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This edited volume informs readers about changing norms and meanings of borders and underlines recent scenarios that shape these borders. It focuses mainly on the Mediterranean and Middle East regions through the following questions: What are the social, cultural, philosophical, political, economic and aesthetic reasons for spatial segregation within contemporary territories and cities? In the world of globalization and networks, what are the new limitations of space? What are the alienating differences between interior and exterior, private and public, urban and rural, local and global, and real and virtual? Are spatial definitions and divisions more likely to be weakened (if not totally erased) by effects of globalization and mobility, similar to the dissolution of borders between countries? Or are local practices and measures likely to become more apparent with emerging trends such as sustainability and identity?

Authored by international scholars, all chapters are arranged under four main parts: Urban and Rural, Global and Local, Physical and Sensual, Real and Virtual. Hence, different concepts and definitions of borders along with varying methods and tools for questioning their essence in architectural and urban spaces will be introduced. For example, in the rural and urban context, environments, settlements-housing, landscape, transformation, conservation and development; in the global and local context, styles, identity, universal design, sustainability, globalization and networks, mobility and migration; in the physical and sensual context, design studies and methodologies, environmental psychology, aesthetic reasoning, sense of place and well-being, and in the real and virtual context, realities, tools and communities are the main themes of the chapters.

This book will be an essential source for professionals, scholars, and students of architecture and urban design with a view to understanding multidisciplinary perspectives in designing borders as well as the dialectical relationship between borders and space.



Transdisciplinary Thinking for Conceptualising Borders and Boundaries


Chapter 1. Assessments of Edirne’s Past, Present and Future as a Border City

For examining Edirne, a border city of strategically geographical and political importance, this three-part study takes up the city’s historical past and evaluates its future vision. The first part provides a historical perspective on the definition and function of the ‘border’ and ‘border city’ concepts according to different measures. The second part covers Edirne, which is located at the junction of the Western world and Eastern cultures and how its position as a border city from the decline of the Ottoman Empire to the present has impacted the city’s development. The third part encompasses Edirne’s ‘development vision and potential’ as a border city. From the 1980s onward, Edirne has begun to stand out with many positive features. The advantage of being a border city with European Union member countries has created the need to create new economic and socio-cultural strategies for the development of cross-border relations and cooperation. In the conclusion part, a general evaluation was made. It has been revealed that Edirne’s existing resources can be utilized in more effective and innovative ways and development opportunities can be created for the city’s future vision. In this context, the importance of the cross-border cooperation program was specified together with the neighboring country border city municipalities and suggestions for the future have been put forward.
Ayse Sirel, Osman Umit Sirel

Chapter 2. The Porosity of Borders: Between Formal and Informal Urban Patterns

Urban spaces developed with formal and informal settlements that have varied permeability features are the places where any social, cultural and ethnic communities cohabit in a heterogeneous arrangement. Both formal/regular and informal/spontaneous modes of spatial production lead to changes in socio-economic and spatial relationships within the city. Planned and unplanned housing patterns intersect and are juxtaposed in time. The seam lines between the various parts of the patchwork-like settlements show different qualities in terms of transition characteristics, creating different patterns for the use of public and private space and spatial discontinuity. Therefore, fragmentation and disconnection are encountered between different social groups at the intersection of formal and informal residential settlements. The differences make the borders meaningful, however, to eliminate discontinuities in terms of creating quality urban environments; the boundaries should be more blurred, ambiguous and even seamless. Porosity/permeability characteristics of the borders as indicators of ambiguity strengthen the potentials of in-between space to increase communication and interaction providing urban fluidity. In the scope of the research, to analyze the connection/intersection of various formal/informal housing patterns in Istanbul in terms of their spatial and social dimensions, a comparative and mutual assessment is conducted. Creative approaches and bottom-up models of different countries related to the porosity characteristics of in-between zones are concluded along with the findings of the field study related to the theoretical framework.
Gözde İrem Cebir Meral, Ahsen Özsoy

Chapter 3. Borders Defining Urban Enclaves: Case Studies from Istanbul

Mixed-use projects which are gaining momentum in Istanbul due to urban developments, specifically in the 2000s, may cause various disconnections and undefined spaces within the urban continuity with the borders they create. The study aims at reading the relationship between mixed usages and urban patterns through the concepts of boundary and threshold. Phenomena that are selected for the case study are two large-scale mixed-use projects designed in different typology and architectural forms in neighboring districts of Istanbul. Adopting the conceptual framework specific to urban enclaves, the analysis is carried out through three main characteristics of the projects: namely form, ownership, scale, which are prominent as mixed-use strategies. In this way, the methods of how these boundaries are formed according to these characteristics corresponding to mixed-use strategies were investigated. While the study examines how the projects in question join the city and their relationships with their close surroundings, it also provides an opportunity to evaluate the impact of different strategic approaches, different physical environments and architectural attitudes they present on the creation of the urban enclave form. In conclusion, the findings related to the enclave characteristics of mixed uses were interpreted through their effects on the publicness in the city.
Neslinur Hızlı Erkılıç, Ayşen Ciravoğlu

Chapter 4. From Galata to Pera: Shifting Borders in Ottoman Society (1453–1923)

The Genoese walled town of Galata was positioned on the Golden Horn opposite Byzantium. Beyond the furthest northern point of its walls and the tower fields and rural areas lied. Later on this site that lied beyond the Genoese settlement the most cosmopolitan part of Ottoman Istanbul will develop. Life in Galata was condensed due to maritime trade and harbor’s activities. The settlement couldn’t absorb the influx of incoming population due to increased trades. As a result, its borders were pushed and extended outside its walls toward the rural area of the hill and its ridge above, later known as Beyoğlu and Pera. These rural, agricultural areas with cemeteries and groves on the north side of Galata will transform into an area marked with diplomatic representative’s residences and palaces. Here the new cosmopolitan city following Western European models will be established. The rural fields of the past will be replaced with new structures that will later change the entire area into a new cosmopolitan core of modern Istanbul baring the name of Pera. Galata and its walled frontier will slowly disappear and will transition from Galata toward Pera known as Beyoğlu, center of new emerging cosmopolitan bourgeoisie of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Luca Orlandi, Velika Ivkovska

Ceci N’est Pas Un Citron: Habitat Vs Architecture

Chapter 5. On the “Borderline” of Postmodern and Global: Forms, Images, Metaphors in Architecture

Modernist understanding of architecture established a certain language relating the physical form with the function, technologies and materials, whereas postmodernism brought engagement with more complex factors. Continuing development of architectonics, design tools and methods enabled the production of more complex architecture. Multidisciplinary thinking approaches, social theory integration influenced architecture to enhance its representational value, to be perceived with multiple meanings, images and symbols. Economic, political, environmental issues accompanied. Globalization, through transnational processes, transmitting symbols, transplanting forms from one part of the world to another, had an impact on design and the built environment. As modernism has been superseded or come to an end, a new phase has started. How and when the transformation occurred and even the title ‘postmodernism’ is subject to be questioned according to theorists. One of the many definitions of ‘borderline’ refers to a debatable condition, an indeterminate state between two different phases that is hardly classifiable. The text focuses on the Modern-Postmodern transitional phase in architecture—‘borderline architecture’—where the time frame, as well as defined paradigms, is quite vague and in need of clarification. A reading is aimed here by exploring forms, images and metaphors utilized in randomly selected examples considered to represent the period.
İrem Maro Kırış

Chapter 6. Culture and Identity in the Global Context: Transformation of Locality

There is a mutual dependence between culture and identity which brings together tangible and intangible values such as traditions, the social structure of communities, rituals and the like. In the past centuries when the term globalization did not exist, identity was shaped by community culture and dominated by local traditions and lifestyles. On the contrary, the last century has brought globalization which strengthens the interactions and interrelations among different communities, cultures, etc., worldwide. Therefore, sharp lines of the borders between cultures and identities have become more invisible. In the present; international education, travel opportunities, migration and immigration due to various motives/reasons have led to globalization where distinguishing between the local and global has become harder. On the other hand 2020 experiences the fact of COVID-19 which started to change the idea of globalization, however, that topic is not within the scope of this study. This study aims to explore emerging social and cultural forms and the impacts of globalization and multiculturalism on culture and identity as a social process. A discussion of cultural identities and their influence on the space generation will be made within the frame of their historic formation and transformation that has been brought by globalization.
Meltem Vatan

Chapter 7. Small Icons with Wide Borders: The Semiotics of Micro-Mobility in Urban Space

Today installed on our digital screens are several icons that converge the physical and virtual realities of cities. As new interfaces for smart city experiences, a great variety of mobile city apps provide location-based information and imagery on various categories, such as management and urban infrastructure, heritage and tourism, marketing and recreation. Smart icons that employ location-awareness, VR, AR and/or QR technologies, have become tools for augmenting urban space with ‘smarter’ (perceived through spatial practice), ‘experimental’ (lived through representational spaces) and ‘poetical’ (conceived through representations of space) boundaries. This chapter focuses on the recent smart micro-mobility trends emerging in the cities and aims to explore the material dimension of the physical circumstances and the social dimension of mobility culture from the new city media. It represents a relational model linking former semiotic theories and the author’s interpretation of the semiotic power of micro-mobility in urban space. The semiotic analysis regarding the two most popular smart sharing systems for e-scooters (Martı) and e-bikes (Isbike) in Istanbul reveals their technological, sociocultural and political implications in urban space.
Suzan Girginkaya Akdağ

Chapter 8. Rethinking the Paradigm of High-Performance Design: New Borders Between Vernacular and Contemporary Approaches

Vernacular architecture, as a gain of understanding the human needs within the social and cultural heritage and the environmental context, presents instructive examples of design solutions for the built environment. However, this phenomenon has been replaced by contemporary architecture practices over time. On the other hand, due to the global warming, depletion of sources and many more the paradigm of high-performance design recently address energy efficiency, thermal and visual comfort and usage of local resources, has already originated in the vernacular architecture and has been slightly or fairly dismissed from the contemporary architecture practices. Thus, the target of achieving a high performance built environment in contemporary architecture has started setting new borders where it could interact with vernacular approaches. This chapter aims to present the evolution of borders from vernacular to contemporary architecture or vice versa. Therefore, vernacular approaches are represented through a design hierarchy and discussed as a consequence of setting new borders through rethinking the paradigm of high-performance design. Finally, a literature review, using bibliometrics, is carried out to verify the hypothesis of the paradigm shift and to put forth a future projection for the high-performance paradigm.
Yiğit Yılmaz, Burcu Ç. Yılmaz

Boundaries and Spaces: Physical and Perceptual


Chapter 9. Fading Boundaries: Insights on Learning “in Between” the Classroom Spaces

Along with the advancements in technology and shifts in approaches to education in our day, school architecture began to undergo significant transformations. Learning beyond the classrooms has emerged as a highlighted concern as well as the children’s interaction with each other and their environment. Articulation of the changing pedagogical approaches and visions of the innovative, student-centered ideas of the twenty-first century through the physical characters of learning spaces has become a significant issue for research regarding the design of contemporary schools. The evolution of the formation of boundaries, borders, and thresholds defining the distinctions and establishing the relationships and hierarchies between the learning spaces at school settings constitutes a critical part of this process, which deserves attention. This chapter aims to search for boundary-related design suggestions for primary schools in Turkey, based on the data obtained through a field study conducted in Istanbul, which aimed to derive the current issues regarding the spatial use patterns in prototype-based, conventionally designed schools. It is believed that the effective inhabitation of spaces beyond the classrooms has a high potential to contribute to the realization of diverse educational activities and the introduction of more permeable physical and visual boundaries can support the enrichment of school environments.
Yasemin Burcu Baloğlu, Sema Esen Soygeniş

Chapter 10. Here Today Gone Tomorrow: The Invisible Boundaries of Periodic Markets

The global spread of the supermarket and the shopping center is causing a convergence in consumer patterns in cities all over the world. Nevertheless, market place trading is continuing to keep its key position as a common means of retail change. Turkey and Istanbul in general are no different from this trend. Over the past three decades or so, urban studies have witnessed cultural shifts in physical sites for commodity exchange as symbolic territories. With their invisible boundaries neighborhood, periodic markets in Istanbul are among these territories. Challenging the view of these retail channels are used out of economic necessity, urbanites from all income and socio-economic levels use periodic markets to satisfy their needs for food, clothing and various other items without considering the proximity of their locations. Periodic markets are based on location, mobility and periodic time schedule patterns. Some of the periodic markets have been operating within their known locations since centuries. Most periodic markets have similar products, similar marketing patterns, similar architecture and even similar olfactory characteristics defining their temporary versus permanent boundaries. Periodic markets, in some cases described as temporary organized chaos in the literature, are still meaningful and part of traditional life style in Turkey and Istanbul.
Ümran Topçu

Chapter 11. Future Sociability in Public Spaces

Technology has redefined new forms of social interactions creating new borders and imposing changes to facilitate these new forms of interactions. People are more and more isolated and tend to spend even more time indoor, which results in greater isolation from public life. So, digital aspects have formed borders of different scope: physical boundaries between indoor-outdoor life and social borders with the new social practice that focuses on individuality. Social relationships are increasingly virtual. Thus, to overcome this situation, public spaces present a promising opportunity to facilitate these new forms of social forms imposed by the digital life, which affect people’s behavior. This paper aims to explore the duality created in public spaces through the introduction of new technologies. It will attempt to examine the interfacing between the digital and un-digital aspects of our public spaces and the borders and demarcation lines they create. It will question to what extent technology should be introduced in our public life particularly as the borderline between public and private is starting to recede after social media has invaded most people’s reality. The paper will review inclusive designs of public space using digital technologies (smart urban furniture, smart platforms, bench design, etc.) to transform boundaries and promote new types of social interaction congruent with digitally driven lifestyles. The paper will undertake as a case study the area of “Ortaköy Square” in Istanbul where fieldwork was conducted to test the consequences of introducing digital technologies into public space.
Maan Chibli

Chapter 12. Mapping Borders in Urban Aesthetics: A Brief History Since Early Modernism

Understanding and mapping aesthetical codes of the cities which depend on the socio-cultural and economic conditions of their age have always been one of the major interests of both architects and urban planners. Reasoning aesthetical codes have always led researchers to answer this literal question: Whom the city belongs to? Finding a compelling answer to this tough question is required while afterward, an easier question comes; “Who is the real authority responsible for defining the rules, mapping the borders and making aesthetical decisions on morphologic characteristics of the cities?”. Answers given for different periods of civilization enlighten us not only about important decision-makers but also their reasoning for introducing aesthetical codes to cities. Understanding the spirit of cities via aesthetical codes may then help us understand the socio-cultural and economic dynamics that create real borders in society. This chapter aims to interpret socio-cultural dynamics by examining the main structure of cultural connections in several cities as well as Istanbul and to understand the system theory of aesthetic reasoning in the urban environment.
Tuğba Erdil Polat

Chapter 13. The Border Between Perceptual and Physical Urban Space: An Aural Encounter

The perception and the effects of urban spaces are being studied in many dimensions. The porous border between how urban open space is recalled and how it exists physically exists as a consequence of individual senses, as well as personal, social and cultural backgrounds. The impalpable aural experience at these tangible spaces, often subconsciously, is a crucial factor in understanding the users’ impression of the space. Over the course of history, various objective and subjective evaluation techniques have been used in an effort to make sense of aural perception. Objective evaluation techniques based on measurements and calculations are used by many scientists and policymakers. Subjective evaluation techniques, on the other hand, use mostly surveys to determine relationships between sound, user and space. This point of view transforms space and sound from being physical entities into interpretable phenomena, therefore, helps to understand the elaborate dynamics of the border between perceptual and physical space. This chapter takes examples of aural perception at urban open public spaces, from Mediterranean countries such as, Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Libya and Algeria and attempts to evaluate them through objective and subjective evaluation techniques, by focusing on the encounter of physical and perceptual space.
Mine Dinçer


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