• Open Architecture: Migration, Citizenship, and the Urban Renewal of Berlin-Kreuzberg by IBA 1984/87
    Esra Akcan
    Birkhäuser, 2018
    Esra Akcan

Housing by Aldo Rossi (left) and Bohigas/Mackay/Martorell (right) designed during Kreuzberg's urban renewal (IBA, 1984/87), Berlin. Photo: Esra Akcan.

Exploring the concept of the "open" as both a common metaphor in the era of global connections and a foundational modern value (albeit prone to contradictions), this project defines open architecture as the translation of a new ethics of hospitality into the design process. It exemplifies different inclinations towards open architecture (or the lack thereof) during the urban renewal of Berlin-Kreuzberg (IBA 1984/87), when a large number of established and cutting-edge architects were invited to design public housing in a neighborhood composed of almost fifty percent noncitizens, who had arrived as guest workers or refugees. Giving voice not only to architects and policymakers, but also to noncitizen residents through oral history and storytelling, this book analyses IBA 1984/87 in the context of the history of the twentieth-century public housing; the participatory, postmodernist, and poststructuralist architectural debates (ca. 1965–90); and the contradictory relations between cities, international immigration policies, and the current human rights regime.

Esra Akcan is associate professor in the Department of Architecture and the director of the Institute for European Studies (starting in July 2017) at Cornell University. She completed her architecture degree at Middle East Technical University (METU) in Ankara, Turkey, and her PhD and postdoctoral degrees at Columbia University. She has taught history/theory classes and architectural design studios at University of Illinois at Chicago, Humboldt University, Columbia University, the New School, Pratt Institute, and METU. Akcan has received grants and fellowships from the Graham Foundation, the American Academy in Berlin, the Clark Institute, the Institute for Advanced Studies in Berlin (Transregional Studies Forum), the Getty Research Institute, the Canadian Center for Architecture, College Art Association, the Mellon Foundation, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), and KRESS/ARIT. She is the author of Architecture in Translation: Germany, Turkey and the Modern House (2012), Turkey: Modern Architectures in History (with Sibel Bozdoğan; 2012), Çeviride Modern Olan (2009), and (Land)Fill Istanbul (2004). In addition, she has guest-edited issues for Domus m, Centropa, and Nakhara, and has authored over one-hundred articles in scholarly books and professional journals on issues in contemporary theory, modern and contemporary architecture in West Asia, Ottoman architectural photography, Euro-American architects' engagement with the Gulf States, and the West Asian diaspora in Europe.