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The workshop will give participants opportunities for acquiring digital design methods, in order to address a number of urban problematics. One of these is the way in which 20th century urban planning fails to consider the special spatial relationship between car and pedestrian flows. The Büyükdere trajectory, starting at the Beşiktaş Piers and connecting via Zincirlikuyu, and the 1- 4th Levents all the way to Maslak, Istanbul’s new Central Business District, is a perfect case in point. Here as elsewhere, the car is given priority as a multi-lane road cuts into urban tissue and disconnects vital pedestrian flows. The existing solutions for reconnection –underground passageways, bridges and badly conceived “public spaces”- constitute poor but typical examples of this kind of planning. The workshop will identify points of intervention along this trajectory and propose alternative urban spaces for these. Students will be asked to develop individuated proposals for each case while starting from the same methodology. There will be a strong emphasis on using topological and fractal geometry in place of the Cartesian geometry and point-to-point linear connectivity underlying the existing conditions. In moving between geometries, students will intensify their knowledge of “3 dimensional spatial qualities” and their critical link to abstract geometry.

While addressing a real urban problem, the workshop is not intended as a “problem-solving” exercise but rather as an opportunity to elevate these mundane urban spaces into the realm of architectural discourse through design. Or, in Latourian terms, to trigger a shift from “what is badly constructed to what is well-constructed” – both, in terms of the material world and the world of theoretical arguments.

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