The Affectionate FurnitureMarch 2020
03_Space: The future of social space should also be within people’s living space. Therefore, the affectionate furnitures will transform from non living objects into collaborative individuals that substitute the much needed human touch.
06_Space: Sloucher when feeling lonely
07_Space: Rocker for play
Different Scales of Solidarity
In March 2020, the beginning of the pandemic, I believed that the need for human touch and affection would be the most crucial thing people need during the self-isolation. Therefore, I designed “The Affectionate Furniture“ that transforms the traditional concept of furniture from non living objects into collaborative individuals that substitute the much needed human touch for the exhibition. The future of social space would be within people’s living space and the furniture would be reconfigured in new forms through user’s interactions. However in a year’s time, I experienced that the future of social and especially mental space would not be physical and individual but digital and collective.
I personally witnessed that the pandemic affected the most vulnerable and led to powerful protests in two different countries. First of all, in the US, I experienced Black Lives Matter movement as the pandemic’s reflection on racial inequality in the healthcare and employment system. When I had to come back to Turkey because of the pandemic, I experienced women protests in Istanbul against femicide and domestic violence since they reached the highest rate during the quarantine. (I am still waiting for further assistance by the US consulate to come back to the US). Currently, student protests are happening in Istanbul due to the ruling party’s violation on freedom in the academic field and LGBTQIA+ rights. Student arrests and probations increased since the right to protest is perceived as unlawful assembly by the state.
After I witnessed different protests in different cities in a year, I started to believe that solidarity in any form during quarantine is more important than any physical contact which “the Affectionate Furniture” would offer. Therefore, I started a drawing series called “Different Scales of Solidarity” as an alternative way to protest since lockdown still continues and gathering is perceived as unlawful assembly. I drew elevation oblique in different scales from 1/1000 to 1/10 to show the power of context, diversity and unison both at urban and human scale. I found drawing as the most powerful design tool to join the solidarity during the lockdown and I believe that we need to unite on every scale whether if we are in the US or Turkey. Even though we have different demands in different languages on smaller scales, we speak one common language and demand justice altogether on the bigger scale.
Different Scales of BLM Protests in Times Square, NYC 2020 // I was very frustrated to see racist symbols around Princeton campus in my graduate years. Therefore, during the BLM Protests in June, I drew to join the solidarity in my own scale and demanded to remove those symbols such as Woodrow Wilson's name in the Public and International Affairs Building. After I published them, students contacted me for more images and collectively we built a petition website in order to change the building's name.
Different Scales of Women Solidarity in Kadıkoy, ISTANBUL 2020 // Femicide and domestic violence reached their highest rates during the pandemic in Turkey as a result of lockdowns and state’s penalty reductions. Therefore, in 25th November, International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, I drew women protests for a better constitution which would prioritize gender and sexual orientation equality against patriarchial hegemony.
Different Scales of Student Solidarity in Bogazici University, ISTANBUL 2021 // Student protests are going on for three months due to the state’s violation on freedom in the academic field and LGBTQIA+ rights in Bogazici University which is one of the top schools in Turkey. School’s new president was appointed by presidential decree illegally without any election. LGBTQIA+ student organization was closed and lots of students were arrested.
Different Scales of An Architecture Student’s Letter from a Prison Cell, ISTANBUL 2021// The visualization of the student’s letter with his own handwriting