عنوان مقاله [English]
نویسنده [English]چکیده [English]
Iranian ancient cities demonstrated the cultural features and social organisation of their inhabitants in the most convenient manner. This would mean that people could infer the role and function of buildings in these cities, just by looking at their façades and the walls on the two sides of streets and public pathways. In fact, the architectures and urban developers used special symbols and signs, when constructing private, public and governmental buildings that helped revealing the function and use of these units at the first sight. Thus, all visible components of old cities communicated with the pedestrians introducing their function, and providing information on beliefs and even social rank of their owners. Modern cities’ view, however, lack such capability, despite the immense progress in the communication sciences. In other words, external appearance of the elements of newly built cities does not reflect their inhabitants’ identity and it seems that there has been no informed and targeted effort towards implicating such features. By development of modern cities, most of symbols and signs of cultural identity, embedded in their old structures, have either completely perished or faded in such a way that are not distinguishable anymore. Presently, the appliance of cultural symbols on the face of few buildings can be considered as individual efforts of some employers and architects. However, the usage of these symbols can sometimes be a disproportionate imitation of forms, patterns and pictures of ancient world, and therefore, cannot illuminate a meaningful picture in the observer’s thoughts. If one could consider the urban spaces as the arena of emanation of nations’ cultures and histories, it should then be accepted that what is currently occurring in Iranian cities is a kind of deviation from the rich cultural and ancient values of the habitants of this land, which is in essence the “reversal of the contemporary art” (Nadimi 1378: 32). Since urban spaces have been the centres of concentration of societies, these spaces can be considered as the most suitable manifestation of human’s culture. Therefore, urban programmers should thrive and strengthen the positive aspects of national culture by implementing short and long-term programs in such areas.
The specialists, who criticise the conditions governing the Iranian modern cities spatial structure and architecture, have offered several suggestions for national and religious values to emerge. For instance, in the closing manifesto of the symposium of “Public Culture, Architecture and Urbanism in Iran”, in addition to the commiseration expressed for the lack of attention given to the aspect of public culture in the architecture and construction of newly built cities, it has been emphasised to strongly include “... promotion and prevalence of Iranian-Islamic cultural signs and symbols” and also “... attention to the cultural aspects of the society” into urban programming.
The question that arises here is that what should be done for identification of the Iranian cities, and transforming them into manifestation of Islamic civilisation and culture? And if employment of the above-mentioned Islamic signs and symbols in modern constructions is possible, which suitable and meaningful ways, and what implementation process(es) would be suggested? In the present research, it has been tried to study the communicative role of symbols and signs in the ancient cities, as well as discussing the justification and the know-how of employing these signs; with the aim of determining practical ways of using them in new born cities. The main aim of this research, therefore, is to present practical suggestions that could transform the contemporary cities to visual manifestation contexts of their habitants’ cultural values.
Results and Discussion
Results of the analysis carried out in this research clarifies that: (1) the reduction of foreign symbols used in urban spaces; and (2) strengthening of national identity, using symbols which reflect the cultural and beliefs of the habitants of this land, are two possible and beneficial realistic methods.
Therefore, it is offered as a practical suggestion to the Ministry of Housing & Urban Development to establish “the Commission of Cultural Symbols & Signs” to manage the above mentioned tasks. As a matter of fact, this commission will be able to approve necessary regulations in order to oblige public (governmental) and private (non-governmental) employers to reduce the usage of foreign symbols in building façades. The mentioned commission could also encourage private employers, in the form of granting special incentives, to use cultural symbols in the buildings.