In 2015, I started an ongoing project in my hometown Yazd, Iran. The project titled Yazd draws an image of the changes that have been applied to the face of the city in the current era. It is a kind of topographic take of the city to document what remains and what changes as time passes.

The historical city of Yazd, a desert city in central Iran, is the world’s largest inhabited adobe city. The historical structure of Yazd has not changed over time. This historical structure was inscribed on the world heritage list by UNESCO in July 2017.

Yazd has experienced fast growth and development over the past years. In spite of having an old district of mud-brick structure which comprises many historical and precious buildings, this city is quickly developing and metamorphosing into a big and industrial zone.

In my opinion, the human scale is the most important factor that affects the shape of a city. That said, I am also looking for urban elements that represent human presence indirectly. This project is an exploration of the identity of the city. As large places of human habitat, cities become overlaid by memories over time and so their ruins are remnants of the history and portals into the past. A city is not loyal to its original structure, and that is why sometimes a building or a part of a city gets demolished to build a new thing, another building, or a mall, or a highway, or an area returns to urban prairie. Sometimes you find vacant buildings or ruined or abandoned urban elements, or you may find urban structures which have been partly renovated or oddly changed, with little attention paid to architectural history.

Furthermore, we should not forget the importance of architectural identity, a requisite of culture, science, and society of each era. The old district of Yazd is important because of its rich historical background as the biggest urban and architectural structure constructed by mud-brick, yet current changes in the structure of the town will also become part of history with time. I would label these changes a regression of the present age. The changes are not logical or well-studied, though. This regression is insipid and lacks character compared with the prominent place of Iranian architecture, a renaissance which is more like a faulty style of architecture; it is devoid of the values of Yazd’s historical structures. An architecture which has been left to rot.

In this project, I show how a sense of regression takes shape as a result of negligence in integrating architecture styles. It is a topographic take of a past interpreted through the lens of history, and puts forth an understanding that today will become history in the future. Therefore, what will remain of us?

Yazd is focusing on collective memories and urban structures, its topography, of the city of Yazd, Iran.

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