There are renewal projects in almost every big city. This is also the case in Istanbul. The neighborhood we visited is being renewed to fit the wishes of the middle class and those of investors. Current inhabitants won’t be able to return because of a huge increase of price after the redevelopment. With our group we researched the impact of these changes to the current residents of an area. We did this by, for one whole week, following the life of a mussel seller who lives in the neighborhood Tarlabaşi in the Beyoḡlu district. In our opinion the rebuild is too much focused on the buildings, and is forgetting about the people. We visualized this future situation by showing just the building structures on a layer of semi-transparent paper, by doing so we took out everything that is now giving the neighborhood personality. With our research we want to put emphasis on the responsibilities of a designer. If a designer doesn’t think critically about what it is that drives him or her to the making of decisions, this can have a drastic impact on people’s lives. If we think even further ahead, it could even impact a city’s atmosphere. For this neighborhood the time has almost come; The lively, village-like street life as it was during our stay, will soon disappear. That is why we think it is so important to tell this story, before it is too late.




Project assignment

Work on a socio-cultural research project in Istanbul, in a pre-selected group of students.






Product information

Product: book containing text and vivisualizationsPicture: one of the ones we selected for our book)
In collaboration with: Stella Derkzen (focus on book and filming with me), Tess Janse and Pieteke Korte (focus on editing). Thanks to: Fecri Kir and all the other residents of Tarlabaşi
Extra: this project also resulted in a short film, focusing more on the Mussel Seller and the personal stories. The link: https://vimeo.com/71333211



Nina Mathia Simons