International Workshop

Momentum for modernization: Doxiadis in Iran
Ali Madanipour
Professor of Urban Design
Newcastle University
During the 1960s and 1970s, Doxiadis undertook a number of high profile, major projects in Iran. These ranged from the masterplan for the city of Abadan on the Persian Gulf to the strategy for tourist development along the Caspian Sea, from the Action Plan for the capital city Tehran to the National Development Programme for Housing. They were part of the large-scale, rapid process of modernization in Iran at the time, which came to a halt by an explosive revolution in 1979 and the war that followed. This paper will analyse some of these projects to gain a new insight into Iran's modernization project, and the contribution made by Doxiadis to its momentum. Four sources of information and investigation will be used in this analysis: What was Doxiadis' conceptual framework? What were the conditions of Iran at the time? What did he try to achieve in his projects? And what did his collaborators think of him and his work? Through this investigation, the paper aims to identify and discuss some of the broader tensions of modernity as played out in Iran.