"The Making Of Beyoğlu"
Rotterdam and Duisburg-Marxloh meet Istanbul
„The Making Of Beyoğlu“ was a series of workshops examining specific case studies in the “hip” district of Beyoğlu in Istanbul.
A collaboration between SALT, Istanbul, Bureau Venhuizen, Rotterdam and Urban Rhizome, Duisburg-Marxloh the project used the principle of play to open the door to a more cultural kind of spatial planning, dubbed "game urbanism".
Game Urbanism “The Making Of”
Hans Venhuizen’s “The Making Of” examines the well-known structure of game playing – and applies it to spatial planning and collective decision-making processes. Spatial planning can involve anything from changes to a public space, to the restructuring of a neighborhood, to an urban area’s search for identity.
Turn Current Problems Into Future Possibilities
In contrast to today’s typical spatial planning process, in which ideas are framed around an attractive “end-picture,” “The Making Of” seeks to initiate a discussion around changes that takes into account all parties and all possible solutions. Participants of “The Making Of” workshops learn how games can bring people together as they explore avenues to change. And most important output: the understanding of how to turn current problems into future possibilities.
Plans for Beyoğlu
In 2010 Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality set up conservation plans of all physical and functional aspects relating to construction work in Beyoğlu – a district in Istanbul that has been inhabited for millennia. Records show that a settlement already existed since the time of Christ.
So far so good. But what kind of strategies could be developed to improve and sustain Beyoğlu’s social and physical patterns? And in what ways can non-experts participate in the process of change?These were the main questions that Hans Venhuizen´s „The Making Of Beyoğlu“ focused on.
Method of Empowerment
Participants of the eight workshops – which included students, researchers, urban design and architectural professionals, policy-makers and community members – were challenged to analyze current planning issues of Beyoğlu and to propose ideas, raise objections, debate and lobby for solutions. They playfully learned to approach and comprehend a serious public matter through a game.
“The Making Of” is a method of empowerment; it is a mind-opener not only for lay people but also for experts and professionals. It aims to simplify complex situations to reveal the wishes and interests of parties involved in decision-making; and to embrace curiosity, insight and enthusiasm throughout the uncertain processes of change.