iran’s population density

11 10 2009

A very interesting way of graphically showing the population density, and hence the earthquake risk facing different parts of Iran (based on their vulnerability):

iran population density

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فال بنتون

15 03 2009

[by SR] In my eyes, Tehran had never joined the ranks of other big metropolis cities with their “placeless” architecture and new buildings in the style of famous architects, scattered across the world: like say the eye-catching buildings in the financial and shopping districts in NY, London, Tokyo, etc (and Mexico City?  haven’t been… but would be an interesting comparison to Tehran).  Tehran always did its own thing, with residential architecture being the only avenue for architectural expression, and even then, that expression was always mature and subdued, as opposed to the rambunctious and daring designs of big name global architects and their followers.  There have been some forays into global architecture, I guess, in Tehran commercial architecture, but I think they were always a bit disappointing – like the red quasi-pyramidal tower near میدون آرژانتین (Argentine Square) I think – and show more of an identity crisis than architecture in the spirit of global architecture.  Note: I’m not saying that I’m a fan of what I’m calling global architecture… I’m just thinking about its absence in Tehran…, which may very well be a good thing!  Perhaps it was Iran’s economic isolation in the world that had prevented the wave of globalization from dumping on Tehran’s streets a flotsam of anonymous architecture… I’m not quite sure.  Anyhow, a couple weeks ago a couple of friends told me about an architecture competition by Benetton for two office/retail centers in Tehran: http://www.benettongroup.com/designinginteheran/.

I remember, Benetton was always the one high-end western retailer in Tehran since I was a child… I was always baffled by their presence in فرشته (Fereshteh)… what were they doing there when everything else Western (non-industrial sector) was either imported black-market or imitated locally? With their design competition, it looks again, as though they are perhaps reading (or heralding) the future of Tehran as it gradually slips out of its isolation into the global current.  I guess this sort of goes with what I understand to be Iran’s recent (past 5 to 10 year?) relaxing economic policies (http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/02/02/090202fa_fact_secor , http://bazardispatch.blogspot.com/2009/01/new-yorkers-article-about-iranian.html).  Read the rest of this entry »