Following an open-call and two-stage evaluation, Mehmet Kütükçüoğlu, Ertuğ Uçar, and Feride Çiçekoğlu with the support of Namık Erkal and Cemal Emden, have been selected as co-curators of the Turkish Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale, directed by Chilean architect Alejandro Aravena under the theme 'Reporting from the Front'. Commissioned by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV), the project's title—'Darzanà'—reflects the great "twin harbours of the Mediterranean:" Istanbul and Venice.
The word itself, which describes an inlet for shipbuilding, has its roots in Ancient Greek, Latin, Jewish, Arabic, and Turkish cultures. In this sense, the project "aims to confront the Arsenale and the historic Istanbul shipyards at the bienniale, carrying the Istanbul dock and its accompanying historic associations, exchanges, discussions, similarities, and visions of the future to a shipyard in Venice."
Mehmet V. Kütükçüoğlu
Mehmet V. Kütükçüoğlu was born in Zurich in 1967. He graduated from the Middle East Technical University’s (METU) Faculty of Architecture in 1989, and completed his graduate work, which he began in Switzerland that same year, at the SCI-ARC School of Architecture in Los Angeles in 1992. He worked with various architects before returning to Turkey in 1993, including Calatrava, Wagner in Switzerland, and Gehry, Johnsons & Favaro in the U.S. He has been pursuing his professional career as a partner at TEGET Architecture since 1996. Alongside his professional output, Kütükçüoğlu has also lectured at SCI-ARC, METU, Yıldız Technical University, and Istanbul Technical University as part of his academic career. He was also a studio coordinator and is a member of the Board of Directors of Istanbul Bilgi University’s Master’s Programme in Architecture. His articles on the city, its relationship with architecture, and the architecture profession have been published in various media. He continues his professional work as a partner at TEGET, with projects such as the Istanbul Naval Museum, the Izmir Opera House, and the Yapı Kredi Cultural Centre in Galatasaray.
Ertuğ Uçar was born in Antalya in 1971. After completing Antalya High School, he graduated from the Middle East Technical University’s (METU) Faculty of Architecture in 1993. He completed his master’s degree in 1999 in the same department and received awards at both national and international competitions. He writes for trade publications as well as popular periodicals, and has also published two books of short stories entitled Rüya Arızaları (Dream Defects) and Yalnızlığın 17 Türü (17 Kinds of Loneliness). He worked in architects’ offices in Antalya, Ankara, and Istanbul from 1993 to 1999 and is currently continuing his professional career at TEGET, where he is a partner. During the spring semesters of 2006-2007, he was a coordinator at Yıldız Technical University and Istanbul Technical University Architectural Design studios. He has curated exhibitions, including the second exhibition of VitrA Contemporary Architecture Series, Lütfen Rahatsız Etmeyin (Please Do Not Disturb) and designed Istatistiklal exhibitions at ZKM Karlsruhe and Siemens Art. He is currently continuing his professional career as a partner at TEGET, with projects such as the Istanbul Naval Museum, the Izmir Opera House, and the Yapı Kredi Cultural Centre in Galatasaray.
After receiving her undergraduate and graduate degrees from the METU Faculty of Architecture, Feride Çiçekoğlu earned her PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in 1976. Following her doctoral thesis criticising Philadelphia’s urban renewal, her academic career, which she began in Turkey in the field of architecture, was interrupted by the military coup of September 12, 1980. Her first book Uçurtmayı Vurmasınlar (Don’t Let Them Shoot the Kite), which was based on the memories of her four years in prison, also formed the basis for her first script. The film’s success steered Çiçekoğlu towards cinema, and in addition to screenwriting, she also became a professor, building an academic career in the field. In addition to numerous short stories, she wrote the screenplays of Umuda Yolculuk (Journey of Hope, Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, 1991) and Kumun Tadı (Seaburners, Berlin Film Festival, 2014). Maintaining her connection to architecture, Çiçekoğlu focused on the relationship between cinema and the city. From 1995 to 1999, she undertook the role of executive editor for the History Foundation’s Istanbul magazine. Her books Vesikalı Şehir (Whore of a City, 2007, Metis) and Şehrin İtirazı (The City’s Objection, 2015, Metis) focus on the representations of Istanbul in film. She is still a faculty member at Istanbul Bilgi University’s Department of Film and Television.
The proposal was created by a team which also included Hüner Aldemir, Hande Ciğerli, Gökçen Erkılıç, Nazlı Tümerdem and Yiğit Yalgın.