EURAU 2014

cities

Stemming from the urge to critically discuss the ‘today and tomorrow’ of cities worldwide, the conference is structured around the theme: “composite cities”. For the past few decades, dwellers of many inner city geographies have been trying to comprehend and adjust to the particular new notion of ‘the city’ that is an inevitable outcome of high velocity globalization. Cities are transforming in a multitude of levels from local to global and consequently new models of urbanism are invented/imported/reinterpreted, new actors of decision-making/intervention/mediation/initiation are introduced, and new modes of spatiality are experienced each day.

The theme “composite cities” refers to this complexity of our cities; ever increasing through new urban emergences adding up to the existing urban environment and continuously redefining our urban experience. Thus the conference aims to enable a medium to discuss the complex relationship between urban form and urban experience through the composite character of our cities explained hereby in four topics-possible states of composite being: hybrid city, morphed city, fragmented city and mutated city. The conference is expected to evolve around the question of “how?”s of architectural practice for the composite city. Hence, the essentials of architectural realities- scale, order, space, place, program, content, identity …- will define the backbone of the discussions.

ABOUT ISTANBUL

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Istanbul, is a city which involves East and West together and in which cultural, historical and natural beauty meets with a gorgeous harmony. Besides, it is the only city which is located on two continents in a place with a narrow sea passage and also the only city which has the sea running. With its history of over 2500 years, Istanbul had become an important commerce center because of its establishment in this strategic location where land meets sea. Historical city of Istanbul is located on a peninsular, surrounded by Marmara Sea, Bosphorus Straits and Golden Horn.

HISTORY

The city had become the capital city of three great empires, namely Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman Turks; and, was ruled by more than 120 emperor and sultans over 1600 years. Istanbul is the only city that has all these features. During its development, the city underwent expansion for four times, which all of them were westward. In the 5th century, there was an Istanbul which was surrounded by city walls of Romans and built over 7 hills. But, the foundation of today’s Istanbul was grounded in 7th century B.C. Rebuilt by Emperor Constantine in 4th century A.D., the city had been transformed to capital city; since then, it had preserved that title for almost 16 centuries by hosting the capital cities of Rome, Byzantine and Ottomans.

ENTERTAINMENT

Even if we deal with only the artistic contents of the structure motifs including the mosques, churches, synagogues, museums, fountains, complexes and old buildings, we realize that the city remaines at the top of the list in the field of artistic architecture, marbling art, carving, colouring, and craftsmanship.

On the other hand, activities, such as theaters, cinemas, live concerts, exhibitions, communion, poetic concerts, art galleries, in which works of internationally famous artists are exhibited, show the meaning and importance of art in Istanbul.

The Topkapı Palace allows its visitors to witness the history, culture, grandeur, magnificence, and profusion of an Empire which lasted for a very long time. Dolmabahce Palace built in 19th century is one of the most glamorous palaces in the world. It was the administrative center of the late Ottoman Empire with the last of Ottoman Sultans was residing there. Dolmabahce palace has a great meaning for Turkish people since the supreme leader Mustafa Kemal Ataturk had used the palace as a residence The Grand Bazaar, with its architectural style designed specifically for enclosed shopping centers, entertains many visitors who come for both commercial and touristic purposes from different countries speaking different languages every day.

ABOUT ITU

Istanbul Technical University was founded in 1773 during the time of Ottoman Sultan Mustafa III. With a history stretching back over 241 years, providing technical education within a modern educational environment and strong academic staff, ITU is strongly identified with engineering and architectural education in Turkey. ITU has assumed pivotal roles in the reconstruction, modernization, and administration of the country.

Istanbul Technical University has six campuses; Ayazağa, Maçka, Taşkışla, Gümüşsuyu, Tuzla and Florya. In these campuses there are 12 Faculties, 36 Departments, 5 Institutes, 15 Research Centers, a Vocational School and a Foreign Language School, as well as a Musical Conservatory., The graduate education is carried out through such institutes as Science & Technology, Social Sciences, Energy, Eurosia Institute of Earth Sciences and Informatics. 30 percent of the students and 39 percent of the teaching staff of ITU consist of women. Women have also been represented at top management and decision making positions in the university.

ITU has 427 professors, 194 associate professors, 365 assistant professors, 828 teaching assistants, 95 lecturers, 84 specialist, 168 teachers. Staff includes 1 of the 3 Turkish members of the American Academy of Sciences, 2 of the 3 Turkish members of the Russian Academy of Sciences, 2 of the 3 Turkish members of the European Academy of Sciences, 14 highborn and 4 honour members of the Turkish Academy of Sciences.

Istanbul Technical University is an active member of many global associations and takes part in developing new visions, strategies and programs to adapt to an ever-changing world while preserving the cultural and traditional aspects of the university. Aiming to use its strong international contacts to mould young, talented individuals who can compete in the global arena ITU has more than 130 international partnership agreements and is member of many international networks. International contacts include such institutions as the European Association for International Education (EAIE), European University Association (EUA), International Association of Universities (IAU),International Association of University Presidents (IAUP), SEFI (European Association for Engineering Education), OECD/IMHE, Advanced Technology Higher Education Network (ATHENS), Community of Mediterranien Universities (CMU), TIME Association. Dual degree programs have been established with several universities in the USA and ITU has reached the leading position in Turkey with its involvement in ERASMUS Student Exchange Programs covering 450 outgoing and 100 incoming students.

ABOUT EURAU

The EURAU project was initiated in 2004 and it launched the proposal of an annual symposium for researchers dealing with Research in Architecture and Urbanism. The various editions were organized by different European schools of Architecture with a coordinated effort by a broad group of university professors and researchers. The purpose of this initiative is to enable the confrontation between researchers concerned with the Architecture and the City on the European scene. The acronym EURAU describes the congregation of the objectives which motivate these events: EU for “European Union”, R for “Research”, A for “Architecture” and U for “Urbanism”.

VENUE & TRAVEL INFO

TAŞKIŞLA BUILDING

This immense building has been constructed all in structural masonry between 1848 and 1853 as a military medicine academy for the Ottoman Army under the rule of Sultan Abdülmecid. However during construction, the plans drawn by W. James Smith were modified and the building’s function was changed to the military barracks in 1849. This modification was part of a construction plan that included several arsenals and military barracks that were to ensure the safety of the imperial domain around the Dolmabahçe Palace. The building sustained some damage in the earthquake of 10 July 1894, and was restored by architect Raimondo D’Aronco. In 1909, the rebellious troops were based in the building, thus it has become the scene of long fighting. Some results are visible in the façade, as few of the gun shells are still embedded in the stone columns of the entrance. In 1944 the building was handed over to the I.T.U. and restored by architects Paul Bonatz and Emin Onat. Teaching started in the building in 1950, with the civil engineering and architecture faculties. In 1983 it has been classified as a first degree historical monument. In 1996 the World Habitat Congress was organized partly in the Faculty. Ever since, it is a natural part of the congress valley of Istanbul. The plan scheme of Taskisla is classical: four equal sides marked with four corner edifices and a vast courtyard. The west façade is crowned with a monumental entrance. [Prof.Dr. Afife Batur]

Historical Taşkışla Building houses ITU Faculty of Architecture and it is located in the Beyoğlu district of İstanbul. The Faculty of Architecture also includes the Departments of Industrial Product Design, Interior Architecture and Landscape Architecture. It is located only a few minutes walking distance from Taksim Square [the heart of Istanbul], and is extremely close to many hotels, and transportation facilities that provide easy access to cultural and historical sites of Istanbul and it is in the congress valley of Istanbul city.

Taşkışla Building serves as an excellent venue for many international congresses right along with its educational function with its historical value, location, academic atmosphere, impressive interior spaces. The building has a very impressive courtyard with a small pool in it where the students and academic people love to spend time in it. were all renewed and the courtyard was beautifully illuminated at nights.

TRANSPORTATION

Istanbul is readily accessible from all parts of the world; every major European airport is 2-3 hours away. There are frequent direct flights to Istanbul from most European cities.

Istanbul has two major international airports, Atatürk Airport and Sabiha Gökçen Airport. Most long-haul flights arrive at Atatürk Airport; Europeans flights might arrive at either location, depending on the operator.

The trip from the Atatürk Airport to Taşkışla-Taksim takes between 35 to 75 minutes depending on traffic. A taxi from this airport to Taksim Square or the conference venue at Taskisla costs 50 TL (≈16 euros). Taşkışla-Taksim is also easily reached from the airport by a shuttle bus called "HAVATAŞ" which travels to Taksim Square every thirty minutes and costs 10 TL (3,50 euros). There is also an underground passage (15 minute walk) that connects the International Terminal with the older Domestic Terminal and also the Istanbul Metro.

The second airport, Sabiha Gökçen Airport at Kurtköy, is located at 40-45 minute drive to Taksim Square. A taxi from this airport to Taksim Square or the conference venue at Taskisla costs 75 TL (≈25 euros). There are also HAVATAŞ busses that travel between Sabiha Gökcen Airport and Taksim Square every 30 minutes and cost 13 TL (4,50 euros).

Public transportation by bus is also available around the city. Tickets are required for boarding and can be purchased from the ticket sales points at the bus stations. The fare is equivalent to € 1.

Round-the-clock taxi service is available in the city. Taxis operate by meter. The cost begins at 1.20 euros with the addition of 1 euro per kilometer.

THEMES

EURAU 2014: COMPOSITE CITIES ISTANBUL

Stemming from the urge to critically discuss the ‘today and tomorrow’ of cities worldwide, the conference is structured around the theme: “composite cities”. For the past few decades, dwellers of many inner city geographies have been trying to comprehend and adjust to the particular new notion of ‘the city’ that is an inevitable outcome of high velocity globalization. Cities are transforming in a multitude of levels from local to global and consequently new models of urbanism are invented/imported/reinterpreted, new actors of decision-making/intervention/mediation/initiation are introduced, and new modes of spatiality are experienced each day.

The theme “composite cities” refers to this complexity of our cities; ever increasing through new urban emergences adding up to the existing urban environment and continuously redefining our urban experience. Thus the conference aims to enable a medium to discuss the complex relationship between urban form and urban experience through the composite character of our cities explained hereby in four topics-possible states of composite being: hybrid city, morphed city, fragmented city and mutated city. The conference is expected to evolve around the question of “how?”s of architectural practice for the composite city. Hence, the essentials of architectural realities- scale, order, space, place, program, content, identity …- will define the backbone of the discussions.

Hybrid City

Hybrid city refers to urban conditions emerging through the interaction (crossbreeding, merger) of at least two politically, culturally or socially distinct entities. Whether occurred perchance or intentionally manipulated, the emergent urban condition -the perfect breed- generally brings along certain qualities to urban space and experience that neither of the original entities does alone. Ranging from the mixed use development of the urban tissue to merged virtual and physical spatiality of today’s city, a wide range of hybrid conditions have been enriching our urban experience.

Pursuing hybrid urban emergences, “hybrid city” aims to explore different hybridization processes and their contribution to urban experience discussing if it does worth the trouble.

Morphed City

The transformation of city space in adapting to the latest, city-based configuration of the world economy has been occurring since 1970s. Today, within the discourse of urban entrepreneurship, cities are subject to a diverse range and multiple scales of interventions where the quintessential paradox of making and breaking city space is at the core of the discussion. Either in the form of old city center resurrection or peripheral giant investments, there is an ever-ending process of physical as well as social remaking of the city space.

Questioning the motives and mechanisms behind the urban transformation processes, “morphed city” discusses the physical and social transformation of city space as a manifestation of global economic and political conjuncture, resulting in a worldwide urban homogeneity. How can variety be promoted? Is there a way to overcome the enforcement of urban transformation on social reconfiguration of our cities, reinforcing social discrimination? Are there any examples of (or is it possible to have) a common ground where the interests of citizens, institutions and professionals meet? Can you hear the citizen claiming his right to the city?

Fragmented City

Fragmented city refers to urban conditions and experience emerging as a reflection of social disintegration resulting from significant cultural, economic, political, occupational etc. differentiation within the society. Depending on the urban form it takes, fragmentation occurs either as a promoter of an enormous variety in urban experience or as a generator of discontinuity within the city space. From immigrant or illegal communities occupying their own urban territories to gated communities and to certain sectorial agglomerations, there is an ongoing tendency to create fragments of space, as homogenous patches within the heterogeneity of urban space. Thus, while keeping up the urban heterogeneity, the major challenge turns out to be the achieving of the same heterogeneous quality in urban experience.

Pursuing various forms of fragmentation occurring through different social mechanisms throughout the urban world, “fragmented city” aims to discuss what has been brought up to the city space and urban experience by each of those fragments either as integrated pieces of or cut offs from the urban tissue. It is also aimed to explore strategies in blending each individual entity of urban life into that one, heterogeneous whole again.

Mutated City

Cities are prone to change under a multitude of forces ranging from economic, political, social factors to wars and natural phenomena as earthquakes, tsunamis and hurricanes. Representing the common unpredictable and creative mechanisms of urban change, mutation is taken as a generator of transformation in the urban form and urban life through operations as alteration, deletion, rearrangement, insertion etc. of one single component or a particular section of urban fabric resulting in irreversible urban occurrences that determine/have determined the future trajectory of urban existence. Besides intentional interventions to city space, operational errors might stimulate such irreversible, lasting transformations as well as the natural phenomena or wars etc.

“Mutated city” aims to discover and discuss such emergent urban conditions putting forward the forces-conscious or unconscious stimulators- and mechanisms behind those processes and their present or projected effects on urban existence.

Different, though closely related, four explanatory topics above, are proposed to provoke ideas on the theme “composite cities”. Including these four influencing topics, the conference will be organized under three sessions which aim to lead to the discovery and understanding of the composite character of our cities and its effects on urban existence and experience, and the development of theoretical and practical strategies in articulating the existing urban environment.

T1. Confronting the composite city

A thorough exploration/research on the composite character of our cities and its effect on urban experience is aimed. Pursuing/discovering various forms of hybrid/morphed/fragmented/mutated etc. urban conditions throughout the urban world, and questioning the motives and mechanisms behind their emergences, it is intended to reach a thorough understanding of the composite nature of our cities. How do we interpret the complex realities of the composite city? How do we document the relevant interpretations?

T2. Learning from the composite city

Strategic outcomes from the discovery and understanding of various aspects of the composite nature of our cities is referred here, in dealing with today as well as possible future trajectories of urban existence. The emphasis is on getting acquainted with this complex existence of the urban environment on both theoretical and practical grounds. How do we, as the ones being continuously exposed to this ever increasing complexity of urban environment, develop strategies/tactics in order to –not cope but- live with it? How does urbanism and architecture respond to this in theory? Are there new tools and methodologies?

T3. Articulating the composite city

It is intended to deal with the physical interventions to the city space, ranging from local and central government interventions within the discourse of urban entrepreneurship to other forms involving different actors, considering social transactions which either result from or stimulate any physical urban occurrence. How does architectural practice correspond to this new urban reality? How do we actually get physical with the composite city managing while recognizing its complexity?