Self -oneself -myself -selfish -select -fish
                                                               -water -earth -weed -oxygen -methane
                                                                            -concrete -wood -cloud -light

Self, a being is part of a whole thing, rather than an individual isolated from environment. It is a part of nature-environment that exists because of them and for them. It is the celebration of the self, as well as the earth, the planet Earth, together with its systematic in the planetary space.

Self in nature and nature in self creates an atmosphere together with the materiality of the environment. What is an atmosphere and how it can be defined, generated, captured? In an island ecology, how can we refer to an atmosphere that is specific to the place, the location, apart from a city ecology, which will praise awareness of the self and its environment altogether?

What is the place where ‘self’ becomes “one” with the environment, what is the atmosphere that generates it?

“Humans’ survival as a species depends upon adapting ourselves and our…settlements in new, life-sustaining ways, shaping contexts that acknowledge connections to air, earth, water, life, and to each other, and that help us feel and understand these connections, landscapes that are functional, sustainable, meaningful, and artful” (Spirn 1998, 26).
Ecological urbanism aims to advance this goal. It weds the theory and practice of city design and planning, as a means of adaptation, with the insights of ecology – the study of the relationships between living organisms and their environment and the processes that shape both – and other environmental disciplines, such as climatology, hydrology, geography, psychology, history, and art. Ecological urbanism has an aesthetic dimension, but it is not a style; the works of its practitioners may be radically different in appearance even though based on the same principles.
Anne Whiston Spirn, 2011

Water, maybe the most known material -or we may just say fluid- in the whole system of materialized world, is quite underestimated and even deleterious in the modern construction system. We isolate the buildings as if using sun screen for our skin. Every rain is another damage to the building. Roofs have to be sloped and foundations have drains to take it off the circumference. It is not only the problem of dealing with water in building scale, however in the greater scale of city or even bigger geographical areas, built environments dismiss water (especially the systems of water-rivers) and cage it in canals or drains it. The very problem we encounter is that we sort of not understand how this very fluid behaves and therefore we are unable to foresee the consequences.

Water is a low-viscosity fluid (for sure relatively) that has the potential to spread around its container environment very easily. Whether it is a man-made box, a river bed, or an underground path, it interacts with the porous material in that environment physically and try to diffuse into every little space its molecules can spread into (under gravitational force). In this writing, besides the scientific facts we will be focusing on how to document the fluid behavior.

It is an animating system of how fluids react. It shows a process of reacting forces, creating boundary changes. Here one important aspect is capturing sequences of images from a water surface and recreating them to express the boundary changes under various force effects. Tracing images to reduce the clutter, expresses actual boundary lines in a still image. The sequential images helps us to grasp under what forces the boundaries are changed and also to document these forces as a separate layer. This helps to create a system that can generate new boundary conditions under the same force effects.


In this short blog post the computational system of forces-boundaries-fields are not being told. But as a reference this blog post of Lebbeus Woods (RIP) – about Manuel DeLanda’s book the emergence of synthetic reason can be looked at.

In a recent workshop Revaluate Ecoland (more information on participants as a first exercise traced the sequential water stills to understand how boundary changes are effected under what forces. The very idea of the workshop was that water systems tend to spread around and actually damage the solid forms-structures it interacts with, whether man-made or natural. So how we can redefine this relationship in order to create a mutual formation for the city design in ecological terms. This first exercise in the workshop actually helps to create a design grammar for how ecological areas-fields can sprawl to its surrounding environment. Sequential stills depending on the various places they are taken from also shows its interaction with the man-made structures. This helps us to estimate in what form(s) water can crate a long term interaction with these structures to create a mutual form all together. (in other terms damage the structure, like wall). Participants in later stages created a narrative for their future scenarios, and designing these settings are also helped by these water drawings. One participant also took this logic of effecting forces, changing fluid dynamics into an urban setting and created a simulation of how water can damage the existing structures.

This exercise is focusing on the very surface of water and its visible changes by human eye. However what is underestimated here is we cannot talk about a water surface, since this fluid is in a constant relationship with its gas form -water vapor- and therefore boundary conditions are more complicated than converging lines. It actually creates in between spaces of mix air and water, and there can be, maybe in a fractal logic, the same relationships in smaller and smaller scales. Another underestimated fact is again this exercise is focusing on so called surface, and the internal dynamics of water is not documented. As our aim was to understand how water is creating this mutual formation relationship with its outer environment, its internal dynamics play a very important role as well. Besides all these, this exercise still addresses the formational relationships and is valuable since it is not a representational documentation but rather an actual analysis of forms water (can) create.

Orkun Beydagi

A workshop that focuses on to speculate utopian or dystopian narrations on how to reevaluate-and blend- Istanbul’s ecological life into the urban fabric -back again- using two or three dimensional techniques to spatialize these speculations.

September 15-19, 2014  
SALT Galata

Tutors: Cemre Çelikcan – Orkun Beydağı


More information in Turkish:
Kentsel tasarım, bir çok farklı koşulun ve dinamiğin bir araya gelmesinin sonucu olarak yorumlanabilir. Sosyo-kültürel koşullar, ekonomik dinamikler, yerel veya tepeden inme politikalar kentin organik/çizgisel olmayan gelişimini etkiler. Doğal koşullar ise geçmişten beri bir yerleşimde en etkin koşul olarak kendini gösterir. Konumu, su ve maden kaynakları, tarıma elverişlilik hali gibi yaşamsal faaliyetleri sürdürmek için gerekli şartlar, şehrin doğal koşullar ile kurduğu ilişkiler ile sağlanır. Günümüze doğru geldikçe ise sanayi ve hizmet sektörünün ve teknolojik imkanların gelişimi ile sahip olduğumuz yanılgısına düştüğümüz doğayı dönüştürebilme gücü, şehirlerde doğal koşulların kent yaşantısındaki öneminin görmezden gelinmesine sebep olmaktadır.

Devamlı büyümekte ve dönüştürülmekte (!) olan İstanbul’un su kaynakları, ormanlar, bostan arazileri, dereler gibi ekolojik bileşenleri için de aynı durum söz konusudur. Özellikle dereler bakımından zengin bir şehir olan İstanbul’da, Bizans döneminden Osmanlıya dek dere çevreleri sosyal ve kültürel hayatta önemli bir yer tutmuştur. Kent yaşamına bu denli dahil olan bu dereler, sanayi ve hizmet sektörünün gelişimi ile artan nüfusa yer açmak için, çoğu yerde yol açmak için günümüzde kurutulmuş ya da kanallar içine alınmış haldedirler.

Dereler geçmişten bugüne farklı formlarda kentin bileşeni olarak varlığını sürdürüyorsa, bugün yeraltındaki derelerin yeniden form değiştirmesi daha sürdürülebilir bir kentsel tasarım sürecinin başlangıcı olabilir mi? İstanbul’un aktif topografyası, kent ve bir ekolojik bileşenin yeni formu arasında nasıl ilişkiler kurulabilir? Bir ‘palimpsest’ kent olarak İstanbul’un katmanlaşmasının ekolojik boyutuna odaklanan atölye çalışmasında, katılımcılardan bu bağlamda ütopik veya distopik bir anlatı kurmaları, bu anlatıyı iki ve üç boyutlu teknikler geliştirerek mekansallaştırmaları beklenmektedir.