Acoustemological Investigation

Sound Diary: #Tehran

Final Remarks

As previously stated, rapid urbanisation is sweeping across countries and continents. The impact of urban design and regional planning on social and political life can be difficult to grasp, but it requires more attention and study. It is also critical to recognise that city life, rapid change, and modification in the cities are unavoidable and, in some cases, necessary. As a result, it is equally important to consider how to improve the living environment and how changes in our built environment reflect our identities and pasts. As Madanipour notes, ‘Changes take place over time in relation to the existing frames of reference. These are frames that would inevitably change but not all at once. The identities of places, therefore, will be defined and redefined constantly in relation to constant changes in historical time’(1998: 25).


Tehran can no longer be identified as a city with a distinct, authentic character, well-known for its pomegranate trees and fruit gardens. Tehran’s present-day landscape, with its grand shopping malls and brutal Western-style tower blocks, can be compared to any mega-city in the West or East. The natural and traditional fabric of the city is imposed with a copy-cat style of geometrical abstraction. The particularities and specificities of this ancient-modern city are blending into a common universal aesthetic. It is clear that the developers and organisers of the Pardis project had only one motif and concern, which was the transformation of physical space through the technical process and instrumental rationality. Any other consideration that is unsatisfactory or does not correspond to functional expectation or maximum financial return has been disregarded. It is possible to say that specific forms, new social orders, and spatial experiences emerge as a result of architecture and urban design. Urban planning and design should promote social reform, individual and collective empowerment, and development, rather than being used as a tool for oppressive control, regression, and authoritarian political power.


Using sensory methodology, I was able to engage with and experience the ambient of the built environment in Pardis Phase 11 as an example of ‘global architecture culture’, which resulted in de-localisation and structural conflicts. Most importantly, it allowed me to investigate and exploit the concept of urban in modern life, as well as make sense of urban configuration and spatial design logic in living situations such as Pardis 11. Finally, it should be noted I encountered some difficulties during my acoustemological investigation in Pardis Phase 11. I would like to emphasise that the Pardis construction site is a highly secured area, particularly where construction activities and work are in progress. As a result, wandering around construction sites and residential areas with recording equipment instantly attracts the attention of security guards. To be able to make these recordings, I had to spend a significant amount of time learning my way around the area and establishing a small amount of trust with the residents.

Title: Audio-visual from the window

Episode 1

Location: Pardis Phase11, residential tower block 9th floor

Duration: 02:55 min

Audio channels: Stereo

Time of recording: 00:35PM

Device: Zoom H2N / Smart phone