Back to the Future Workshops


With whom: University students and participants from different professions
When: 2020

Between 2-29 May 2020, we organized a series of workshops and events called “Back to the Future Workshops” that invited to discuss and research about the effects, of Covid-19 pandemic, how it will change the present and the future of architecture, city and design. In addition to the workshops held under 4 titles, forums and presentations were also held in the series, which was held online and included 87 participants out of 157 applications.

Before the workshop, we opened a blog titled “Voices from Quarantine” in order to share / discuss new gathering practices and personal and collective experiences on days when physically not able to come together. After this blog, the workshop idea was based on the idea of “doing it together”, which is one of the main approaches of our work since our founding in December 2011. Although we also use online tools in these works, we perform most of our work in physically gathered environments. In the days when people could not come together due to the Covid-19 outbreak, the curiosity of how the future will be shaped was the motivation of the workshops.

Beside 4 workshops called “Home as a Database – before, now, after-“,”Surreal News for Nothing”,”Let’s travel together, but in an another time!” and “From Screen to Screen”, 2 forums were held at the beginning and at the end of the series. In addition to video meetings over a period of 3 weeks, the workshops, which progressed through continuous communication on the Slack platform, shared their works with live presentations at the end of the month. n addition to the presentations made by the guests in the workshops, the artist/instructor Bager Akbay also gave a live talk titled “Doing with Digital Technologies”. You can reach the forums, presentations and speeches published in the series here.

We would like to thank all the participants who applied to the series despite all the difficulties experienced in the Covid 19 quarantine, participated and shared sincerely and ensured a productive discussion environment.

You can read the articles of the workshops below:


Home as a Database – before, now, after- 

Coordinators: Cansu Dinç, Setenay Kamazoğlu
Web site: https://birveritabaniolarakev.herkesicinmimarlik.org

The corona virus outbreak caused many of us to spend long periods of time at home. This situation started to change the routines we maintain inside and outside the home. For reasons beyond our control, we had to fit not only our personal space but also public life into the house during the quarantine. This whole period of time that we have passed through and maybe we have to go through has presented us a process in which the places we live in change their meaning. The workshop is at a time when we are trying to grasp exactly what happened; It was fictionalized with the desire to re-question the private and public thresholds where we live and to document all these experiences together.

In the open call made within the scope of the Back to the Workshops initiated by the Herkes İçin Mimarlık, daily routines were documented with different recording methods with 15 people between 4 and 20 May, and the past, present and future fictions of the ‘house’ as a living space were considered. The workshop was planned with the desire to use ‘home’ as a database, which is the main location of the quarantine for many people. We envision an experimental process in which we will seek an answer to the question of how constantly documenting daily routine with the same technique affects our understanding of space. All participants were advised to transform their daily routine into a document using any method they wished.

In the first week, while discussing the daily routines and their effects, on the other hand, the representations and techniques of all these recording methods were discussed and their suggestions were shared. It is possible to say that the decision on the effective representation method makes it easier for the recording of the following days to turn into a routine in itself.

Participants documented each day with plans, sections, sketches, photographs and various graphic methods and shared them regularly on the Slack platform. This made the process an active experience of collective experience and all the recordings affected the participants’ perspectives on their personal life practices. Sharing physical and emotional awareness about the home and the environment during the gathering processes also contributed to the collective functioning of the process by increasing the contact of the participants with each other.

The workshop space where we all came together during this period, where we are all at home, has now become the Zoom screen. In the meetings we come together at regular intervals and run on the Zoom platform; while discussions are being conducted over these productions from time to time; collective mapping studies were carried out at regular intervals, and data on different period perspectives of the house were produced.

We did the first mapping study on the title of *pre-home as a database* in order to feed the home understanding of the quarantine process through comparison. Rapid data were recorded on the topics of action practices, concepts, intervention and feeling. The second was produced on the question of *public space – threshold area – private space* over the home space in the intermediate forum, in which all future workshop participants were included. The purpose of this study was that the discussions of the whole workshop process were mostly based on the variability of public-private sphere relations. In order to feed this process, a graphic produced on the variable of public and private sphere was also shared on social media. Finally, a mapping study was conducted on *after-home as a database* and the possibility of the future was discussed. In the light of all the discussions, it was decided to add threshold spaces to the titles.

All these records and joint productions; ıt is possible to say that they created certain awareness during and after the workshop. The first of these is the observation that daily routine recording progresses over the way the person establishes a relationship with the house. While some of the participants only recorded their table, some included all the characters living with her/him, even the bird, even the tree in his garden, in the script. While some focused on their own emotional process, others preferred to record them through the forms of communication they built around them.

The interaction, which is also mentioned at different points of the narrative, was actually intense enough to affect the perception of all of us on the quarantine process, and of course this was also reflected in the productions. The fact that a participant talked about the sound of the bird outside at one meeting triggered the addition of outdoor relations to all recordings in the other meeting. Another interesting record was the increase in communication with neighbors and its facade relations.

While the most important issue of discussion regarding the quarantine process proceeds through the relationship between private and public spaces and their violations; another point of awareness was the fact that this situation and the perceptions of public and private spaces progressed through different scenarios for all participants during the workshop. One participant defining the guest room as a public space, the participant defining the entrance hall as the threshold and the balcony as public; the participant, who still expanded the definition of private space until the street, was also thinking about how these were replaced during the quarantine process. In this whole process, speculation has been produced over the existence and variability of security circles that surround us.

In this process where we perceive the value of recording action practices and emotional state; all household routines of the participants; it is possible to say that they recorded their own identities and the forms of relationship established by their selves.  We thank all the participants who recorded her/his own ‘I’ perception through objects, plants, animals, dialogues, people and even virtual environment and shared and enhanced these with us.

Workshop participants: Beyza Horozaloğlu, Burcu Sultan Kındır, Canan Kaçar Şengül, Cansu Dinç, Doğa Özer, Eda Bozkurt, Emre Gündoğdu, Gamze Enhoş, Hazal Doğruel, Hüseyin Çelik, İrem Alpargun, İzel Gürkan, Melis Pınarel, Merve Gül Özokcu, Pınar Gamsız, Ruken Aydoğdu, Rümeysa Oral, Setenay Kamazoğlu, Sidar Alışık, Zeynep Aslan, Zeynep Serra Bayar


Surreal News for Nothing

Coordinators: Bihter Çelik, Dilara Kara
Workshop newspaper: Haybeden Gerçeküstü Haberler

Climate crises and disasters are at our doorstep. We see the 2020 global pandemic as an obvious stop where we tend to learn together and take steps to gain resistance. When we asked which individual abilities we should strengthen and which organized habits should we bring to the agenda that will provide us with long-term benefit at this stop, we agreed on the following topics:

  • Spiritual resilience to current movements.
  • Using Speculation as a design gymnastics.
  • Not to overlook the importance of confirmed information.
  • To be able to learn from the past and current data.
  • Online organization and efficiency.
  • Being able to physicalize the thinking studies.

The workshop flow was planned and realized as follows;

  • In weekly meetings, each participant collects up-to-date and absurd news and shares it with other participants.
  • Investigation of the truth share of this news that we propose and/or judge
  • Finally, speculative design of the reality that can be reached in the possibility of the rapid spread of a singular news and behavior state and transferring it in the future post.

In the period of April – June 2020, when everyone started to follow the fast-flowing news with a higher momentum than they used to, being able to meet and share some realities with a laugh has saved us a little bit from our quarantined exhausting mood.

We had 3 speakers invited to enable us to read the news/designs/human states correctly with their socio-cultural components. Designer, curator, writer Tuğçe Karataş from the speakers; He talked about the logic maps behind speculative design methods and the cognitions that we can benefit from developing a utopia/dystopia. Sociologist Volkan Altınok brought examples of behaviors and cultures shaped by disasters in history. Finally, climate change expert, architect Naz Beykan presented methods from the predictions of future scenarios by combining the data of local disasters in the world in 2000 and later with the current data.

The current news of the participants came together in a common future post with the contributions of the 3 speakers, who we call “trivet”. In this ‘near future’ post, the participants prepared the ‘surreal for nothing’ news about the world that the pandemic will transform by creating narrative methods such as text, sketches and graphics. In the last step of the workshop, each of them assumed the identity of an argumentative journalist and made the presentation and discussion of these news through the “surreal news agency for nothing”.

As a general reading of the workshop, we can say; design talent is in the hands of every individual in the society. In the age of fast communication we have come, we should be looking for products that come out independent from individuals. If the product/output is a utilitarian design that conveys itself correctly, it can spread rapidly and find its rightful place. Likewise, designs that highlight themselves but are not as powerful as communication tools can reproduce themselves quickly and inappropriately. This means; we designers are responsible for confirming, evaluating the impact and conveying the future projection correctly.

Workshop participants: Atamer Boz, Begüm Kocabalkanlı, Betül Aniker, Beyza Yıldız, Doğu Tonkur, Gökçe Kalkan, Göknur Kayır, Kubilay Ercelep, Özge Yavuz, Pelin Aykutlar, Rengin Beçet, Seval Üçkan, Türkan Caran, Zeynep Durgut


Let’s travel together, but in an another time!

Coordinators: Mina Öner, Yiğit Çetin

As people living in cities, we need to increase our physical distance from each other under the threat of infectious diseases. For this, many measures are taken, such as curfews, avoiding crowded places, and closing parks. Well, does that mean we can’t travel? How can we make more effective use of short time periods such as grocery shopping outside? Well, does that mean we can’t travel? How can we make more effective use of short time periods such as grocery shopping outside? Is a distant but shared way of traveling, being outside, possible?

In the workshop, we first looked for an answer to the question of what an “effective” tour means to us and, as expected, we encountered different approaches. Later, we shared our experiences with each other to investigate the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak on our trips. We noticed that some of the concepts we use while conveying our experiences gained importance during the epidemic period. Initially we tended to compare with our old routes to represent our newly emerging routes; however, we began to feel that this method was insufficient to express the peculiar nature of the situation. When we put our comparative habit aside, we realized that we had a sense of discovery peculiar to the period we are passing through. Discoveries in our immediate surroundings have sometimes turned to markets and routes where we can meet fewer people, and sometimes to green and open spaces where we can relieve the boredom of spending too much time at home. Some of us have begun to experience the outside through objects, while some of us have stopped traveling the routes they have experienced over and over and started to dream.

During the workshop, sharing our experiences among the participants enabled us to travel together to some extent. Although we traveled together, we started to research how it would be possible to share our trips with others and to travel together. But how could we travel with others? For this, we have made our individual routes specific to this process, which we can share on our routes, by working on the visual expressions of our experiences. While doing this, we have taken into account that our discoveries, whose visual expressions we seek, can gain different meanings within the routes of others. The fact that all of our workshop participants have received or received design training makes it easier for us to utilize certain tools in creating visual expressions, and even if they diversify them, the tendency to use certain patterns in some ways may have limited our perspectives slightly. Therefore; it was very valuable for us to open these shares to the public, tried and repeated by very different people.

What were the disadvantages of having these posts open to everyone? As we are trying to maintain physical distance due to the possibility of virus transmission, we realized that we need to control the density of people that can be caused by sharing a place we have discovered. Our workshop, which we anticipate to continue during the quarantine month, is still ongoing and we are trying to transfer our work to a digital platform. It is also a matter of curiosity to whom this channel, which will be open to everyone, can reach.

Finally; It was very valuable for all of us to see this controlled way of traveling together as a reflection of an effect specific to this period on our business rather than a restriction. Thanks to all participants.

Even though the concepts and questions we walk around during the workshop are scattered, they can be listed as follows:

Hiking and new routes
Non-goal oriented walks. Is aimless walking possible? Differences between walking on wheels. What we liked on our route (viewpoints, narrow streets, wide squares …) The multitude of looking at the green, the sea, and the wide openings, and the joy we feel from it. Aesthetizing nature and recognizing the rhythm of nature.

Discovery and uncanny
Could the feeling of uncanny that we used to develop regarding some spaces have been replaced by a sense of discovery? Secluded – Crowded – Uncanny – Change of meaning

New limits, routines and tactics
Our changing activities and roaming network due to the measures we take. Hence, our new borders are emerging. Our new habits cause us to develop tactics both in our walks and in our relationship with our environment.

Have the encounters we live outside of our homes changed? How do we communicate with others we encounter on the road or interact with in some way?

Stop and move
The longer we spend at home, the more stable we become and the longing we feel for action. To observe the movement (from the window, from the balcony…) or to be in touch with the movement. Possible reasons for this that we are discussing are clinging to what we miss, stagnation causing anxiety, or perpetual motion offering us the possibility of escape. Even observing the rhythm in nature reduces anxiety.

Old and new. The effect of comparison on understanding what is new
How does it benefit to compare our changing routes and our relationship with our environment to the situation before this change? Does transferring the new over the old and the differences close the new to the possibilities?

Freedom and limitation
How our idea of freedom transformed under the influence of new physical constraints. The transformation of the quarantine into an internal questioning for human beings.

Getting closer to our bodies
Does the fact that physical constraints are directly related to our bodies transform our body as well as remind us? What kind of differences do the sensory organs we use while experiencing the environment, the prominence or disappearance of one of them make our journey? (Covid-19 affects the sense of taste and smell). Scale, perspective, body relationship (our sense organs). Can we create our individual measurement units? My 100 steps, the eye of a 95 cm child, as a cat jump..

Are we aware of the rhythm of the journey we experience through our bodies or objects? Does our body have a rhythm? What’s the rhythm outside? Are there any rhythms we are not aware of? What are the rhythms that accompany us in our walk?

Worskhop participants: Alona Taşçı, Alp Emre Çelik, Baran Çakıl, Ceren Yıldırım, Gizem Özmen, Gülistan Kenanoğlu, İrem Durmaz, İrem Metin, Mehtap Arslanyüreği, Merve Nur Kızılkaya, Serra Utkum İkiz


From Screen to Screen

Coordinator: Yelta Köm
Video: Ekrandan Ekrana

As the city creates itself, it shapes itself not only with the interventions in the city, but also with the inhabitants, the observers, the technologies and tools they use. In today’s world, we perceive the city not only under the current extraordinary conditions, but already through devices and gadgets. When we go somewhere, we look at the application on our phone, or we examine it with street images. While these technologies increase accessibility on the one hand, the illusion of freedom of the internet and surveillance are changing our perceptions with the tools of capitalism. Nowadays, when everyone is at home, these technologies will have a greater impact on perception of the city, and this will affect urban design and city layouts in the same way. This workshop set up speculative scenarios by doing city tours and analysis with Google street images, accessible camera images and digital city surveillance tools, researching what cities will look like in the long-term future, how we will remember. Workshop outputs consisted of short digital videos, the process progressed with presentations and discussions. You can watch the video, which is the output of the workshop whose web page is being prepared, from the link above.

Workshop participants: Alican Çelen, Aslı Mut, Begüm Kocabalkanlı, Feray Aluçlu, Feyza Çınar, Gizem Asıcı, Gözde Yüksel, Hakan Ilıkoba, Hanse Ceren Şahin, İpek Teci, Nilsu Altunok, Nur Ayhan Bol, Özge Süvari, Selen Türker, Selvihan Çalı, Serap Kaçmaz, Sıla Kartal, Vera Yıldız, Zeynep Seda Atlı, Zilan Kuranlıoğlu


youtube video
youtube video
youtube video