The Common Apartment


  • Golnar Abbasi Delft University of Technology



The house, having always been the locus of socio-political struggles of Tehrani citizens, after the Iran-Iraq war gradually came to materialise many more complex issues. It became a space and a structure embodying the state’s subjugating agenda, forces of the housing market, its labour and material market, the desires of the people, their political action, and architectural practitioners’ attempts to prove relevant. This visual essay focuses on three threads in Tehran in housing  in the the post-Iran-Iraq-war context: the liberalising procedures and regulatory frameworks that still constitute the most common form of housing, positing middle class citizens as the main players in the market; the architectural repercussions of the regulating mechanisms and the subsequent formation of a homogenised form of housing; and a reading of these forms of housing as sites of people’s practices of resistance in a framework of constant re-appropriation.

Author Biography

Golnar Abbasi, Delft University of Technology

Golnar Abbasi is an architect and artist based in Rotterdam. She holds a Master’s degree from the Berlage Centre (Rotterdam) and a bachelor’s from the University of Tehran. She has recently been an artist in residence at the Jan van Eyck Academie (Maastricht), and is currently a PhD candidate at Faculty of Architecture and Urban Environment in TU Delft, chair of Methods and Analysis. She is a founder and editor at Sarmad Platform and Magazine, has been co-editor of Two Times and is currently organising the project ‘Un-making Image’, researching the relations between image and power. She is a co-founder of the art and architecture collective WORKNOT!. Her work has been shown at the Venice Biennale of Architecture (2016), the Tehran Biennale of Architecture (2016), and Witte de With Centre for Contemporary Art (2018), among others.