A Sociological and Critical Analysis of Power and Space Relationship and its Role in Formation of the Architecture in the First Pahlavi Era

Document Type : Research Article


1 Ph.D. Student in Architecture, Department of Architecture, Islamic Azad University, Sanandaj Branch, Sanandaj, Iran.

2 Associate Professor, Department of Architecture, Faculty of Arts, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran.

3 Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, Faculty of Humanities, Islamic Azad University, Sanandaj Branch, Sanandaj, Iran.


Problem statement: Architecture has been recognized as one of the most social arts due to its ‘social’, ‘functional’, ‘media’-driven characteristics, and its ability in symbolizing concepts. This has given a rise to an instrumental view of architecture in political relations and power management of ruling systems. This research employs a critical approach to examine the sociology of architecture as an art.  In this research, the case study includes governmental buildings and the urban space of Tehran city in the first Pahlavi era, which is one of the most significant and influential periods in social and political studies and architecture and urbanism in Iran.
Research objective:  The main purpose of research is to identify and discover the most hidden factors in creating space and architecture that are directly related to the power structure. This aim will be fulfilled by answering these questions:1- What political and social reasons are behind the structural and spatial changes of architecture during the first Pahlavi era? 2. Is there any connection between the power structure and the creation of space during this time?
Research method: This study is fundamental research in terms of purpose, and is based on the data in qualitative research. The data were analyzed based on the critical method and in an interpretive-explanatory format in which artworks, elements, and space creators, were evaluated as data, based on the power relations, apart from their physical characteristics and descriptions.
Conclusion: The research findings indicate a purposeful use of architecture and space production during the first Pahlavi era to reinforce the ideology of ruling power and to establish the related discourse. The space production during this time is the consequence of power relations, and the will of the ruling system to secure its legitimacy and hegemony through a militaristic and authoritarian attitude, besides using a smooth power, controlling the spatial representations, and connecting the architecture to the major discourse of regime to be able to reproduce its power and authority by the mediation of space and architecture.


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