Some of the most remarkable developments in different industries are the consequence of a difficulty or a constraint. The Italian shoemaking industry boomed when cork soles were introduced after the leather shortage during the Second World War; the home appliances industries flourished when the shortage of energy led to the invention of the gas cylinder.
VAVStudio in Iran is an example of how adverse circumstances can ignite a creative practice. The embargo imposed by the US led to a lack of imported building materials; unexpectedly, this led to a development of old local industries, like ceramic tiles and stone masonry. This not only meant that the carbon footprint of the Iranian building industry must be one of the most sustainable in the world (local materials, local craft, and very little energy spent in transportation); it also led to a reconsideration of the question of local identity. The constraint of being forced to work with local resources led VAVStudio to explore architectural languages, typologies, and building techniques that intensify the pertinence of their practice to the context without being nostalgic or folkloric.
It takes a huge effort to try to participate in the global debate from such a closed country; VAVStudio not only found a way to do so, but they also encouraged other local practices to join. It is by no means incidental that the word VAV literally means AND in Persian.