In developing contexts, competing ideas of the past have played a vital role in understanding the present and imagining the future. This vitality is discerned in both politics and culture but importantly, in cultural expressions such as architecture. This book interprets development as a globalizing project that instigates complex processes of historical consciousness in developing nations. The tangible effect of this consciousness is a deliberate reappraisal and appropriation of past practices and forms to renegotiate present conditions. This selective and conscious use of the past in the present suggests heritage at work. Architectural design is an exemplar of this cultural process. Focusing on Iran between the 1970s and early 1990, this book illustrates how architecture became a conduit for the production of heritage at large in a modernizing Muslim society, and how that process has been entangled with development and intellectual debates before and after the Islamic Revolution.
'Contestations, appropriations, and politicizations are increasingly becoming front and center in the conversation about heritage. This book is particularly valuable since it tackles these issues in the context of a modernizing Muslim society. Insightful and cross-disciplinary it opens new perspectives on issues that reach far beyond the borders of Iran.'
Mark Jarzombek, Professor of the History and Theory of Architecture, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The last decades of the twentieth century, encompassing the late Pahlavi regime and the early years after the Revolution, is still a poorly understood period in Iranian architecture. In their new book, Ali Mozaffari and Nigel Westbrook use notions of development and heritage to unravel architecture's complex intentions and practices. Avoiding more polemical accounts, the authors guide us with insight and wisdom through this fascinating period.'
Mark Crinson, Professor of Architectural History, Birkbeck, University of London
Ali Mozaffari (M.Arch. Ph.D.) is Australian Research Council (ARC) Senior Research Fellow with the Alfred Deakin Institute, Deakin University, Australia. See Ali Mozaffari's research profile and other books here.
Nigel Westbrook (PhD) is Associate Professor of Architecture at the Faculty of Design, University of Western Australia. See his academic profile here.
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List of figures and plates page viii Acknowledgements xiv
Note on transliteration xvi
Introduction – Development, architecture, and heritage: The formation of a collective imagination 1
1 A vital past: Engaging nostalgia 27
2 Canvassing a future: The international congresses of architecture in Iran and the transnational search for identity 55
3 Heritage in the everyday: Housing and collective identity before 1979 82
4 Forming a future from the past: Realizing an everyday Islamic identity 114
5 Forming a national image through public projects: The Shahyad Arya-Mehr Tower 145
6 Tehran’s reluctant urban centre: Representing the national capital 180
Conclusion: Design as the mediator of development and heritage 223