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Bastards of İstanbul

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Survey opens October 18th, 2021 and closes at 5:00 p.m. on October 21st

Bastards of İstanbul

Bastards of İstanbul is a research-intensive interdisciplinary design studio that will cross-reference the physical artifact and meta-historical fictions of the city of İstanbul. Students will study the city’s cosmologies and mythologies, its cultural and spatial layers, pockets, overlaps and hybridities, disruptions and persistent continuities across various regimes over the course of its history, as evidenced in urban- and architectural-scale artifacts as well as its literature. Literary references will include Elif Şafak’s The Bastard of İstanbul (which the course is named after), Orhan Pamuk’s The Black Book, Nemestudio’s Strait: A Geofiction, among others. We will study the physical artifacts of the past and present through historical texts and documents, podcasts, maps, plans, photographs, as well as an immersive, week-long field trip to the city itself.

Each student will need to identify a loose thread to pull on in the physical and fictional fabric of the city that we bring to light. You are asked to use drawings and models to uncover what is latent - and discover what is possible - rather than seek to invent solutions. Use your tools to make visible what is invisible. Give voice to stories that are present but not heard. Focus on telling this story through an architectural idiom. Develop the specific meta-historical geo-fiction that emerges from the intertwined artifacts and stories of the city as the Project.

Course Credit
  • 6
Iowa State University Innovate @ Iowa State
  • Social Entrepreneurship
United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
  • No Poverty
  • Zero Hunger
  • Good Health and Well-Being
  • Quality Education
  • Gender Equality
  • Clean Water and Sanitation
  • Affordable and Clean Energy
  • Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
  • Reduced Inequalities
  • Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • Responsible Consumption and Production
  • Climate Action
  • Life Below Water
  • Life on Land
  • Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
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Will this course be cross-listed?


If yes, what course?

Arch 402

Days/times for the course

1:10pm-5:20pm Monday, Wednesday, Friday.

Field trip locations

İstanbul, Turkey

Field trip schedule

1 week in February

Suggested course fee


Course fee justification

Roundtrip Airfare between Des Moines and İstanbul: $700-$800
Lodging: $200-$300
Transportation: $200-$300
Entry Fees for Museums and Historical Sites:$100

Teaching faculty name(s)

Firat Erdim

Maximum enrollment