Development, architecture, and the formation of heritage in late twentieth-century Iran

A vital past

By Ali Mozaffari and Nigel Westbrook

Development, architecture, and the formation of heritage in late twentieth-century Iran


  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-5015-8
  • Pages: 304
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £85.00
  • Published Date: October 2020
  • BIC Category: Islamic Studies, ARCHITECTURE / History / Contemporary (1945-), POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / City Planning & Urban Development, HISTORY / Middle East / Iran, Reference, information & interdisciplinary subjects / Museology & heritage studies, Reference, information & interdisciplinary subjects / Development studies, The arts / Architecture, Iran


This book analyses the use of the past and the production of heritage through architectural design in the developmental context of Iran, a country that has endured radical cultural and political shifts in the past five decades. Offering a trans-disciplinary approach toward complex relationship between architecture, development, and heritage, Mozaffari and Westbrook suggest that transformations in developmental contexts like Iran must be seen in relation to global political and historical exchanges, as well as the specificities of localities.

The premise of the book is that development has been a globalizing project that originated in the West. Transposed into other contexts, this project instigates a renewed historical consciousness and imagination of the past. The authors explore the rise of this consciousness in architecture, examining the theoretical context to the debates, international exchanges made in architectural congresses in the 1970s, the use of housing as the vehicle for everyday heritage, and forms of symbolic public architecture that reflect monumental time.


'Contestations, appropriations, and politicizations are increasingly becoming front and center in the conversation about heritage. This book is particularly valuable since it tackles these issues in the context of a modernizing Muslim society. Insightful and cross-disciplinary it opens new perspectives on issues that reach far beyond the borders of Iran.'
Mark Jarzombek, Professor of the History and Theory of Architecture, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

'The last decades of the twentieth century, encompassing the late Pahlavi regime and the early years after the Revolution, is still a poorly understood period in Iranian architecture. In their new book, Ali Mozaffari and Nigel Westbrook use notions of development and heritage to unravel architecture's complex intentions and practices. Avoiding more polemical accounts, the authors guide us with insight and wisdom through this fascinating period.'
Mark Crinson, Professor of Architectural History, Birkbeck, University of London


Introduction: Development, architecture, and heritage: The formation of a collective imagination
1 A vital past: Engaging nostalgia
2 Canvassing a future: The international congresses of architecture in Iran and the transnational search for identity
3 Heritage in the everyday: Housing and collective identity before 1979
4 Forming a future from the past: Realizing an everyday Islamic identity
5 Forming a national image through public projects - The Shahyad Arya-Mehr Tower
6 Tehran's reluctant urban centre: Representing the national capital
Conclusion: Design as the mediator of development and heritage


Ali Mozaffari is ARC DECRA Senior Research Fellow in the Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship & Globalisation at Deakin University

Nigel Westbrook is Associate Professor at the University of Western Australia Design School

Development, architecture, and the formation of heritage in late twentieth-century Iran

By Ali Mozaffari, Nigel Westbrook

Hardcover £85.00 / $130.00

Or buy from your preferred bookseller:

Amazon Waterstones Blackwells

Click here for North and South America

Newsletter Sign Up

Manchester University Press

Your cart is empty.

Select your shipping destination to estimate postage costs

(Based on standard shipping costs)

Final cost calculated on checkout
Promotional codes can be added on Checkout