Design as the mediator of development and heritage
in Development, architecture, and the formation of heritage in late twentieth-century Iran
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In this chapter, the various strands of discussion within the book converge. Revisiting the development–heritage–design nexus, the chapter expands on the idea of development as an ‘engaged universal’ following Anna Tsing. It comments on how development, as a process of historical change, was entangled globally while responding to and creating local specificities. It also elaborates on the meaning and formation of heritage as a corollary of this process, and the mediating role of architecture. The examples in the book suggest a curious scalar dynamic between design, heritage, and development, which is examined in this chapter. The chapter reinforces the driving arguments of the book including the fact that like any other form of cultural production, architectural production in Iran has been at once a local and global endeavour. The examples in the book have shown how and under which circumstances heritage is produced, at least in its architectural manifestation. As such, interpretations of architectural production between the 1970s and 1990s in Iran that are couched in terms of resistance, or the in-between, fall short of explaining the larger processes at work.


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