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Critics about an article in ‘Archtitecture and Building”

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H. and Rowan R. “Architecture and Building” in: Understanding Architecture: An Introduction to Architecture and Architectural History. London and New York: Routledge, 2005, pp. 9-32.

   In this text, there is an important something about women architects which is mentioned. Their studies in the field of architecture hasn’t been accepted throughout history mostly. Yet, they have continued to practice architecture. To my way of thinking , this is an essential point, because since the past women have stayed in the background and they haven’t been encouraged about working or creating something. However,  some women started to be successful about architecture although they are not unrecognized. In my opinion, they should be encouraged more in the field of architecture.

     Besides, I realized a very interesting thing in the text. It mentions that buildings have intrinsic and extrinsic meanings. First meaning has visible shape whereas the other one has tradition and social use. It says that we can recognize which rooms are the most socially significant by the size of windows in a place. I understood that the extrinsic meaning includes interior of the building functions. The example which is given about Georgian terrace was very interesting to me.

    I really liked a part in this text about our view while we are looking at buildings. I definitely agree that idea which is about interpretations of people about buildings. Because while the time is elapsing, perspectives of people also change. Past experiences leads to bias. That’s why people can’t look at building objectively. So, people should consider the period when a building was constructed, as past conditions were different. They should think about the opinions of the past period and interpret accordingly.

   In the beginning of the text, there is a very questionable thing. In 2002, when some architects won a prize, this situation was discussed whether it should more properly be seen as architecture or as engineering. In my opinion, it is more arguable. Can a building’s success belong to an architect or engineers? If it is just an architect’s success, what is the criterion of an engineer’s success? Are the engineers always in the shadow of architects? I wonder it. On the other hand, an architect is like a maestro. He or she is responsible for a mistake or success because he or she controls engineers. So, this point is still debatable.

Leyla Yildiz

Architecture · Art

A Different View to Simulation Related To Architecture, Art Movements, Marxism, Neo-liberalism and Soviets

         In history, numerous movements and ways of thinking have been created in different fields included art, literature, philosophy and architecture etc. Many authors or artists have been written or criticised about modernism, constructivism, cubism, post-modernism or different metanarratives. The books which are ‘The postmodern condition’, ‘Simulacra and simulation’ and ‘All that is solid melts into air” actually critised those issues. All of them were written by different authors and they talk about various thoughts. But there is something which connects them somehow in a same way. They have relation about modernism, passing to post-modernism and metanarratives and three of them argue those thoughts’ discrepancy.

‘Simulacra and simulation’ was written by French sociologist and philosopher Jean Baudrillard. According to some resources he was a Marxist, and critised Marxism too. Then he turned to postmodernism. In this book, he is questioning our living way and reality somehow. He claim that many things about our lives included thinking ways, beliefs, emotions, our view points, our attitudes to the life etc. may not actually ours. We supposed that all these things actually our decisions and we have free will. But, they may not be. For example, when we look at something and then we think that it’s so beautiful. What if this decision that we say ‘it’s beautiful’ is not our own decision. What if someone make us think like in this way. Thus, Baudrillard questioning this reality. They could be like illusion. There is a confusion between the reality and image ‘public opinion’. He gave various examples from different fields while explaining that argue. Some people direct us and we may not be aware of it. To give a simple example; when we enter to a greengrocer, we see some vegetables like some lettuce. And on those lettuces, we see water droplets. Then, we think that ‘Okay, it’s a good one, let’s buy it”. So, we supposed that this one is fresh and well reared one. However, it may not a fresh one. This vegetable seller make us think that to buy it. So, he creates a perception on our minds. It calls simulation and this lettuces are simulacra. This example actually was a really simple one. When we talk about in a big way; too many perception operations and simulations could be observed not just in the field of trade but also in politic, metanarratives, economy, social life etc.

The previous example is a small part of consumption. This issue really dominated us in society. We have become a consumer society. Baudrillard was also talked about this consumerism. Actually, this simulations and consumerism are really related to each other. They effect themselves. In social life, we see too many commercials and posters etc, in all around the areas where we live. Television channels, commercials in cell phones, social media accounts or even the people we see around us affect us unconsciously. For instance when we see some clothes from a brand, we feel that we like it and should have it. We may think that buying these clothes is actually our own decision. But we are not aware of that someone directed us to this brand and this type of clothes (its colour or design). For example, everybody can claim that brown colour is autumn’s colour and we should wear these kind of colours in autumn not in summer. Is it a reality of something? Who decided it? These kind of ‘rules’ or percept have been formed in time. Then, many of us are not aware of it. Actually that kind of idea also serve to capitalism and neoliberalism which is truly related to consumerism. So these kind of ways of thinking and economic practices are also related that idea which the author talk about. When we talk about this economic understanding, neoliberalism was developed to prevent the monopolization system (capitalism) and being destroyed as long last. To my way of thinking, neoliberalism is actually a softened state of capitalism. In other words, the unfavourable sides of the capitalism is still existed, but it was transformed in a softer form. For instance, the hours of working were been decreased and employees were insured. But while doing that, they also transform worker to consumer. For example, everybody can have branded shoes, televisions at their homes or cars. Reaching to these kind of things have become easy but, we all became a consumer. We feel that we need many things and consume too much. We have become as a consumption society more and more. And, alienation to labour is still existed. We all become estranged to labour.

This consumption simulation is not just in the field of industry. It’s also related somehow art and architecture too. For example in modernism, a different movement rose up. Some artists like painters draw a simple line or drop some paints on a toile. And they call it art. Thousands of people invested millions on that art work. So, in that situation, some people claim that this is not an art. They open art’s heart or inside. They ignore labour and alienate to it. So these people think that this modernism act is a production or result of capitalism and this consumerism. Also that kind of consuming situations happened in the field of architecture too. Some companies produce similar buildings or houses like all of them were produced in a same factory. They look like boxes and aligned side by side. Then, these companies make thousands of commercial, broadcast etc. They create a perception (simulation act) on people to make them buy it. So this architecture work move away from an artistic concern and function. Then people think that these houses are safe and comfortable according to these commercials. They have bought more and more. When we give an example from Turkey. Toki houses are really compatible this simulation view. All houses and buildings are same and because of the commercials people continue to buy and live in there. Also too many residences have been designed and produced which creates a perception on people. They commercialize this residential life is luxury and living in the high floors, seeing the ‘amazing’ view are good. So, people start to think that they should live in this kind of living area and building. Commercials and all other factors affect us unconsciously or consciously.

For example, too many companies like Ağaoğlu, Mesa etc. produce similar buildings all around Istanbul. Many of them haven’t an architectural concern or other people lives. These kind of structures affect the city’s silhouette, nature and neighborhood.

            When we give an example form history, there was a similar architectural and art movement in Soviet Russia which was effected by a meta-narrative like Marxism. This meta-narrative made a perception on people to believe that big thinking way. These kind of big thoughts had also some simulations. People may suppose that thinking in that way is their own decision but some people make them believe this movement and affect them. That movement has also some impacts in the field of art and architecture. Constructivism rose up in that period and artists creates some posters and commercials by using this idea. It was also used in politic (soviet commercials) too. They create some perceptions in terms of politic on people by using art.

                                 Image 1                                                                     Image 2

In Russia, constructive art was used to make propaganda of politic (Soviet) in the image 1 and 2. In the 1st image a red triangle drill a black shape. That red triangle symbolizes Soviets (military) and the black one is German Nazis. It means Soviets break German’s power and expansion and go into it.

In the image 3 and 4 their political leader speak to his people from the high floor. This work also related with art (poster) and architectural products (image 3).

                                 Image 3                                                         Image 4                                            

It also reflected to architecture and their cities’ design too. Because of their understanding (Soviets) that everybody should have same opportunities, same living conditions (equality in society), buildings and residential areas look similar (Image 5-6). They look like produced from same factory. Their cities have colorful buildings but they have same conditions and function. Thus, they go towards to postmodernism. And soviet planning of the cities reflect postmodern art and design. With the developing technology, consuming society (buying, selling and rent) and overcrowding of cities, too many problems were occurred. So, these cities needed to be planned and designed well. In that point, Soviets created a ‘planning idea’ for their cities. They used some slogans like “To change live change the city”. In other words, the idea of a new life and social organization must first be transformed into cities. The communal houses have been tried to organize communal experiences. (Image 5-6) So it is called a postmodern city. (Image 7-8)  Then they indoctrinated that idea to their people. To my way of thinking, this kind of act is also a simulation which is the result of meta-narrative like Marxism.

                           Image 5                                                                Image 6              

                             Image 7                                                               Image 8                                           

When we turn back to the simulations and simulacra, from all these views of thinking we could say that we have lost our ability of own decisions and reality. It turn into perceptions and simulations.  These things become to a breaking point in postmodernism.   

Leyla Yildiz

Credits: 

‘Simulacra and simulation’ by Jean Baudrillard

‘Reversals of the postmodern and the late Soviet simulacrum in the Baltic Countries’ 

by Epp Annus and Robert Hughes

Uncategorized

Interview with Burak Pekoglu who is the founder of a Boutique Architectural Office which Puts Extraordinary Projects Into Practice

‘It is defined as a network that brings together such individuals under the umbrella of a trend-setting platform, where ideas seek to find a life-form expanding imagination and thus, the passibilities of what can be built. BINAA put extraordinary projects into practice included Argul Weave in Bursa, a furniture shop and design centre Interia and the facade and interior design spaces of Nobis in Istanbul, S2OSB official building and conference hall in Sakarya. Besides, one of the future plans is a design center, which brings close together talented designers and connect unexplored different potentials in Balat, Istanbul. Some of those projects had already gained rewards and achievements.’

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THE INTERVIEW QUESTIONS WITH ANSWERS:

Can you talk about your company (studio) and your vista and missions?

Mr. Pekoglu: BINNA is a boutique and design office and it was founded 4 years* ago. I stayed 10 years in USA with education, proffesion life and some international experiences. Then, I turned to Turkey. Meanwhile, I started up the company as you said the name, Building Innovation Arts Architecture combines different understandings. So, the mission of the company is trying to combine all ways to approach design and to prosecute design as a business model, which are a lot of enquiries, researches and intuitive approaches in terms of bringing arts, architecture and the built environment together. So, the aim is to combine all these processes under one group as a design research office in Turkey and international studio.

*Currently 5 years ago.’

What’s your role and responsibilities in your company?

Mr. Pekoglu: I’m founder and design director of the company. We are boutique office. As a small but also wide range of responsibilities when we are trying to direct design practice. In a region like Turkey, lots of organic ways happening when we compare to western ways of practice in Europe and USA. So, businees process is much different then here. Thus, my role is very organic. I mean, sometimes I try to adopt different conditions in terms of economic, politic, networking, design and also finding solutions and solving problems. So, I try to control all these different conditions and put it under process which is trying to make our imagination under the outcome from an idea to product.

You studied in USA and worked in different countries. So, why didn’t you stay and continue to do your profession in USA?

Mr. Pekoglu: These 10 years give me more confidence as a world citizen and global perspective. For me, it wasn’t a planned way. Actually, I returned by an unplanned way. While I was working ın USA I had a client in Turkey, meanwhile one of my professors from Harvard said “Burak why don’t you give lectures at architectural studios in Bilgi University when you are in Turkey” and I said “Okay, let me try.” So, that was the transition of my return. Then, started tos tay here and do my own practice.

You experienced too much as you said 10 years… So, what are the differences between the architectural offices in Turkey and in USA in terms of ideals and approaches?

Mr. Pekoglu: In United states, architectural practice is much more established. Whereas in Turkey I would say it’s organic. Legal structures and standarts are not same. And US companies are locally and international at the same time. In Turkey there are lots of companies which work more locally, just few percentage of them work internationally. So, US practice is more global and their perspectives are more structured and organised. In Turkey, it’s more unsettled and less proffesional.

To begin with, I would like to congratulate you. In the previous days, your project S2OSB building won the first prize award in “Architecture + Metal” category in USA. Before that you had different kind of achievements and prizes. How these achievements effect or motivate you and your workers?

Mr. Pekoglu: Thank you first of all. It was excited for us. Worth part is celebrating. We spent so much energy and we put passion into. So, it was a nice outcome and celebration to satisfied myslef and my team. For us, this was a kind of nice way to expose ourselves globally. Because this award was very international platform. There are too much processes and there is sometimes failuere, up and down. So, in a way I think these kind of achievements make the points in our career as a motivation for us to jump to a next step. Thus, this award helped us to realise our energy kind of trasform into different levels now. We are more motivated and want to produce better work for the region and clients as well.

Considering the other architectural offices in Turkey, your office is small and modest as well idealist. Do you think expand the campany in future? What’s your future plan?

Mr. Pekoglu: I think the word ‘small’ is nice. Because, when you grow there are more things to deal with. I believe in more quality rather than quantity. Because it’s more controlled and selective. It’s a better strategy to push for the future because, growing is not always numbers as team members or project numbers. Sometimes, you can do few projects but, they make very well and make more impact. So, as a fomous architect said “less is more”. In future, we would like to focus on more cultural, community and sustainable projects.

Do you feel satisfied with your work and architectural field in Turkey? What’s your dream workplace like?

Mr. Pekoglu: I think it is not enough to satisfy myself personally. The word ‘satisfaction’ can change. Because, to make others (clients and team) satisfied rather than yourself is more imprtant. I think this is success for me. Actually, when I ask to myself, mostly I say “ I’m not satisfied”. I’m always unsatisfied. I always look for the gaps, mistakes and I ask to myself “How can I improve to make it better?”.

Do you think education you had at the university had prepeared you for the business life?

Mr. Pekoglu: I think architectural design studies and schools doesn’t prepeare for the business life. This is the problem of architectural studies. Because, sometines in school we get lost too much in our fantasies, dreams and imagination. And then we forget about the reality. When we enter to business life, a lot of realities come to your face. You’re in shock. For me, learning business life happens after school by asking questions like “How I can make my imagination to reality?”. I believe good arcihtecture comes out when visionary client and visionary designer come together in combination.

In the previous years, you gave some lectures and you were tutor of several projects in some universities. As completed your education in USA, how do you find architecture education in Turkey?

Mr. Pekoglu: When I compare them, I think the good part in American architectural education is studio culture. The students have own desks and personal spaces through the semester like 5 or 6 months. It’s like a small office. Then, one of the main problems I found here; when I was teaching in Turkey, the students come to school as guest, they don’t have own place and opportunities. Sometimes, the have the opportunities but they don’t use them. They can’t focus more. Other main problem is here production methods. Students are very shy here in terms of getting heir hand massive products, going wood or metal shops and going out for site visit etc. I think US education is more disciplined in order to practice and learn.

Do you have any suggestions for new candidates of business life in architecture field?

Mr. Pekoglu: They should believe what that they are doing and be positive. They should always do practices. They shouldn’t scare to make mistakes. So, make mistakes, learn from them and do again. This is what I suggest to young designers. They shouldn’t be worried and rash. They need to be patient.

I learned really important and significant points from this interview for my architectural profession and future business life. Firstly, we should focus on what we want. Then, we should research, imagine and combine these processes. And, we should not hesitate doing mistakes. We should do practices more and more. Being patient and confident is really important to become successful.

ABOUT BURAK PEKOGLU:

“Burak Pekoğlu was born in 1984 in Eskişehir and studied architecture in USA and had worked in Denmark, Turkey and USA. He is an artist, designer and architect in Turkey. He founded BINAA I Building Innovation Arts Architecture in 2012. Pekoğlu received a Master of Architecture degree at Harvard University, Graduate School of Design (GSD). He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Architecture at University of Buffalo, where he attended an exchange program at Aarhus School of Architecture in Denmark. He is graduate of Robert College in Istanbul. He had an apprenticeship with sculptor Irfan Korkmazlar, and collaborated with Ronald Lopez in art projects. At GSD. He worked as architectural designer at some international offices include Skidmore, Owings & Merrill’in (SOM) New York, Schimidt Hammer Lessen’in (SHML) Aarhus and Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects (PCPA) New Haven offices. Besides, he started his academician career in 2014. He was tutor of architectural projects in Bilgi University, Istanbul Technical University and Kadir Has University. In addition, he gave seminars in New York University, Yıldız Technical University and Koç University. At the present time, he continue a relationship with different architectural offices and collaborate with them for several projects.

ABOUT BINAA:

BINAA was founded in 2012 in Istanbul as design and research studio. It’s a collaborative platform where innovative and artistic ideas find form. BINAA works include range of products from architectural exploration design, and art forms. The main objective is to generate conversations along the themes of Building INnovation Arts Architecture, with an exceptional cross – disciplinary collaborative model, characterized by the strong interaction among research, design and execution. “- Resources: Binaa.co

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ARCH 202 · Architecture · drawing

ACCORDION DRAWING SKETCHCARD -3

Here, I put the photos of 3rd of ADS.. For this one, we considered landscape, in-out conditions and environment of the buildings while drawing diagrams.

Meydan Shopping Hall, FOA, 2007

Oslo Opera House, Snöhetta, 2007

Vanke Centre, Steven Holl, 2009

Dutch House, Rem Koolhaas, 1995

Olympic Sculpture Park, Weiss / Manfredi, 2007

Bibliotecateca Municipal Viana  do Castelo, Alvaro Siza, 2000

Hiroshi Senju Museum, Ryve Nishizawa, 2011

Pachacamac House, Luis Longhi, 2008

Villa VPRO, MVRD, 1997

Yokohama Terminal, FOA, 2002

Architecture · design

Keep Calm and Go to Latvia!

Hi there,


I mean architecture students! 🙂

I want  to mention about an international summer school in Latvia. In the past, I wrote that I participated in RTU & FOLD’s architectural programme last summer. It was an amazing and very efficient experience. In this summer, it will be repeated with an different name ‘Arcadia’ which starts on July 25 and ends on August 8, 2015. It will be located in a very well place: Cesis. It’s a peaceful and lovely small town. There are many green areas and the buildings are really nice. I recommend this summer programme strongly. Especially, if you are an architecture student, that will be a great experience for you by means of efficient lectures, studio works, mapping, dinner programmes, architectural trips and other entertainments etc. By the way, if you participate in this programme, you should stay in Riga for at least 3 days, because it’s an amazing city! There are many social activities to do and fantastic structures and spaces to see. I loved latvian architecture!

So, don’t think to much and go there! Deadline is 3rd of May for application.

ARCADIA

“Escape the rush of the city and become a happy citizen of ARCADIA! The Summer School of 2015 is now open for applications.

When hardly any place on our planet is left untouched, we especially value the remaining natural areas and strive for fresh air, clean water, luscious greenery and organically produced food. For the frustrated urbanite, a rural town seems to be the refuge, promising unspoiled nature and an idyllic lifestyle, as well as the basic amenities of a city.

What does a modern day Arcadia entail? Does it accommodate urban agriculture, water management, wildlife reintroduction, ecotourism, well–being of the body and the mind? Can we imagine giving up an urbanised territory to the forces of nature? Is today’s Arcadia economically and socially sustainable?”

For more information:

http://www.rtusummerschool.lv/

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