"Lifestyle and its scales" are prominent and influential cultural factors in shaping dwelling and residential environments. At various individual and collective scales and through the cultural traditions, lifestyle is the apparent aspect of culture in human life, organizing behavior settings in the built environment. Various definitions have been proposed for housing lifestyle scales. However, the present study is an attempt to enlighten designers’ minds through a systematic qualitative research methodology by analyzing lifestyle scales in manmade native environments. The samples have been chosen from the culturally integrated group of Qashqai people. Unlike social scientists, who use the concept of "lifestyle" to differentiate among various social classes and explain social status criteria in a society, this research has focused upon a behavior-environmental analysis of lifestyle scales in household dwellings. The method includes environmental and activities photography, residential units’ mapping and behavior settings diagramming. These are then followed by conducting interviews and using questionnaires to explore the preferences and meanings at four levels which benefits from means-end model as the theoretical framework.
According to analysis of behavior settings diagrams and its implicit meanings of activities, the lifestyle scales in cultural groups of case study were classified as follows: 1) individual lifestyle scale 2) family lifestyle scale 3) neighborhood social lifestyle scale 4) social kinship lifestyle scale 5) social public lifestyle scale.
The results of this study indicate that human lifestyle occurs on different scales, and settings are organized in each lifestyle based on the type and purpose of the interaction with others. Spatial organization of behavior settings that serves lifestyles scales, are affected from obvious characteristic of settings activities and its implicit meanings. Data analysis is emphasized, that lifestyle scales as a prominent cultural component will have a direct impact on shaping the built environment.
Based on the study it is concluded that lifestyle scales are closely related to human values which provides foundations for behavior settings leading to spatial configuration of residential environment. The findings of this study also approves that man-made environments in general, and residential environments in particular, are products of human cultural systems.
The analytical findings and especially its methodology in the analysis of overt and covert elements of lifestyle are applicable to understand the lifestyle scales in the other built environments. Cultural rural and nomadic groups still constitute a significant part of the population of Iran, so the methodology of this research could be used as an operational model in the design of dwelling for country's current subcultures.
The most important results of this study is that help to study and better understand the concept of "lifestyle" through behavior settings diagrams and its along meanings in different scales in a family dwelling, which is systematic, objective analysis of findings and exploring the results of the life built environment is applicable in the fields of environmental design.
For environmental design matches the functional demands of operators and human cultural systems is necessary that behavior settings used in various scales of life of every individual, family or group with its implicit meanings that impact on spatial organization of life environment be explored. The important thing in this issue is that in terms of cultural differences, it may that in different environments, different settings in lifestyle scales is used than they were in this research, therefore, it is emphasized that any design problem begins from human social systems analysis.