Themes of Place and Space in Design Teaching: A Joint Studio Experiment in Amasya

Ulusu Uraz, Türkan
Balamir, Aydan
The design studio is a medium of intense learning in architectural education. A learning experiment that engages in critical practice, seeking to present values instead of mere techniques, promoting investigative work rather than trying to bring exact definitions to what must be, is typical of architectural studio education. The choice of a theme around which to structure studio work is significant in this respect; themes define the trajectory and act as filters of perception, thought and action, which the instructors and students share throughout the design process (3). The theme of the studio exercise presented in this paper consists of the comprehension of place and space qualities and proposing new design in a historic context. While this theme directed learning of pertinent design vocabulary and concepts, it also required that students should develop an ethical approach based on the sense of responsibility towards delicate environments possessing cultural heritage. Through a studio project set in the historic town of Amasya in North Central Anatolia, the students are engaged in the current debate about place and space. Two opposing views are identified, one stressing the sense of place, the other negating it. Each has equally challenging grounds for architectural thought and pedagogy, demanding from the studio instructor to avoid dictating one position or the other. Whichever path one follows however, place assumes a central role in confronting the ways in which any space is set in context, be it along the premises of place notions or along their total negation.


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Citation Formats
T. Ulusu Uraz and A. Balamir, “Themes of Place and Space in Design Teaching: A Joint Studio Experiment in Amasya,” ODTÜ Mimarlık Fakültesi Dergisi, vol. 23, no. 1, pp. 1–18, 2006, Accessed: 00, 2020. [Online]. Available: