Urban parasites : re-appropriation of interstitial spaces in architecture through the act of graffiti

Yıldırım, Senem
This thesis focuses on parasitic spaces as areas of re-appropriation displaying radical stands against sterility of urban environment.The aim is to search for the potential of the formation and spread of urban parasites in the city for a new method in designing architectural environment.Urban parasites are indicated in study as areas of individual intervention formed in interstitial spaces of city.They form alternative zones within the urban fabric that emerge from spatial and symbolic connection of individually transformed interstices sharing the same context.As a unique form of urban parasites,the study grounds on the act of graffiti,since it forms an architectural discourse on reconstruction of interstices,and encourages alternative spatial configurations.Referred as observers of city,graffiti artists are studied as creators of urban scenes and intervenors of new foregrounds for alternative territories.The process of choosing graffiti spots is researched as a way of recognizing and interacting with interstices of city,through the act of walking.While choosing spots,graffiti artists provide the continuity of parasitic zones by spatially and symbolically referring to other spots.To trace back the development of interstitial spaces,parallel with the heritage of graffiti forming them,this thesis focuses on the city of Berlin as a significant case.To observe urban parasites formed by connection of graffiti spots and examine the changing identity of interstices in different contexts,the graffiti map of Berlin is reinterpreted along the route from Mitte,center of former East Berlin,to Friedrichshain,housing district of former East Berlin.By producing maps based on personal observations and comparing them with other available maps,the study traced the continuity of urban parasites overlapping with graffiti spots in Mitte and Friedricshain,while documenting the changing identity of interstitial nodes by observing Kunsthaus Tacheles in Mitte and Yaam in Friedrichshain.
Citation Formats
S. Yıldırım, “Urban parasites : re-appropriation of interstitial spaces in architecture through the act of graffiti,” M.Arch. - Master of Architecture, Middle East Technical University, 2013.