Han Tümertekin is an Aga Khan Award (2004) winning architect with several publications in international architectural journals, including Domus, Abitare, AV, Oris, Architectural Review, L’architecture d’Aujourd’hui, the World Atlas of Contemporary Architecture, and the Phaidon Atlas of 21st Century World Architecture. His well-known works include the award-winning B2 House in Ayvacık, Turkey. He founded his own firm, Mimarlar Tasarım Danışmanlık in 1986 and has done many project worldwide since. Now he is working with his daughter Zeynep Tümertekin who has previously worked with Eisenman Architects in New York.
There wasn’t a presentation about a specific subject but rather we talked about the biennale, its history, what it is for and whom and what it means. There was a discussion on what each country is trying to express in their pavilions in the age of globalization and the effects of the digital world. The overall idea was that even though the developing technologies allow us to experience the spaces through digital environments, the biennale should be experienced within the space indivıdually and physically. It is an experience of seeing, feeling, observing, understanding etc.
For Zeynep Tümertekin, who is a young architect raised in this digital globalized world, biennale is a space to be inspired and also to inspire. It should be a learning process. It should be accepted as an opportunity to understand architecture through many vıewpoints throughout the world.
Another discussion we had was the Turkey’s role and its approach. We don’t have a long going history in biennale so it was difficult to have a comparison but Han Tümertekin’s opinion on this year’s approach was that it is a risk of brilliance and significance that invites young architects to be a part of such an important organization. It is a collaborative, inspiring and inviting theme which reflects the soul of biennale itself.
There was a discussion about this year’s theme Free Space actually being the theme of the biennale itself since each time there are different installations usıng and filling the free space the biennale is offering. So the question was that can it be the subtheme of all.
In the end, it was a productive and thought provoking discussion that helped us to understand the essence of biennale. It is a tool for architects at any age to learn and get influenced.