Club MEdiNA: Alternative Spatial Practices in Istanbul

Istanbul is a city in transition. With half-forgotten traditions, borrowed experiences, cutting edge developments, fading and emerging practices—it is a mixture about to crystallize. With
competing internal and external interests, Istanbul’s potential for equitable social, technological, and urban change hangs in the balance. In an attempt to synchronize with the market pressure, the public authorities continue to plan and build large-scale infrastructure projects, urban renewal zones and new settlements in the peripheries. Istanbul, however, is essentially an unplanned city, both spatially and institutionally, a condition that provides room for private initiatives. It is also a city of resistance. Recently, We have seen one of the most exciting, hopeful and truly urban uprisings in the contemporary history of the world. This event will be a chance for international audience to see how urban practitioners document and understand the transformation of the city. They will discuss recent design, planning, and research projects that embody their engagement with Istanbul.

Superpool/Studio-X Istanbul
Selva Gürdoan & Gregers Tang Thomsen

Founded in 2006, Superpool chose to open its office in Istanbul because of the complexity of issues that create a lack of clarity for the city’s architectural future. The fast-growing city is being shaped by practical economic forces, which are fed by its desire to become the financial capital of Turkey, the Balkans, and the Middle East. Most recently the office has been invited to contribute to MoMA ’s “Uneven Growth, Tactical Urbanisms for Expanding Megacities” exhibition curated by Pedro Gadanho. Additionally, the office designed the UAE National Pavilion for the Venice Biennale (2011) and Becoming Istanbul (2011 SALT, Istanbul ). As of November 2013 the duo is directing Studio-X Istanbul, one of six urban laboratories established by Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP).

Yasar Adanali

Yaar Adanal worked on development planning, research and management in London, South America and Tanzania. He continues to work in Turkey and the Middle East. His PhD research is on spatial democracy and urban governance. Yasar coordinated a research team worked on the Istanbul Forced Eviction Map, which was first exhibited at the International Architectural Biennale Rotterdam and at the Open City Istanbul Exhibition. He also worked with Doga Dernegi (Nature Association of Turkey) and people of Hasankeyf on developing alternative futures for the heritage town as opposed to the Dam Project. The Event will be Moderated by the GSD's Sibel Bozdogan. The event is sponsored by the Mellon Grant and the UPD department.

For accessibility accommodations, please contact the events office in advance at events@gsd.harvard.edu or (617) 496-1143. 

Anyone requiring accessibility accommodations should contact the events office at (617) 496-2414 or events@gsd.harvard.edu.