Iran - Biennale Architettura 2016

Behzad Atabaki & Parshia Qaregozloo |Venice,Italy | Iran - Biennale  Architettura 2016

City matters, Community matters More
Social, political and economic circumstances in the past century in Iran, mass sell on city spaces, mass migration into big cities and their suburbs, along with urban planning without taking human and social participation into consideration in dense and deteriorating areas has led to the major diminution of standard of living and the shrinkage of life spaces.  

A number of the regions in these cities being evacuated due to low quality of life and many of them are in danger of being destroyed and turned into commercial centers.

Since two years ago our group has been working on a research project called “Rewind, Play, Fast Forward”. In the first place, our aim is to obtain a precise understanding of the aforementioned issues and to be in close contact with the problems.

Iran National Pavilion at Venice Architecture Biennial 2016
The method used in the research is based on immediate contact with the citizens, asking questions and talking to the residents and finding simple and minimal solutions in order to improve life spaces in the scale of small neighborhoods, alleys and streets.  

We believe in the importance of close contact with active local groups and associations in order to develop more effective plans which can be implemented by the citizens themselves.

Our pavilion is designed based on a representation of urban schemata of buildings in a reverse order stretched from the ceiling to the walls and parts of the floor. The form is chosen in order to manifest the reverse process of reviving these residential areas and neighborhoods.

Our approach is based on not returning to the past but establishing connections between various social and local groups in order to share main problematic issues and cooperate with each other while benefiting from small successes in the augmentation of quality of life.

On the course of our research we have encountered few examples of resistance to live and innovative resistance in face of danger; such movements-though rare-still exist and develop though slowly. There are instances of individual and personal life space in private and semi-private places, also public spaces of such kind. Certainly, local cooperation in order to prevent the destruction has been effective to some extent, however, the destructive power of other external elements has always pushed their movements into inescapable situations. These movements have only been successful whenever they have managed to join one another and work along with NGOs and local associations.

We will relate these resistance stories; Three stories from two neighborhoods in Tehran and one historical village in Khorasan province. All these stories share one and the same story of resistance: finding ways towards a better life with different aspects and elements in comparison to social circumstances and contexts.

Considering the fifteenth Venice architecture biennial purpose, we have focused on reviving movements and develop-based ideas in urban spaces, residential areas and deteriorating residential areas in Iran’s big cities in the near future.

Our project has tried to put an end to abrupt non-researched changes and wrong solutions to current problems.

Moreover, by undertaking a futuristic and conscious approach, we have taken into consideration architectural spaces’ high quality and current social insights which might help the expansion of local people’s cooperation in the renovation of these spaces.

The main interactive wall of the pavilion—considering our three stories—consists of a video projection of the story and a touch screen below.

When visitors enter, according to the area touched, one of the stories is selected and its film is screened.

Meanwhile, green points of this story will blink on the interactive screen. If the visitor touches these then more detail will be presented on the black area.

• Each story will be narrated for 3 or 4 minutes on the main projection screen with details on documents and sketches projected at the bottom of the screen.

We have chosen a collection of individual and independent areas in various scales and have focused on the possibility of establishing connection between these areas and regions based on their “awareness” of one another’s situation.

All the pieces of the maquette were CNC cut in Iran and they were assembled in Venice.

In order to install the pieces of the maquette to the ceiling we used hanging wire system.

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