Studio Brain

Wow, week 3! I can’t even believe it! It seems like it was just the other night that Ozayr was losing us on Istiklal beneath the lights, the hills and the smells of all that is Istanbul. Back to reality though, the neighborhood and transit introductions have wrapped up, Rome projects are in the grade books, our first project in Istanbul is over, and Studio is in full swing. As we’ve all begun to gain confidence in our new home here I thought I’d give you all just a glimpse of our typical day here in Istanbul. The Video below is our daily journey (plus or minus a detour or two) to our student center where our lectures and studio take place.

Now that we’ve arrived in studio, let’s talk about what’s going on. Trying to avoid boring you all with going into too much detail, our studio is working on several different projects at the moment. We are all investigating the Eminönü Ferry stop on the shore of the old city but have been split up by programs. The Bachelor of Science kids are working on a new design for the ferry station, the Landscape Architects are creating a new plaza space and the Bachelor of Design in Architecture kids are focusing on designing the portable vendor kiosks that are dispersed throughout the plaza. As a whole, we are all in the middle of a charette, which for those of you who may not know, a charette is just a fancy word used to describe a time of production. It’s used as a way to encourage students and professionals alike to spit out a large number of ideas in a quick and simple yet still effective way. I can’t say that I’ve ever done a charette (at least not formally) before but it’s been kind of a rush, just being able to produce and work out both the pros and the cons of the site while not having to commit to a final design has been quite freeing. Something I’ve noticed about doing a charette though has been what I like to call, “studio brain.” Something that I can’t very well describe but is probably exactly what you’d think it to be. My brain simply cannot (or will not) think of anything beyond this project! Everything I see around me is either a critique or an inspiration for my future ferry station. All of the tabs on my computer are site research, all of my conversations, all though they sometimes take a brief detour still circle back around to a discussion of the project, even in my free time I am either drooling over the newly acquired Rhino file of Istanbul’s topography or reading the 100+ page thesis paper about the transformation of Eminönü that I have taken an interest in. Now that you all think I’m crazy I might as well tell you, I like being crazy! My brain is always thinking, it’s always observing, it’s always learning. So here’s to being crazy (otherwise referred to as architects). Cheers/Şerefe, Megan Doran

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