Final Work

Rivus

The word “rakip”, meaning “rival” in English, comes from the Latin root “rivus” meaning “river”. Accordingly, being rivals means living on opposite sides of a river, benefiting from the same water and polluting the same water.

A strip of water often called a “canal” bisects nearly all major cities in the world. Istanbul, London, Paris, Vienna, Cairo is a few of the best known. Some cities have been completely shattered by water: Venice and Amsterdam. If there is no water, there is a wall or the main street that cuts through the city’s belly, just like in Ankara. The inhabitants of the city almost need this division.

The river creates an urban void while dividing the city in two, creating contrast on both sides of the river. The constant shift of the reference point, the fact that both sides of the water are “this side” and “the other side” shows that there is no clear positioning in the middle, only contrast is needed.

 This urban void fills all the streets of the city and organizes the life there, and as this void gets smaller, it starts to connect the lives and defines the neighborhood at that point. So, urban voids serve as a link between different eras, lifestyles, city transformation, and ruins, and it is the physical manifestation of time. So, we can easily relate to different scales of rivus idea. And there is a various way of creating an urban void in several scales.

Natural (river, trees, hills) and artificial boundaries (highway, urban facades) create urban voids.

The features of urban voids have also altered as a result of the zoning of uses, the rising size of new urban needs, and the variance in the evolution of city structure with artificial boundaries.

In the past, when cities expanded, urban voids were absorbed by the city. Therefore, new urban voids were formed around the new city and natural boundaries become a definer of urban voids. 

Nature, which is our lifeblood in the environment we live in, is irreversibly plundered and tries to survive in the voids of the city. My photos aim to compile clues from our world of perception that make such plunder possible.

For the virtual exhibition: https://www.artsteps.com/view/60aeea538c28dbfee2e94084

Hostile Architecture

Hostile architecture

Hostile architecture is the design of public space or a building that, although private has a connection with the public, with hostile elements. Those urban design tools prevent the use of some spaces in long hours. It is against not only encouraging coexistence but also the use of them by homeless people.

This renovation of public elements, carried out by gentrification of residential areas and privatization of public spaces, often means a two-way attack on the most economically and socially disadvantaged part of the society which are homeless people. The outcome could not have been otherwise expected at a time when the real price low, unemployment among the unskilled and uneducated increased, housing prices rose and governments’ social spending was cut.

Today’s decision-makers focus not on how to help the homeless people, but on how to control the homeless people and protect the population from the homeless people. Homeless people cannot defend themselves in the conflict over who the public includes, who has access to the public space, and who decides what uses of space serve the public interest. The increasingly violent exclusion of the homeless people from public spaces triggers a rigid and normative view that causes these people to be seen as a danger to public spaces.

Those who advocate hostile architectural practices (mostly those who have these applications done or live in safe areas provided by them) claim that they are precautionary. Indeed, some of the hostile architectural designs may have started to be implemented in areas with high crime rates to prevent illegal acts. However, this does not justify these practices in terms of design ethics. Rather, it points to a malfunctioning of the country in question . Because if you are trying to prevent illegal actions not with legal sanctions but with examples of urban design that you hope will control the masses, obviously there is a much more fundamental problem here.

Design arises from need. If there is a need for crime prevention in a region, it would be an approach that ignores the problem, considering that individual designs will be the solution to this situation. Likewise, building single benches or pointed bridges to keep homeless people away from certain parts of the city is not a permanent solution. On the contrary, the groups that are the main victim in the system will be completely discriminated against the society through these designs.

The high elitizm define public space as opposed to the homeless people. In this context, homelessness is a problem that occurs elsewhere, not within the public. This opposition is reflected in the dominant image that represents the homeless people as victims or parasites outside the boundaries of society.

The purpose of hostile architecture is more to “lead.” People or behaviors that should not be seen in society in any way can easily be targeted by these dark designs. Considering that the hostile design examples mentioned are mostly urban furniture or applications, the seriousness of the work can be understood.

Because the state itself is behind an application under park benches or a bridge that is a state property. In other words, when viewed from a broad perspective, all these designs are one of the ways of pushing society to the behaviors that the state seems appropriate. But examples of hostile architecture do not only come from governments. Some private businesses also resort to such examples in order not to lower their brand value or to prevent homeless people from sleeping in front of their windows.

Practices aimed at the homeless people are also concentrated in a certain part of the city in some cases. With the complete expulsion of homeless people from a certain area, it can lead to gathering at another point, ghettoization. The emergence of different social classes in society and their overt or hidden hate against each other is, of course, a terrible result that no one wants. To wrap up, Hostile architecture is not humane and it is against human rights. So we should build shelter rather than doing these designs. Also, there is a problem with the way we create the social culture. We should correct our behaviors, we need to see the society through a critical lens and we should make attempts to change it. We should build a societal network to help them.