'Tradition as a Making Tool'

Photo: Can Akat

In the spotlight: 'Tradition as a Making Tool' project in Istanbul, Turkey

How can we make the public space function better? Turkish designer Tuğçe Akbulut and Dutch architect Jurgen ten Hoeve set to work on this issue.
19 December 2019
By the Creative Industries Fund NL

Tradition as a Making Tool is an initiative that shows alternatives for multifunctional and shared public spaces instead of building new buildings on the scarce open spaces in the city. Through shared connections, Jurgen ten Hoeve (Space Crafters) was invited by Tuğçe Akbulut (CrossChange) to participate in a series of workshops in Istanbul, Turkey. Jurgen explains: "The Consulate General in Istanbul, in collaboration with Tuğçe and others, organised a series of workshops as part of the research and knowledge-exchange programme 'Liveable Cities – Co-Designing our Public Space'. The aim of these workshops was to investigate a topical issue within the city in collaboration with Turkish and Dutch designers from different disciplines, and to try to provide an answer here by means of a design."

Open Call Turkey, Russia, Egypt and Morocco

In September 2018, the Creative Industries Fund NL published the Open Call Turkey, Russia, Egypt, Morocco #2. In 2019 the proposal Tradition as a Making Tool of Tuğçe and Jurgen was selected for the first and second phase. After preliminary research during the first phase, the second phase consisted of developing the Modular Mobile Parks. This concept of designing public spaces in cities as a mobile vegetable garden can put themes around food production and sustainability on the agenda. Modular Mobile Parks thus serves an educational purpose that brings users, residents and municipality together. Joint dinners can be organised using the herbs from the vegetable garden, and the beginning and end of the harvest season is celebrated with a festival. Jurgen: "We have actually developed a tool to promote dialogue on public spaces and to show that public spaces can also be used very nicely to pass on traditions. The design is mobile and multifunctional."

Pupils visiting the Modular Mobile Parks. Photo: Can Akat

Jurgen continues: "One of the things Tuğçe is doing with CrossChange is to initiate a Dutch-Turkish network of designers and creative entrepreneurs. Tuğçe had been following the Creative Industries Fund NL and its initiatives for some time. The open call was perfectly in line with what she is trying to achieve: collaboration between designers and the creative industry in the Netherlands and Turkey. Since we enjoyed a good partnership during the workshop and both of us have an affinity with the question raised in the open call, Tuğçe asked me to work together on this issue."

Read the full interview on the Creative Industries Fund NL website.

In the spotlight

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