THREE WORDS Letter of Purpose for YAP Application, October 2012

Istanbul is getting more and more popular nowadays. Designers, artists and architects desire to spend some time in this city where a massive production in every scale is ongoing.

On the other hand, a rapid process of transformation which tests the city inhabitants and their conscious every day, is on stage. The city loves three words recently: speed, construct and demolish. Bridges, airports, residential blocks, squares, mosques are rapidly demolished and even more rapidly constructed. These three words are the reason to make this city a dream location for newcomers, yet a possible nightmare for inhabitants.

Apparently, Young Architects Program loves these magic three words as well. It is a fast process of designing, constructing and demolishing in an open-air area. However, what makes the main difference between Young Architects Program and the urbanization process of Istanbul is that, during Young Architects Program, one does not demolish what has been done before, like in Istanbul. Instead, it is an act which requires to foresee the destruction of a design as a part of the production. In the recent works of Young Architects Program, we can see the revolutionary part of the act of demolishing, an act that has been adored by conservative politicians for years.

In our portfolio, we have projects which are realized as well as the ones which remained as an idea. What is common in these projects which take place in İstanbul, Peru, Kayseri and Rotterdam is the idea of creating landscapes for shared activities. Indoors or open-air, in the garden of an historic castle or in the courtyard of a conference hall, all the projects are based on the idea of spaces which are transformed by their environment and the users even after the construction.

Being a young architect, regardless of age, mostly means holding on a romantic and naive idea of being able to change the world. Trying to be optimistic yet contentious, rather than being pessimistic and resigned. As young architects from Istanbul, we apply to this program where we expect to face a process of design, change, construct, demolish, reuse etc. We are eager to be a part of this program which will take place in an inspiring open space in Istanbul.

About Young Architects Program
The YAP: Young Architects Program began in 1998 in MoMA PS1’s courtyard in New York and became international with the participation of CONSTRUCTO in Santiago, Chile in 2010 and the National Museum of XXI Century Arts (MAXXI) in Rome in 2011. In 2012, MoMA and MoMA PS1 invited the Istanbul Museum of Modern Art in Turkey to join the program and further expand it. Istanbul Modern’s sculpture garden and the gravel area on the filled ground in the courtyard of the museum―itself situated in one of the warehouses designed by Sedad Hakkı Eldem―was selected as the project site for YAP Istanbul Modern. The jury, which came together to select the winning project, was formed of architectural experts and of representatives from Istanbul Modern and the other YAP: Young Architects Programs. From among the proposals of the five finalists the jury selected the project “Sky Spotting Stop”* designed by SO? Architecture and Ideas. Project Coordinators and Finalists Exhibiton Curators: Çelenk Bafra, Pelin Derviş (Istanbul Modern)