Reprinted from:
Architecture & Culture magazine
No. 9, Summer 2001

A note on Modern Architecture

By: Hossein Sultan-zadeh, Iran
Advances in sciences, communications, building and industrial materials along with innovations in the computer and electronic sector have effected and in many cases transformed the traditional concepts of living spaces and architecture, leading us to ponder new questions and ideas.

A large group of architects still believe in the traditional notions of architecture and despite recent innovations in the computer field, they still advocate creation and design of architectural spaces by hand on paper, while others encourage their students to take full advantage of new tools at their disposal. The preceding difference of opinion is one of the problems faced within our field, but another persistent question concerns the description of architecture.

In the past, any activity that was concerned with the design and construction of spaces was simply recognized as architecture. A delicate, but important distinction between construction and architecture is that the first applies proven and known techniques in building, whereas the second, although mindful about practicality, is more concerned with theoretical concepts and ideas in regard to the creation of constructed spaces.

In the light of expansion and added dimensions to the profession, a revision is the description of architecture appears to be necessary. It is no longer possible for a single architect to master all aspects of the discipline due to various advancements in innovations and techniques. The same applies to other occupations such as medicine. For decades now, physicians have specialized in particular fields of medicine and none can master the knowledge of all other branches. Although, urban planning, landscape architecture and interior design have developed into independent disciplines, but it seems that further specialization and division of labor in architecture is essential to achieve higher standards of professionalism.

One of the maladies of Architecture in Iran, as in many other countries, is that construction industry still adheres to outmoded forms and use of manual labor and primitive practices are heavily dominant. Mechanization and new methods of industrial production, especially in structural materials and techniques have not kept in pace with developments and transformations in other trades. Unfortunately, in addition to the aforementioned dilemma, old forms of lot and building ownership, small capital investment and individual decision making perpetuate the traditional view of architecture.

While the above mentioned issues influence architecture, nevertheless we have to look beyond them to current trends, such as developments of sciences and techniques involved with living spaces, expanded and varied outlooks in relation to architectural spaces, development of global communications and multifarious modes of behavior by the public and most importantly before taking any further steps, current current views, experiences and development in the rest of the world must be evaluated and fully appreciated and finally, a new description or definitions of architecture is necessary.


Research: Architecture


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