Environmental colour mapping: UNESCO site

This project was a collaboration between Hamidreza Sheibani (researcher and adjunct lecturer at department of Architecture and Urban Planning Technical, University of Tehran) and Zena O’Connor. The full paper was presented at the AIC conference, Toronto, Canada, June 2022, and is available via this link.

Abstract – Environmental color mapping in an historic UNESCO Heritage context: Uramanat, Iran

In some regions, a defining element of vernacular architecture is the utilization of natural materials sourced from the local area. Within this context, patterns of similarity of color between the built environment and the colors of the broader landscape can lead to a greater level of visual congruity. It is the colors, textures, and forms presented in unique configurations in some locations that contribute to Imageability, a term coined by Lynch to describe unique visual characteristics associated with specific locations.   

This research examined color in the local architecture of the Uramanat region of Iran with a particular focus on the case study of Sherkan village. This village was chosen as it is typical of the Uramanat region, featuring a high level of congruity between the natural and built environment. The congruity between the natural and built environment is enlivened by color evident on a micro scale which serves to enhance the visual amenity of the village.  

Utilizing environmental color mapping methodologies, this case study identified, examined and analyzed the environmental color of Sherkan village. Applying a descriptive-analytical method, the research investigated patterns of similarity and difference found within the environmental color palette of Sherkan village. The unique combination of predominantly hue and value similarity enhanced by micro details that exhibit hue difference that are evident in Sherkan village contributes to its elevated level of visual appeal and congruity.  It is posited that these contribute to the key reasons that the Uramanat region was recently added to the UNESCO World Heritage List.

O’Connor, Z. & Sheibani, H. (2022). Environmental color mapping in an historic UNESCO Heritage context: Uramanat, Iran. In: Proceedings of the International Colour Association (AIC) Conference 2022. Toronto, Canada, pp557-564.