The ‘Public Space Workshop’ held this year in Istanbul and Amman, in which a total of 20 students of architecture from the US, Turkey and Jordan participated, has just ended. The title of this year’s workshop, organized annually by Columbia University, was ‘Presence’.
The Public Space Workshop – Istanbul and Amman, a joint effort between the Faculty of Architecture at Columbia University, Columbia University Middle East Research Center based in Amman, Jordan, and Istanbul Columbia Global Center, drew to a close in Istanbul two days ago. The Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP) at Columbia University’s Public Space Workshop is held in different cities each year. The two-week, intensive rapid exchange workshop endeavors to bring emergent issues regarding public space up for active discussion.
Some eight students from Turkey
Some five architecture students from Yildiz Technical University and three from Bilgi University participated in this year’s workshop. Furthermore, students and academics from a range of universities assembled in participating GSAPP Studio X Global Network cities to study the issue of public space design.
Five groups racked their brains
Students were split up into five focus groups as part of this year’s workshop. These groups looked at different cities, and studied how to form ‘rapid reactions’. The groups developed proposals for public spaces and produced architectural prototypes using local resources to support their proposals, while on the final day of the workshop, students presented their projects to and exchanged ideas with academics.
Public space is the city’s interface
Nazlı Gönensay, an architect and member of the organizing committee of the workshop, emphasized that the built-up cities in which we live are ideal laboratories for such research and experiments. “Public spaces are the interface for exchange in cities. They are the face of ultra-rapidly changing contemporary cities. The physical presence of public space becomes increasingly dynamic as it comes together with the ease of access and mobility enabled by virtual networks. That’s why this workshop is so important,” she said.
Oh, mighty Istanbul, yesterday I looked at you through binoculars
The name of the project is ‘Binoculars’. People look at other people through these binoculars and interact with them. As there is a constant change in the viewed location, the city comes together with the people.
The five projects generated by students in Istanbul will later be displayed at Columbia University.
The ‘Tent Hut’ represents a mechanism that provides visual interaction with others in public spaces. Within it is a video-camera that will let those on the outside see and hear the person inside the tent.