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Who Builds Istanbul?

Sat, May 21, 2016    11am

The workshop Who Builds Istanbul? will examine how the the construction industry produces buildings, in other words how buildings are not only conceived by architects, but also how they are materialized by a network that mobilizes architects, construction workers, and a host of other actors. This links local construction processes to national and international networks. The construction industry employs an array of actors linked via legal, financial, and professional relationships—architects, construction managers, engineers, contractors, consultants, and construction workers, who also move around cities, countries, and the globe but in very unequal ways. This expansive field of operations has led to the atomization and dispersion of fields related to the design and construction of built projects, and the proliferation of contractual legal ties binding them together. The workshops will focus on the role of architects—how architects fit within the construction process, and how architects can better relate to construction workers.

Issues to be explored in the afternoon workshop include “Processes of Practice and Construction,” which will examine diverse project types and different scales of construction; the varying conditions of work at job sites, including worker safety and site observation, contractual relationships, the housing of workers on and off site; and local/global networks of construction in Istanbul. These workshop topics will be collectively discussed to develop ideas of best practices on job sites and ideas for activism to change current conditions.

With the outcomes of the workshop’s best practices guidelines, WBYA? and Studio-X Istanbul will use the representational tools and techniques of architecture—orthographic drawing, urban mapping, data spatialization, and photo documentation examine processes of building on specific sites in Istanbul to understand how construction knowledge is transferred from the office to the site, from architects to workers. The outcomes of the workshop and subsequent research will be collected into a booklet Who Builds Istanbul? outlining best practices on construction sites. The booklet will serve as an educational tool for architects to better understand how their work translates into the construction process.