(Re)framing spatiality as a socio-cultural paradigm: examining the Iranian housing culture and processes
With rapid changes in urban living today, peoples’ behavioural patterns and spatial practices undergo a constant process of adaptation and negotiation. Using “house” as a laboratory and everyday life and spatial relations of residents as a framework of analysis, the paper examines the spatial planning concepts in traditional and contemporary Iranian architecture and the associated socio-cultural practices. Discussions are drawn upon from a pilot study conducted in the city of Kerman, to investigate ways in which contemporary housing solutions can better cater to the continually changing socio-cultural lifestyles of residents. Data collection for the study involved a series of participatory workshops and employed creative visual research methods, participant observation and semi structured interviews to examine the interlacing of everyday socio-spatial relations and changing perception of identity, belonging, socio-cultural and religious values and conflict. The inferences from the study showcases the emerging social and cultural needs and practices of people manifested through the complex relationship between residents, the places in which they live, and its spatial planning and organisation. For a better understanding of this complex relationship, the paper argues the need for resituating spatiality as a socio-cultural paradigm.
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