Sleepless in Shenzhen

Everything Minded

  • Istanbul Community Market Ideas Competition: Honorable Mention

    At the end of June this year myself and team of architects gathered in Woodbury University's WUHO space and worked on a competition project for ten continuous days producing the work for Istanbul Community Market Ideas Competition hosted by Ctrl+Space. We are pleased to share with Archinect readers what we have set out to do and accomplished at the end. 



    The City Above 

    The Ground Below:

    Failures  and  success  stories  have  never been so disproportionate  and close to one another at any other time in Istanbul’s long past. Urban transformation projects have been negotiating the city violently and un- advantageously   from   the   perspective   of social equity and urban design issues.

    The city above is hardly connected to urban history below. Below are the suffocated stories   needing   to   breathe,   to   connect and to be appreciated. Above is the abandonment   and   eventual   removal   by heavy machinery which demolishes, scoops and flattens everything in sight. Truckloads of Istanbul’s urban history are then forever disappeared—liquefied before any chance of being recounted. Whether they are everyday objects  or  insignificant  burials  is  not  the issue here. We, therefore, select soil itself as our building material. A Dirt Doppelganger builds the future metropolis with the literal material of its history. Through a process of excavation  and  reuse, the  proposal  offers a new way forward without excising the existing fabric of the city.

    Can a solid volume with no apparent program be a space? If so, what does that tells us about the void? Can solid matter be urban space? What lies behind the walls, under the ground? Can the city above inform the city below? Can the ground above inform the city below? The future influencing the past? This is a course of architecture in Istanbul worth pursuing.


    "The City Below, The Ground Above" 
    Team led by Orhan Ayyuce, Mitchell De Jarnett  and Joshua G. Stein from Los Angeles - CA, USA
    Project Team: Erin Day, Hana Lemseffer, Kirill Volchinskiy, and Eda Yetim

    "This project was commended by the Jury as providing an interesting and meaningful solution in light of the recent sociopolitical context of Istanbul. By the series of questions posed, the scope of the project has been extended and serious considerations – about the Site, the inherent archeological value, political and urban perspectives, the city’s past and future – have been made. The value in this proposal resides in the alternative outlook over the public space as well as integrating the historical aspect of the site in an innovative way."

    Competition and winning projects: Ctrl+Space


  • Gropius and Breuer’s Martini Signals

    Based on a true story from Ise Gropius herself in 1980.It was a long day towards the end of the summer at the Graduate School of Design. 1940 was a tough year. The horrific war was well underway and the news from Europe wasn’t so good. Though, none of this would impact Walter as much and if it...

  • MAX

    We are now entering MAX, it stands for Maximum Analog XIR. Whatever it is to you, it means the whole world to the occupant. In it, all conceptions of minimalist bourgeoisie stop. The longer you are superconscious, as a clean liner, and primping yourself, XIR aka MAX the maximum analog, is adding...

  • Nature Everywhere Part II

    If you are questioning what is so personal about these images and what a poor way to observe the nature, read on (some images are from Mars.)Since my birth, living mostly and if not all in urban centers I became accustomed to detect and appreciate their nature. Sure, there are exceptionally...

  • Nature Everywhere

    My doctor told me I should walk more often since I am not a sports person other than occasionally betting on European soccer games. He told me to walk exercise as much as possible and enjoy the nature. I was pleasantly surprised when I start to walk every day and be with the nature that surround...

  • Learning From Michael Asher

    Haus Lange installation, 1982 (photo from the exhibition catalog)LEARNING FROM MICHAEL ASHERMichael Asher's, the artist, died almost two years ago in October 2012. When he was alive his work was mostly unknown to architects except somebody like Frank Gehry who was his good friend. In the art...

  • This Your Father's License

    THIS IS YOUR FATHER'S LICENSEArchitects are highly intelligent people. They are the members of a noble profession who in dictionaries referred as master builders.They are taught and talk a specialized language, they have skills to design and visualize three dimensionally, and intern long years to...


    SHENZHEN I am sympathetic to Shenzhen from its occupation. A port city like the one I grew up in. I feel like I know its tricks, talents and aura, even if I am wrong. I don't know Shenzhen that much face to face, I know something in her DNA, which makes me more relaxed about exploring it. ...

  • On the Job; Words, Images and impressions from the Shenzhen Biennale

    Some of the familiar biennale exhibitions were handled by a second venue near Shenzhen Shekou Port Ferry Terminal named “Border Warehouse”. There were some panel discussions on visible and invisible borders socially, physically, locally and economically. This subject was developed by...

  • A Brief Introduction to Shenzhen Biennale

    I am sleepless and I can't get used to the idea that I am in Shenzhen, China. I might as well be in Las Vegas hotel room with a gold leaf framed watercolor print hanging on the wall and a laptop with a spotty internet access. This is my first time in China with a mission to attend and journal the...

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About this Blog

Archinect Senior Editor Orhan Ayyuce is blogging his thoughts, impressions and provocations.

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