Metropolitan aura beyond the fragments

A set of structural polarities is proposed as a route for the interpretation of the sense of the city.
The immense and the tiny, the singularity and the multitude, the historic and the contemporarily, the overt and the latent, the compact city and the sprawl, flaneurism and homo sacer, the commons and the appropriated, gecekondu and gated communities, hedonism and the prosecution of the body, the trade and the gift, the smooth spaces and the striated spaces, the imminent and immanence, the cosmopolitan and the ethnic.
The endless empirical reality of Istanbul as also its accelerated change resists its integration into the pages of an Encyclopedia. What is argued is that the invariance of urbanity, surviving against all cataclysmic mutations of Istanbul, is the materiality of its unique physical but also historic geography plus a particular anthropology, enabling the melting of fictive dichotomies as West / East into the universalism of WE.

BIO | Lois Papadopoulos (b.1949) is professor at the School of Architecture, University of Thessaly, Volos, Greece, professor at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (1980-2008), visiting scholar at Schools of Architecture in Europe, USA and Japan. Architecture and urban space -strategy consultant for major urban events. Architectural and urban design projects and distinctions in architectural competitions, among them: The  Open Air Train Museum in Kalamata (1990, award), The National Museum of Contemporary Art in Athens (2003, award), The new halls of the Archaeological Museum of Kavala, Greece (1999 – 2003), The Concert Hall New Building, in Thessaloniki (2004-8). Curator and architectural installation of complex international cultural events, commissioner of The Greek pavilion in the Venice Biennale in 2006. His essays trace the generation of the social meaning of architecture on its blurred borderline with art or other symbolic practices. Editor of five books on architecture.

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