“Famagusta Utopias” Poster Presentation


Üstün Alsaç, Ceren Boğaç, Pınar Alsaç

UIA World Congress of Architecture, İstanbul/ TURKEY

CerenBogac design


Grand Bazaar of ArchitectureS

The Organising Committee of the XXII UIA World Congress sees the gathering of the world’s architects in Istanbul 2005 as an opportunity to review the global agenda of architecture. During recent decades, the agenda of world architecture has recurrently focused on the questions of diversity and sustainability. The concept of ‘sustainable development’, with biological and cultural diversity considered as the basis of humanity, was a central theme in several of the UIA congresses, and was summarised during the Berlin Congress under the theme: Resource Architecture. On the other hand, the growing gap between aspired values and pressing realities has placed architecture in a position that allows it to form criticisms concerning not only the developments beyond its control, but also its internal problems and own performance.

The 2005 UIA Congress in Istanbul intends to be a forum where the world’s architects can openly share their successes and failures, resistances and submissions, critical discourse and visions.

Making use of the most advanced means of communication, we hope to create an interactive network where architects will come together, through online or face-to-face contact, to display their dreams, thoughts, concerns, expectations, and limitations. The world’s architects will have the opportunity to exchange ideas in the festive atmosphere of a bazaar, bringing the priorities of different geographies and cultures together in one forum. With enthusiasm, a sense of responsibility, and the awareness of belonging to a profession that constructs the spaces for living, architects will endeavour to establish new links with the global agenda, negotiating with stake-holders in more effective and carefully articulated modes.

We are ever more aware that our plural worlds, at the micro-scale, are not immune to escalating, global risks to this singular planet. It is because of this awareness that the utopian proposals of today are centred around the interrelated themes of ecology and democracy.

• How does architecture participate in this debate ?

• How will the early modernists’ will-to-form (and to construct) reconcile with attitudes of caring rehabilitation and governance of human settlements ?

• In what direction is the willpower of architecture developing, against practices based on the consumption of nature, history, society, and the individual ?

The vision that foresees global existence and diversity only under the common denominator of a responsible modernity will substantially affect the act and involvement of architecture. Against the background of ecological disasters, moral depression, and aesthetic poverty generated by irresponsible building practices, this challenge of a new modernism – one that does not isolate science, ethics, and art from one another – will urge architects to take stronger positions concerning their discipline and profession.

The thematic structure of the Istanbul Congress is inspired by the magnificent tradition of bazaars that has marked human encounters throughout history. The Grand Bazaar or market place, which vehicles an image of diversity and of solidarity among merchants, suggests freedom of expression and the free circulation of ideas, while nurturing the existing media of dialogue and discussion that lead to collective interest and responsibility. At the same time, this metaphor of the bazaar – open-closed, local-global, real-virtual – is expected to precipitate incisive criticisms and arguments against the prevalent market mechanisms that transform human and professional relationships into simple commodities.

This gathering in Istanbul hopes to serve as a global revolution against the depreciation of the meaning and quality of life.

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