On 21 November 2019 Esra Akcan will be the keynote speaker for the Jaap Bakema Study Centre conference 2019 Architecture and Democracy 1965-1989: Urban Renewal, Populism and the Welfare State with her lecture Open Architecture as Radical Democracy: Gentle Urban Renewal of Berlin-Kreuzberg.
Akcan’s research explores the concept of ‘open architecture’ through the thorough investigation of the urban renewal of Kreuzberg, Berlin’s immigrant neighbourhood, in the 1980s. Her work gives a rare insight into the intimate spaces of the often-silenced non-citizen, the refugee resident, by combining historical research with interviews and architectural reflection. By recounting the interlocking histories of architects, policy makers and residents, she will share her ideas on open architecture as radical democracy.
Esra Akcan is Associate Professor in the Department of Architecture and the Director of the Institute for European Studies at Cornell University, New York. She has taught in Chicago, Berlin, New York and Ankara. She is the author of Landfill Istanbul: Twelve Scenarios for a Global City (2004); Architecture in Translation: Germany, Turkey and the Modern House (2012); Turkey: Modern Architectures in History (with S. Bozdoğan, 2012), and Open Architecture: Migration, Citizenship and Urban Renewal of Berlin-Kreuzberg by IBA 1984/87 (2018).