An Introduction to the Concept of Privacy and How it is Realized in the House Life-World1 Comparative Study in Pre-modern and Modern Iranian Houses

Document Type : Research Article


Tabriz Islamic Art University


Privacy, as the process in which humans regulate their relation with the others and achieve the experience
of introspection, can be reached in the ‘house’ more than everywhere else. This phenomenon and its
realization in the life world of house is studied and analyzed in this essay.
There are various definitions of privacy from different points of view, but they mostly confirm that privacy
is a spectrum as a concept. The basic hypothesis of this research is that failing to pay attention to the
spectrum-like nature of privacy in designing living spaces especially ‘houses’, has on many occasions
caused such spaces to be built by considering only one aspect of such concept. ‘Individual privacy’ and
‘collective (group) privacy’ are on both extremes of the privacy spectrum and two equal aspects of one
nature, and they must be considered simultaneously for the optimum realization of privacy. Giving priority
to either of the aspects or ignoring each of them can result in mental or social damages and turn the
atmosphere of the house into an ineffective place in the extensive provision of the needs of the residents.
Assuming a qualitative approach on the basis of interpretive historical method, this research has analyzed
the realization of privacy spectrum in the two groups of pre-modern and modern Iranian houses. According
to studies, a one dimensional/one faceted approach to the spectrum nature of the privacy in either group
of the houses has led to the elimination of some territories. So either of personal/ individual identity and
collective identity is bold in one of these two groups of houses. Therefore, the all-inclusive consideration
of privacy spectrum and trying to achieve all of its aspects can be considered a comprehensive approach.


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