Izmir University of Economics, Department of Architecture 2nd year students designed a residence for an artist couple in Umurbey Quarter, known as “Darağaç”, located behind the Izmir Harbour within the scope of the final project for the fall semester of 2018-2019.In this region, where industrial structures such as the Historical Electricity Factory, Halkapınar Sümerbank Campuses are concentrated, different artists have been living in solidarity with the local residents, producing art and exhibiting them for the last 5 years. In the project that carried out under the guidance of Asst. Prof. Dr. Burkay Pasin, Asst. Prof. Dr. Güzden Varinlioğlu, Lec. Hugh Clarke, Lec. Lale Başarır, Lec. Filiz Keyder Özkan, Lec. Onur Dinemz, Lec. Ayşe Bozkurt Karal and Lec. Özgür Genca, students have brought creative proposals both to urban housing life and to a transformation of the region through art.
Studio Coordinator Asst. Prof. Dr. Burkay Pasin identified the importance of the region and the project as follows: “As in many metropolises in Turkey, urban transformation projects in Izmir are mostly carried out with a non-participatory process that will destroy the local texture both in the spatial and social aspects. The art and design-oriented transformation in Darağaç, which we have chosen as a project area, is an alternative to these gentrification oriented urban transformation projects in other parts of the city. In this context, our students have designed a collective life in a neighborhood that has just been introduced to contemporary art by going beyond a simple housing design; they have followed a critical process in which the social and cultural texture of the neighborhood is kept in the forefront. We hope that the region will maintain its authenticity in the long run and will set an example for other future transformations in Izmir.”
The final jury and exhibition of the project took place on Tuesday, January 8 with the participation of local artists on the terrace of an industrial building in the same neighborhood. This experience has left traces in Darağaç as a social awareness project, which took place in solidarity with the neighborhood beyond architectural design education, from the production of ideas to the preparation of the exhibition.