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Pembeviran Garden and Playground

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For whom: Pembeviran Primary School students
With whom: Xlab Group of Mardin Artuklu University Faculty of Architecture, İzmir Metropolitan Municipality Urban Design and Urban Aesthetic Directore, Cut Paper Group of İzmir University of Economics
When: 2019

We realized a garden and playground project for Diyarbakır Çınar Pembeviran village primary school between April – November 2019. Since its beginning, the work we carried out with Xlab Group of Mardin Artuklu University Faculty of Architecture became a project with a multi-partner structure, including the Izmir Metropolitan Municipality Urban Design and Urban Aesthetics Directorate and Izmir University of Economics Cut Paper Design Club.

We started the process in early January, when architect Ozan Azboy, who was the cousin of the school principal İmran Azboy, and previously acquainted with our association members, contacted with us about the needs of the school. In addition to the school’s desire to improve playgrounds, we learned that there are demands for a garden wall to be planted in the garden and to prevent the entrance of herds of animals. In the first place, while our landscape architect member Hatice Kübra Öztürk prepared a proposal for planting, we made budget calculations for the school wall and for different construction possibilities such as gabion, wire fence, reinforced concrete. We envisaged a longer, participatory process with workshops for the design and implementation of the playground.

We started the design work with the workshop on 19-21 April. We realized the workshop with the Xlab Group of Mardin Artuklu University Faculty of Architecture, where we are in contact as the team we think we can carry out the project together. Firstly, we attended the ‘All Together Festival’ in KODA’s (Village Schools Exchange Network) at Diyarbakır Hippodrome, where different  teachers and students of village schools brought together. We held a workshop with the children, in which they designed the game units of their dreams. In the workshop, the children designed their dream play elements with straws and pins. Here we had the opportunity to work not only with Pembeviran Primary School students but also with students from other schools in the surrounding villages.

After interesting ideas we got from the productions of children, we made our school visit together. We received information about the school and the village from other teachers and Pembeviran residents who welcomed us at the school. We determined the physical conditions of the school by taking the necessary measurements and photographing. The garden boundary, which is wider than the current wire mesh, the locations of the existing trees, the locations of critical points such as fountains and hard floors were determined and measured by the students. After completing the interviews and documentation, we returned to Mardin.

On April 20th and 21st, we started working on designs at Mardin Artuklu University Faculty of Architecture. At the beginning of the study, we talked about how the works in our past projects were done, with what possibilities and methods, as well as other examples of playgrounds and the products and the process from the workshop that we realized with children one day before.

In design studies, we have adopted not only focusing on the playground, but also proceeding with an understanding that will address the garden wall and planting suggestions together. As a result of the discussions on the construction of the school garden wall as an architectural building element that will constitute only a border task, as time and financial possibilities will complicate the process, we have produced ideas with the idea that fragment designs that can be integrated into the school wall can be turned into a playhouse or educational unit when necessary. We discussed on what could be the second-hand materials that can be evaluated except for zero materials, and what the possibilities of using volcanic stones have, which are abundant in the topography of the village, which attracted our attention during our visit to the village.

We listed the ideas that emerged as a result of individual and group work. After discussions on these ideas, we have identified four main design titles with some eliminations. On the left of the garden entrance, we decided to make a corner that will contain different uses, a tribune leaning against the deaf wall of the school, a track that will settle in the landscape on the fountain side and contain the garden points in it, and a post that will bring together different uses in the land area to the left of the entrance. The four main design units decided upon as a result of a two-day design workshop were turned into a presentation as a draft project and delivered to the school. You can review the draft project we prepared here.

After the draft project obtained after the design workshop, the search for resources was started through different channels. While seeking resources, an idea of making a workshop about recycling second-hand urban furniture of the municipality for Pembeviran school had occured. The workshop is scheduled for the “Good Design Izmir_4” event organized by the Mediterranean Academy, together with the Izmir Metropolitan Municipality Urban Design and Urban Aesthetics Directorate.

At the Good Design İzmir_4 event, the main theme of which was “Loop”, a workshop with the name “Collect-Complete-Design” was held in the hall number 1 of İzmir Kültürpark, on October 11 – October 14. A total of 19 architecture students and graduates from the Xlab Group of Mardin Artuklu University Faculty of Architecture, Cut Paper Group of İzmir University of Economics and through open call attended the workshop. At the beginning of the workshop, we informed the participants about the process and explained the draft project produced. Then we went to the storehouse of the municipality with the selected materials, where the participants took the measurements of the materials by counting the materials. After the storehouse visit, we returned to Kültürpark and three-dimensional models of these materials were produced. The participants started to develop their ideas by dividing into five groups according to the proposals in the draft project.

Design works continued on the second day of the workshop. Each group made presentations on the designs they developed and ideas were discussed together. The groups continued their designs in communication with other groups by marking the materials they determined for the designs they dealt with in the common inventory list. On the last working day in Kulturpark No 1, while preparing posters for the exhibition, on the other hand, models were completed for three-dimensional output purchases and production dimensions were taken for the production process. On the last day of the workshop, three-dimensional models of designs were produced at the Izmir Metropolitan Municipality Vocational Factory. At the beginning of the day, the participants, who received information about the working methods of machines such as three-dimensional printers and laser cutting, printed out the designs they chose from their projects and prepared their models for the exhibition.

During the production phase, which is the second part of the workshop between 15-20 October, materials brought from the warehouse of the municipality, were shaped and combined in the workshop of Çağlar Wood Decor company, according to the designs developed by participants. For the combination and some manufacturing details, we made final decisions on site with the craftsmen. Some participants also visited the workshop and witnessed the production process. After the manufacturing, the productions were brought to the hall number 1 of Kültürpark and exhibited between 20 October – 3 November. Participants and craftsmen were also involved in the exhibition setup, while they had the chance to experience the playgroups.

We held an construction workshop on 9-10 November for the work to be done on-site. Before the productions loaded on the transportation vehicle on November 4 at the end of the exhibition in Izmir before this workshop and reached Pembeviran on November 7. We realized the first assemblies and fixings of the multi-purpose post, corner game and small track together with the transportation team, teachers and villagers on the same day. In the meantime, we also saw the construction of the stone garden wall that the school started and we thought that this material and method preference was the right choice.

In the workshop, which was held together with our members of the association, Xlab Group, participants, teachers, villagers and children on November 9-10, we first brought the necessary stones for the raised platforms of the deaf tribune, which will be obtained by the gabion method as the most time-consuming work. We also used the stones collected from nearby for the construction of the school’s garden wall. After accumulating the stones, we fastened the iron meshes, which was cut and painted from Izmir, and placed them in their places and filled them with stones. After the filling process, we completed the gabion deaf tribune set by tying the wooden covers to the iron meshes. By shifting the envisaged position of stone course and garden, we kept the playground in front of the multi-purpose post open. We built the track with stones, barrels and tires between the multi-purpose post and the swing. We also connected the route of the groups by positioning the garden we created from large ready-made pots on the upper side of the swing. We placed the triangular units and seats produced for the children’s assembly under the mulberry trees to the right of the garden entrance. We completed the small track by placing barrels next to the slide and climbing unit in the upper part of this area where we also placed the xylophone table. With the pallets and slide left over from the production, we produced another slide next to the swing. We left the remaining materials at school for possible repairs against abrasion and new designs.

After the construction workshop, we went to the school again on November 11, and held workshops in which 3rd and 4th grades and 1st and 2nd grades designed bird nests in two groups. In the workshop, which was based on the book “Girl with the Bird’s Nest Haired and Huguftu” written by Nalan Akduman and drawn by our member Cansu Dinç, students created bird nests in groups with the help of wooden sticks and ropes after the book was read by school principal Imran Azboy. Then each student drew birds and placed them in these nests.

We would like to thank to the Xlab Group of Mardin Artuklu University Faculty of Architecture for carrying out this project, in a multi-partner structure, which provides grounds for productive productions and new acquaintances. We would also like to thank to İzmir Metropolitan Municipality Urban Design and Urban Aesthetic Directore, which became a partner to the process with the Collect-Complete-Design workshop, to every participants in each step and to Cut Paper Group of İzmir University of Economics, to Çağlar Wood Decor company for their contribution at manufacturing process, to Ozan Azboy who made this project possible with his first contact, to İmran Azboy and Pembeviran school teachers with whom we worked with pleasure and to all children and people of Pembeviran village for their warm hospitality.

You can find the photo album of the process here, and the photo album of the Collect-Complete-Design workshop from here. Also you can find the booklet produced after the Collect-Complete-Design workshop here.

Design workshop participants: Baver Bekiroğlu, Berfin Büşra Özel, Berfin Erdemli, Doğan Aslan, Doğan Kalak, Emre Gündoğdu, Hasan Rohani Abiç, Lorin Topdemir, Merve Şule Yörük, Mihriban Duman, Nur Serçem Aydın, Rengin Becet, Ramazan Yılmaz, Senanur Gülecen, Sibel Keleş, Sümeyra Mencioğlu, Sümeyye Polat, Yunus Kaya, Yusuf Özer, Yuvacan Atmaca

Collect-Complete-Design workshop:

Instructors: Altıner Yıldırım, Aylin Göknur, Büşra Kayalar, Cansu Dinç, Cenk Dereli, Emre Gündoğdu, İklim Topaloğlu Sarı, Melih Yavuz, Yuvacan Atmaca
Participants: Ali Yargül, Aylin Paçacı, Burak Topkaya, Damla Deniz Doğan, Emir Dikmen, Hilal Çoban, İrem Uysal, Merve Şule Yörük, Naz Çankaya, Nazlı Damla Gökpınar, Nilsu Altınok, Öznur Kahraman, Sama Feyziazar, Seda Tosun, Seha Yüksel, Yasemin Kırım, Yurdagül Yiğit, Yusuf Özer, Zeynep Güneş

Construction workshop participants: Altıner Yıldırım, Berfin Büşra Özel, Cansu Dinç, Doğan Aslan, Emre Gündoğdu, Eylem Sökmen, Hatice Kübra Öztürk, Lorin Topdemir, Muhabbet Özdemir, Rengin Becet, Rozelin Akgün, Seha Yüksel, Sibel Keleş, Sümeyye Polat, Şahide Yaşar, Yuvacan Atmaca, Pembeviran Primary School teachers, students and people of Pembeviran

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