In May 2022 Making Futures, the publication accompanying the practice-based research project of the same name was published by Spector Books. I contributed a text about the Making Futures mobile workshop that took place in Istanbul September 2018 – also available online on the Making Futures website:
In the streets leading off Istiklal, many of the classic hallmarks of gentrification can be seen – new shopping malls and design pop ups in areas previously home to artists. But a process of “reverse gentrification” has also taken place that reflects the more specific context of the city: Starbucks branches have been turned into orientalist baklava a stores and ice cream stands – a performative “Turkey-fying”, Adanali explained, that attempts to woo new visitors from the Middle East following the detrimental effect of various crises upon tourism from the West. While the mobile workshop paused to discuss the nature of these phenomena next to one of the street’s newest (and decidedly empty) department stores, a besuited and sunglass-ed security guard appeared and instructed the group to move out of this – entirely public – space. The exchange was not pleasant, but it learnt an urgency to the conversation that had been taking place just moments before, about what and who is – and isn’t – accommodated as a result of the changes wrought in the area by the political conditions.
About the book:
What role might architecture—and the architect—play in the twenty-first century? What possibilities arise when we view architecture as a form of agency rather than as a collection of objects? What spatial dynamics emerge when we turn our practices away from the dictates of the neoliberal era with its obsession with growth and skimming off profit? Since 2018, Making Futures has sought ways to answer these questions through practice-based research across disciplines, institutions, and territories. In schools, workshops, and other educational formats, Making Futures has explored modes of city-making based around diverse forms of knowledge exchange: assembling, constructing, baking, recycling, dancing and more. The Making Futures publication lays outlines the experiences of this action research and the ideas it urges. It proposes a refreshed understanding of architectural practice as a collective process and as a resource.
Edited by Markus Bader, George Kafka, Tatjana Schneider, and Rosario Talevi, and designed by Y-U-K-I-K-O