In early September 2013, 55 students and 21 professors and assistants from all partner universities converged on the pulsating metropolis on the banks of the Bosporus for an IMIAD International Workshop hosted by Istanbul Technical University.
“Shopping Culture and Spaces of Exchange” was the theme as participants set about investigating the past, present and future development of Istanbul’s temples of consumerism. This involved critical analysis of places that have played an important role in the development and spread of urban shopping culture over the course of history. This paved the way for a new understanding of the situation – and in turn yielded new proposals on how creative approaches to indoor spaces can be used to create unique interiors. The challenge was to create new layers within Istanbul’s constantly morphing shopping culture without losing the genius loci (i.e. the core characteristics of the respective space).
In addition to theoretical input in the form of specialist lectures, the programme of fringe events also included excursions to important contemporary and historical landmarks that house – or once housed – commercial activities. Various shopping centres in Istanbul were also visited in order to provide a source of both inspiration and case studies.