Towards An Anthropology Of Laaft Village Vernacular Dwellings

Zeit: 15.05.2014

Ort: Technische Universität Wien Hörsaal 7 – Schütte-Lihotzky Hörsaal Karlsplatz 13, 1040 Wien

Today, the question of new architecture in heritage landscapes facing the modernism of lifestyles is a challenging issue. A bridge between the disciplines anthropology and architecture may be a step towards a new understanding of the relation between material culture and society. Anthropological Pre-design studies (APD studies) prior to building project may be of great importance for analysis of the specific regional situation and the needs of the people. As a research at the institute of Baugeschichte und Bauforschung at the Vienna University of Technology in 2013, this contribution aimes for a brief APD study based on basic cultural factors.

It aimes to search the interconnections between group culture and living site, between house and household, and between domestic processes in the traditional society. The question of research is concerned with how the focused cultural factors would affect the vernacular spatial dwelling organization in the case study of research.

For the case study, Laaft port at the northern coast of the Persian Gulf was chosen due to challenges facing its conservation as the first ecomuseum of Iran. This research developes its theoretical structure regarding essays by Amos Rappoport and Paul Oliver. In cooperation with Cultural Heritage Office of Qeshm, it followes an empirical study through ethnographic interviews with different groups of Laaft residents and experts, regarding the historical documents. The study is being followed in two parts, outside the house and inside the house. The research concludes that cultural traditions and religious beliefs have strong influences on the spatial organization of residential buildings in Laaft and should by no means be neglected in future planning. This analysis suggests that the house in Laaft is at once a domestic entity associated with men and women as married couple, and a ritual entity, a prestige-holding unit in which men and women are divided and have different associations. This study may show the ability of such interdisciplinary approaches in providing guidelins of planning in landscapes facing modernism of lifestyles.