Volume 29, Issue 6,
, Pages 358-368
Author links open overlay panel,
For the last decade, the Advanced Architectural Research Studio at the Department of Architecture, Middle East Technical University of Ankara, has concentrated its efforts on different cities in order to question their underlying problems, from social to physical; and to search for alternative urban design solutions. Relied on the premises of the theory of dialectical urbanism, two terms, “context” and “programme,” have been revisited in order to decipher the complexity of alternative urbanizations, in which architectural transformation processes have come under question using such themes as border, memory, accessibility or interface. In this respect, this article forms part of this scholarly investigation with which the theme, “hybrid” has been utilised to overcome the spatial shortcomings of a specific town in the Balkans – Pogradeç. Combining insights from sociological and political realities of the context, it introduces a critique of the transmission model of design education, which renders studio works as passive abstract practices removed from social and cultural realities. This critical pedagogy not only challenges the limiting framework of contemporary architectural education but also calls back the creative political formations developed during the foundational years of the school.
► This architectural studio investigates an experimental method for urban design education. ► Context and programme design are introduced to re-assess the social and political parameters of an alternative urbanization. ► The theme, “hybrid” is utilised to overcome the spatial shortcomings of a specific town in the Balkans – Pogradeç.
For many decades, planners and architects have been addressing contemporary urban issues with the aim of not only offering better solutions to the increasing spatial crisis but also addressing social problems. In this endeavour, design education in particular plays a central role in putting innovative methods and models to use, and it is believed that contemporary conditions can only be properly understood and improved through such alternative processes of education. Such processes, however, when used in parallel with other disciplines and fields, bring about a momentum in the generation of new ideas and urban design proposals. A generation of architects and urban designers are now producing buildings, structures and forms by critically engaging with natural and man-made environments that re-interrogate design practice and design education (Kelbaugh and McCullough, 2008, Larice and Macdonald, 2006, Savage, 2005). However, alternative urban design methods, as counter-measures to recent practices, are still needed to criticise and make contemporary urban design education relevant in actual contexts.
By combining social and political realities of the given context, this research studio introduces a pedagogy that critically assesses the abstract models of design education, which detaches studio works as passive abstract practices from social and cultural realities. The complex relationships between urban environments and social conditions require more than pure methods of formal analyses and the abstract definitions of social theories. In this regard, the objectives of the studio are to prove that urban design education needs a broader viewpoint if it is to question urban space in relation to environmental problems. This dialectic between built environments and social contexts is believed to offer critical perspectives. Accordingly, this research challenges the existing studio education with three major premises: (1) the critique of abstract theories, (2) the reintroduction of the social responsibility of modernist implications, and (3) the recollection of the founding principles and the major mission of the Middle East Technical University (METU), Department of Architecture.
The critique of abstract theories refers to the recent conceptual approaches that have distanced design education from the realities of existing conditions. In this respect, studies of urban forms in relation to social contexts have long been criticised, for it is now believed that such complex relationships between the city and social conditions should be questioned neither in pure methods of spatial analyses nor in the abstract definitions of social theories alone (Günay, 2005, Günay, 2009). Rather, the effective use of urban design in the social realm requires a broader perspective that questions how urban space is produced in parallel with the processes of social relations (Inam, 2011). For this reason, one needs to question how and under what circumstances the production of urban space is exercised and how social relations are in tune with the means of space production (Lefebvre, 1991). Leaving culturalist interpretations and morphology analyses aside, this article critically questions how urban space should be designed, in particular under the pressure of recent developments. Accordingly, under the intensifying burden of urban and environmental problems such as urban decay, social and political upheaval, industrial pollution, global warming, earthquakes and floods, or the exploitation of nature, contemporary urbanism is now providing ample room in its curricula for the setting up of a new rationale, thus enhancing the designer’s position. As such, the field of Urban Design should also be more eager to incorporate the socially and politically creative dialectic between built environments and social contexts into its fields of inquiry (Calthorpe, 1993, Ellin, 1996, Waldheim, 2006). In addition, with access to new conceptual tools, scholars should also be encouraged to offer critical and challenging viewpoints from which the significance of urban and social theories, as principal fields in the betterment of both urban and social environments, can be emphasised.
Dialectical urbanism: a critical perspective
In contemporary works, it has been suggested that there are differences in how urban design paradigms and social studies conceive meta-theories in assessing the city’s relationship to its social environments (Ellin, 2006). Scholars of social studies are skeptical of the potentials of urban design, believing that cities have always been regulated by market relations (Gottdiener, 1997, Katznelson, 1994). Building their narrative into formal analyses, architects, as well as urban designers,
As part of its founding commitment to its international context, the METU Department of Architecture has long been conducting scholarly surveys and international research studios with the aim of developing an academic environment for the provision of surveys of pragmatic issues. This commitment certainly includes further inquiries with which a new set of urban design methodologies can be reformulated, and academic surveys conducted either to describe the paradigmatic shift historically, or to
The programme (functional expansion)
Pogradeç lost its significance as the port town of Lake Ohrid and immediately became a site of conflicting positions. Both the middle class and the urban poor used the once state-owned public lands as a tool for their own social improvement. For the middle class, these lands were synonymous with wealth; however, in the hands of ordinary people, it was basic survival that was sought. The excessive rights for appropriation, random spatiality and ad hoc design strategies brought about a sudden
The theme – hybrid
The word “hybrid,” as the theme of this experimental studio, was introduced to discuss its pre-eminence as the basis of any spatial organisation and expression. Regardless of the discrepancies in its definition and the ambiguities in its relation to space, the term hybrid refers to an interaction of two unlike genes resulting in a new breed that is different and unique in nature. At a deeper level, the term reveals that it is at once both the process and the end-product with which the
Studio works: urban tactics/projects
What is required from the students is an urban programme that considers the assigned theme of hybrid. It is expected to be socially responsive and yet manipulative, contextual in nature and yet scaleless, historically relevant and yet universal. In accordance with the primary studies and findings of the fieldwork, the studio then intends to further what local authorities have already normalised and deepen the inquiry into a new mode of design procedure (Sargın, 2004, Sargın, 2008). As is
Epilogue: dialectical urbanism as a pedagogical method
Today, under the full enforcement of neo-liberal policies since the 1980s, not only has laissez-faire become the governing mode of the political-economy, but the overall effect of liberalism has drastically altered many of the orthodoxies from welfare states to a culture of modernity – including the socialist programmes that had long been established and ideologically affective in the Balkans throughout the 20th century. The new era, in fact, has been regarded as the final accord of
- Beşlioğlu, B., Savaş A. (in press). “Fleabite: Gordon Matta-Clark and Programmatic Experimentation,” Architecture...
- I. Borden
New Babylonians: from the avant-garde to the Everyday
The Journal of Architecture
- P. Burkett
Marx and nature; a red and green perspective
- P. Calthorpe
The next American metropolis; ecology, community, and the American dream
- N. Ellin
- N. Ellin
- M. Gottdiener
The social production of urban space
- A. Gramsci
The modern prince and other writings
- B. Günay
Pogradeç: toward and interdisciplinary endeavour
- B. Günay
Skyframe (Gokkafes) in Istanbul: an ontological assessment
The Journal of Urban Design
Conservation of urban space as an ontological problem
METU Journal of the Faculty of Architecture
Spaces of hope
Spaces of global capitalism, towards a theory of uneven geographical development
True urbanism: Living in and near the center
Critical pedagogy for the new planner: Mastering an inclusive perception of ‘The Other’
Citation Excerpt :
Approaching the urban environment from a relational perspective (e.g. by drawing on Actor Network Theory or assemblage thinking) can assist planners to include every-one and every-thing that participates and shapes space and the multiple socio-spatial engagements within it. However, rather than drawing on an open-ended relational approach to attend to the complexities of social aspects in different contexts (Sargın & Savaş, 2012), it is suggested that urban planners still approach socio-spatial environments in a technocratic and rational manner (Bollens, 2005). Moreover, participatory approaches to planning (developed since the 1960s) have also encountered many problems and critiques of their theoretical and methodological premises and practical solutions (Horelli, 2002; Purcell, 2009; Tewdwr-Jones & Allmendinger, 1998).
In light of the growing diversity in contemporary cities, planning literature calls for inclusive and participatory planning acts. Alas, little has changed in planning practice. This paper inquires into the pedagogical aspects of a case study of a qualitative research methods course aiming to prepare planners to plan with ‘The Other’. Presenting five queries and the pedagogical inputs they have yielded, the conclusion suggests that inclusionary planning approaches should already be implemented in planning schools and that the relational approach and qualitative methods can provide adequate tools for widening planners’ perception of ‘The Other’ and to integrating his/her standpoint in the planning process.
Do-it-yourself (DIY) adaptation: Civic initiatives as drivers to address climate change at the urban scale
Greening projects lead by civic actors at the urban scale spur transformation through example and through gradual adjustment of processes. Questions remain on how such projects are put into action and on what make them work. How do civic experiments reflect the ongoing change in urban governance and practices? We focus on a qualitative study of two greening initiatives lead by civic groups in Quebec City (Quebec, Canada). The case studies are analysed through the lens of theories that approach civic action and climate experiments as new modes of urban governance. We conclude that civil society groups have the capacity to intervene directly on the urban environment in order to enhance its quality. Findings reveal that informal greening initiatives contribute to a civic narrative in favour of adaptation to climate change at the local scale.
The TEA Evaluation Toolkit: Assessing Transdisciplinary, Experiential, and Adaptive Learning and Teaching in Urban Design Studios
2022, Education and Urban Society
Principles of organizing new residential development in the peripheral areas of the single-industry towns of the middle Volga
2020, IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering
2020, Journal of Urban Design
2020, Journal of Mixed Methods Research
Exploiting relationship between attributes for improved face verification
Computer Vision and Image Understanding, Volume 122, 2014, pp. 143-154
Recent work has shown the advantages of using high level representation such as attribute-based descriptors over low-level feature sets in face verification. However, in most work each attribute is coded with extremely short information length (e.g., “is Male”, “has Beard”) and all the attributes belonging to the same object are assumed to be independent of each other when using them for prediction. To address the above two problems, we propose a discriminative distributed-representation for attribute description; on the basis of this description, we present a novel method to model the relationship between attributes and exploit such relationship to improve the performance of face verification, in the meantime taking uncertainty in attribute responses into account. Specifically, inspired by the vector representation of words in the literature of text categorization, we first represent the meaning of each attribute as a high-dimensional vector in the subject space, then construct an attribute-relationship graph based on the distribution of attributes in that space. With this graph, we are able to explicitly constrain the searching space of parameter values of a discriminative classifier to avoid over-fitting. The effectiveness of the proposed method is verified on two challenging face databases (i.e., LFW and PubFig) and the a-Pascal object dataset. Furthermore, we extend the proposed method to the case with continuous attributes with promising results.
Energy-aware collaborative sensing for multiple applications in mobile cloud computing
Sustainable Computing: Informatics and Systems, Volume 8, 2015, pp. 47-59
Modern mobile handsets and the myriad of wearable devices connected to them offer a wide range of sensing capabilities. The ubiquity of such sensing devices offers the potential to realise novel applications based on collaborative sensing, in which application logic makes use of sensor input from a number of handsets, typically distributed across a defined physical area. Such applications will be enabled by mobile cloud computing, with the devices transferring raw or pre-processed sensed data to application logic hosted in the cloud. This results in a trade-off between the quality of the sensed data received by applications and the energy required to transfer data from the mobile handsets. We address this trade-off by considering a scheme in which a collaborative sensing middleware mediates between multiple applications requiring sensed data and the mobile handsets located within a particular physical area. We present and evaluate an algorithm which seeks to maximise the degree to which sensed data transferred from a given mobile device can be served to more than one application. We show that this algorithm leads to better overall performance in terms of energy used than an algorithm which does not aggregate sensed information between applications.
Lorentz invariance violation: The latest Fermi results and the GRB/ AGN complementarity
Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment, Volume 742, 2014, pp. 165-168
Because they are bright and distant, Gamma-ray Bursts (GRBs) have been used for more than a decade to test propagation of photons and to constrain relevant Quantum Gravity (QG) models in which the velocity of photons in vacuum can depend on their energy. With its unprecedented sensitivity and energy coverage, the Fermi satellite has provided the most constraining results on the QG energy scale so far. In this talk, the latest results obtained from the analysis of four bright GRBs observed by the Large Area Telescope will be reviewed. These robust results, cross-checked using three different analysis techniques set the limit on QG energy scale at times the Planck energy for linear dispersion and for quadratic dispersion (95% CL). After describing the data and the analysis techniques in use, results will be discussed and confronted to latest constraints obtained with Active Galactic Nuclei.
I see what you’re saying: Voice signals influence children’s judgments of direct and averted gaze
Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, Volume 116, Issue 3, 2013, pp. 609-624
Adults use gaze and voice signals as cues to the mental and emotional states of others. We examined the influence of voice cues on children’s judgments of gaze. In Experiment 1, 6-year-olds, 8-year-olds, and adults viewed photographs of faces fixating the center of the camera lens and a series of positions to the left and right and judged whether gaze was direct or averted. On each trial, participants heard the participant-directed voice cue (e.g., “I see you”), an object-directed voice cue (e.g., “I see that”), or no voice. In 6-year-olds, the range of directions of gaze leading to the perception of eye contact (the cone of gaze) was narrower for trials with object-directed voice cues than for trials with participant-directed voice cues or no voice. This effect was absent in 8-year-olds and adults, both of whom had a narrower cone of gaze than 6-year-olds. In Experiment 2, we investigated whether voice cues would influence adults’ judgments of gaze when the task was made more difficult by limiting the duration of exposure to the face. Adults’ cone of gaze was wider than in Experiment 1, and the effect of voice cues was similar to that observed in 6-year-olds in Experiment 1. Together, the results indicate that object-directed voice cues can decrease the width of the cone of gaze, allowing more adult-like judgments of gaze in young children, and that voice cues may be especially effective when the cone of gaze is wider because of immaturity (Experiment 1) or limited exposure (Experiment 2).
A Cross-sectional Survey Assessing Carriage of Streptococcus pneumoniae in a Healthy Population in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of China
Biomedical and Environmental Sciences, Volume 31, Issue 3, 2018, pp. 233-237
The carriage rate and serotype distribution of Streptococcus pneumoniae (S. pneumoniae) in a healthy population in China remains unclear. In this study, we collected the oropharyngeal swabs from 513 individuals in Xinjiang, China. Real-time PCR targeting the lytA gene and 12 serotypes were assessed to identify S. pneumoniae carriage. The total carriage rate of S. pneumoniae was 70.4% (361/513). The most prevalent serotypes were 19B/F, 18B/C, 5, and 6A/B. The highest carriage rate of S. pneumoniae was noted in children aged 6-10 years (88.6%), which merits further attention. The co-colonization rate of two or more S. pneumoniae serotypes was 79.8% (264/331). This study aimed to investigate the baseline pneumococcal carriage rate among healthy individuals in China to improve our understanding of the epidemiology of S. pneumoniae.
Refractive and topographic effects ofsingle-segment intrastromal corneal ring segments in eyes with moderate toseverekeratoconus and inferior cones
Journal of Cataract & Refractive Surgery, Volume 41, Issue 7, 2015, pp. 1434-1440
To evaluate the efficacy and safety of a single intrastromal corneal ring segment (ICRS) (450 μm Intacs SK) in moderate to severe keratoconic eyes with an inferiorly located cone and a noninvolved center.
Ophthalmology Department, American University of Beirut Medical Center, Beirut, Lebanon.
Retrospective case series.
The uncorrected (UDVA) and corrected (CDVA) distance visual acuities, central and inferior maximum topographic keratometry (K) values, manifest cylinder, and spherical equivalent (SE) were recorded preoperatively and 1 week and 1, 3, and 6 months postoperatively.
Thirty eyes were studied. The mean age was 29.6 years ± 8.0 (SD). The mean preoperative UDVA and CDVA were 20/86 and 20/42, respectively. The mean center K was 49.14 ± 4.39 diopters (D); the mean maximum K, 56.78 ± 6.02 D; and the mean center K − maximum K, −7.45 ± 5.61 D. The mean SE and cylinder were −2.24 ± 2.32 D and −4.33 ± 1.43 D, respectively, with sphere ranging from +2.00 to −18.00 D. At 6 months, the UDVA improved to 20/32. The mean SE was −1.02 ± 2.04 D (P = .0330); the mean cylinder, −1.67 ± 1.00 D (P < .00); and the mean center K − maximum K, −4.92 ± 4.36 D (P < .05). The CDVA improved more than 2 lines; no eye lost any lines. Topographic indices improved in all eyes.
Single ICRS implantation in eyes with moderate to severe keratoconus and inferiorly located cones was safe and effective. The development of a nomogram relying more on topographic data is suggested.
No author has a financial or proprietary interest in any material or method mentioned.
Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.