Monday, March 30, 2020

This event has been cancelled.

Esra Akcan

Associate Professor, Cornell University Dept of Architecture
Lecture Title: "Open Architecture: Design in the Age of Migrations" 
Abstract:  The “open” is a common metaphor in the era of global connections, and a foundational modern value, albeit prone to contradictions. Exploring the implications of this concept, Esra Akcan’s lecture introduces her latest book, Open Architecture: Migration, Citizenship and the Urban Renewal of Berlin-Kreuzberg by IBA - 1984–87, which defines open architecture as the translation of a new ethics of hospitality into the design process. In particular, it exemplifies the inclinations towards open architecture (or the lack thereof) in the context of the discriminatory housing regulations of an urban renewal development in Berlin’s immigrant neighborhood, Kreuzberg. The International Building Exhibition in Berlin, IBA'84/87, was one of the most important architectural events of the 1980s, where ideas of established and up-and-coming international architects materialized as public housing in the divided historical city. Giving voice not only to architects and policy makers, but also to residents through oral history and storytelling, the overarching theme of noncitizen rights to the city allows for a joint discussion of the history of twentieth-century public housing, participatory, postmodernist and poststructuralist architectural debates, and the contradictory relation between international immigration laws and housing. In this lecture, Akcan will explain this theoretical framework and case study from her book on radical democracy.
Lecture Info: 
Monday, March 30, 2020
Lecture at 4:15 p.m. in the Lawrence J. Plym Auditorium, Temple Hoyne Buell Hall 
Reception follwing lecture in Blicharski Atrium, Temple Hoyne Buell Hall
Sponsored by the Visiting Professor in Architecture lecture fund
Bio: Esra Akcan's scholarly work on a geopolitically conscious global history of urbanism and architecture inspires her teaching. She is the author of Landfill Istanbul: Twelve Scenarios for a Global City (124/3, 2004); Architecture in Translation: Germany, Turkey and the Modern House Opens an external link (Duke University Press, 2012); Turkey: Modern Architectures in History Opens an external link (with S. Bozdoğan, Reaktion/University of Chicago Press, 2012); and Open Architecture: Migration, Citizenship and the Urban Renewal of Berlin-Kreuzberg by IBA-1984/87 Opens an external link (Birkhäuser-De Gruyter, 2018).

Akcan has received numerous awards and has authored more than 100 articles on the intertwined histories of Europe and West Asia, critical and postcolonial theory, architectural photography, migration and diasporas, translation, and contemporary architecture. These works offer new ways to understand the global movement of architecture and advocate a commitment to new ethics of hospitality and global justice. Akcan has also participated in exhibitions by carrying her practice beyond writing to visual media.

Akcan was educated as an architect in Turkey and received her Ph.D. from Columbia University.