Reflection on Existential Levels of Environment and its Manifestation in Iranian-Islamic Cultural Context (Case Study: Yard)

Document Type : Research Article


1 technical faculty of Razi uni

2 assistant professor of technical faculty of Razi university

3 null


Environment is one of the most useful terms in various issues such as architecture. Since the ultimate goal of architecture is to design the environment, explaining the existential-semantic nature of environment (which has turned out to be discussed less, having become a problem) can play a significant role in making the path of design and criticism purposeful. Hence in its highest level, the present paper scans the nature of environment in Iranian Islamic architecture. Conducted with rational arguments and relying on existence rating of phenomena in Iranian Islamic wisdom, the present article intends to study the meaning of the term “environment” as well as its equivalents in Persian, Arabic, and English, and extract some aspects of its nature. In addition, referring to Iranian-Islamic wisdom (and above that Quranic teachings), the scanning of semantic implications of environment will continue. Afterwards, the paper extracts the meanings of yard in Persian language, Islamic view, and Iranian Islamic architecture. Results show that material confinement is the first level of environment, wherein environment is an object that surrounds an emptiness, keeping other objects in itself. In this level, environment appears as a material position. The second level of environment is awareness of it as an area, distinct from the surrounding areas, whose audience are human minds, and lifestyle, events, and distinct behaviors along with distinguishing natural elements are contributory factors in distinguishing this area from its surrounding ones. Since life and awareness are considered two semantic layers of this level, environment reveals as a behavioral perceptual foundation. The third and highest level of environment is realized through acquaintance with surrounding of a better existence. Realized through symbols’ role, environment implies a spiritual settlement that consoles human soul. Obviously, these levels have been determined credibly and in reality, one can imagine a continuous spectrum of environment levels. In addition, results show that semantic implications of yard are closely related to those of environment. This confirms that the yard is like a synonym of environment, as a man-made space, being a sample or pattern of an Iranian-Islamic environment, in which all three levels have been epitomized.


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