Document Type : Research Paper
Associate Professor, Faculty of Architecture & Urbanism, Tabriz Islamic Art University, Tabriz
Associate Professor, School of Architecture,College of Fine Arts,University of Tehran,Tehran
PhD Student in Islamic architecture, Faculty of Architecture & Urbanism, Tabriz Islamic Art University, Tabriz
Human-environmental interactions contain contingent concepts which, for their structural quiddity, are constantly reproduced, as a product of these interactions, in the placemaking process and in a natural and cultural context. The concept of value is the most fundamental instance of a contingent concept. Besides, an open space for a residential building, as the smallest unit that provides immediate communication between the human society and natural elements or phenomena, is an appropriate field for evaluating these concepts as part of the conceptual recognition system and human intervention in the environment. Therefore, with the aim of providing a conceptual model of the value system in the relationship between humans and the built environment, this study tries to figure out how we can explain the emergence, development and functioning of values in open spaces for residential buildings in traditional Iranian architecture. Additionally, the term value is used to introduce a diverse range of concepts, and this indiscrimination in usage seems to have led to theoretical obfuscation in the terminology. It is a necessary first step, then, to recognize the concept of value at the theoretical level via an interdisciplinary research that spans the fields of sociology, philosophy and architecture. Accordingly, to answer the research question, an applied interpretation of the concept of value will be presented based on the theory of contingents (i`tibariāt) with auxiliary recourse to the theory of structuration. In this interpretation, values are contingent concepts which, with structural properties in individual and social behavior, serve as norms in human-environmental decision making. To explore this in selected cases, as based on the relation of humans to the main elements of environment, the present study proposes a circular structure which is comprised of two components: content of values and relative importance of values. This circular system was extracted from and compared in ten types of open spaces for residential buildings in traditional Iranian architecture. The samples were selected based on theoretical sampling, relevance to the research subject and the richness of patterns. The content of values were extracted through an integrated analysis of formal/physical features as well as environmental constraints, patterns and concepts, and then inferring values from those environmental concepts. The analysis is organized into four axes including human communication with God, nature, history and society as the main elements of environment. The relative importance of values was also achieved through the grading of compatibility between the optimal, the possible and the ideal in the realization of environmental concepts in discovered patterns. An analysis of the circular system of values in selected cases shows that, despite a strong resemblance in content, the human-environment value system exhibits different properties depending on environmental conditions. Therefore, the value system cannot be conceived of as abstract, independent and subjective. This highlights the importance of focusing not only on the content but also on the structure and system of values. In addition, environmental conditions can be considered as an important factor in the reproduction process and the sustainability of values in society.