Socio-Cultural Meaning of Kitchen in Religious Context of Iran (Case Study: City of Qom)

Document Type: Research Note


Ph.D., School of Architecture, Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Tehran, Iran


Introduction of modern architecture in Iran and its popularization in 1950s and after, brought some new concepts in everyday life of Iranian women, among which was “kitchen as heart of home-life”. Younger members of current generation are grown in these modernized spaces while a bit older ones have experienced houses of traditional style. This study is designed to explore what previous concept of kitchen was and what its effects were on current housewives imagination of it. Religious social context of city of Qom was selected as a good representative of more religious majority of social context of Iran. It was found that three ranges of meanings should be considered to explain socio-cultural concept of kitchen in Iranian Muslim women’s life: from personal space of special privacy (for females) to a living family space, from a utility space to a place of genuine life and from a sacred place to a profane one that has clear implications in Iranian Muslim women. It can be said that now ideal picture of a kitchen in this cultural context is a female personal space and at the same time it is a temporary private family space but not of collective living quality.