Story/East: The Miniaturist’s Folio (2020)

ARCS5102: M.Arch 1 – Studio 1 //
Instructor: Catherine Bonier and Ozayr Saloojee //
Visualization Tutor: Alvis Chu //

This graduate studio explored questions of non-western representation and storytelling. Focused on the city of Istanbul, the studio prioritised non-Eurocentric modes of drawing and making in order to explore ethical urban futures for “The City of the World’s Desire.”  Disrupted by the onset of COVID-19, the studio’s initial premise was to focus on the Kanal Istanbul project – a mega-infrastructure initiative to develop a new Bosphorous/Marmara waterway in the city.  Students traveled to Istanbul for 10 days and spent time in the company of artists, community organisers, architects, artists and historians to help situate and ground their projects.  A highlight was a walk with the Turkish artist Serkan Taycan, along his “Between Two Seas,” route – a walking path that follows the proposed line of the Kanal Project.  Additionally, students spend time with the contemporary miniature painter and artist Murat Palta, to help provided context and inspiration for their studio projects. Initially, students were asked to develop an Ottoman-miniature inspired series of drawings and triptychs to help question and investigate overlapping ideas of urban space, equity, water and the city.  The final project shifted in order to accommodate the closure of the studio and the shift to online learning.

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