psychology, phenomenology, sociology and environment behavior studies. Several authors have argued that a more integrative and interdisciplinary approach is needed in which physical, socio-cultural, psychological and economic dimensions are interrelated. However, in most research only physical transformation has been reviewed and its impression on meaning of home has been neglected, because it is absolutely complicated. In addition, there are even more complexities in Iran. The presentation of a certain quality of life in Iranian traditional houses and the quick evolution of residential patterns in contemporary Iranian architecture make the decline of quality more obvious in current home, and leave the inhabitants with nostalgia for old homes. The distance between the Iranian traditional home, which used to be the up-bringing locus of humans who were looking after humanity in this mortal world, and its contemporary being is increasing. The traditional homes had been reached to their dynamism and durability but the contemporary homes found new rules for shaping. So many different questions have aroused accordingly. One of them is “how changes in house form in contemporary era has affected on meaning of home for residents?” Therefore, in addition to study the meaning of home and its difference with house, it is necessary to select two factors -of changing in house forms and changing in residents’ intellectual about home- from different factors that effect on meaning of home. In this regards, this research has been two separate parts. In the first stage, the physical evolution of houses is briefly reviewed, three different types of contemporary houses are chosen, and physical differences between them as well as influences imposed on the concept of home are analyzed. The purpose of the second stage is to understand the meaning of home for different people. The research achieves this end by finding people in the same family but from three successive generations (with the same culture) which has been lived in three types of houses in previous part and doing deep semi-structured interview with these groups. So this research has a qualitative approach. Nevertheless, it occasionally takes advantage of different approaches and tools such as documentary studies and semi-structured deep interviews. As the consequence have revealed, a home includes many different meanings besides simply being a house. In a way, it is an abstract synthesis of time and space. It also has different aspects -namely physical, functional, social, mental-cognitive, sensory and spiritual aspects- which acquire meaning only when the element of time is added. And also the results indicates that meaning of home for all of interviewees tend to be a cognitive phenomenon more than a physical or material issues, However parts of its meaning tend to be changed to material phenomenon. In addition in the mind of residents quality of space in home has been reduced and meaning of home has been depending of quantitative factors more than qualitative factors.


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