The Faculty of Fine Arts and Design of Izmir University of Economics, Turkey, hosted and sponsored a Design and Woodworking Workshop directed by Architect Sebastian Erazo, and Faculty Member Architect Stefano Pugliese. The workshop had two main pedagogical aims: ﬁrst, students from Interior Architecture and Industrial Design had to respond to a design brief prepared by the tutors: they were asked to activate certain areas of their campus through a spatial intervention with simple architectural actions: a roof, a wall or a bench. Second, to provide the student with a method that would guide and frame their design process in strict relation with a given technique and material. In this speciﬁc case: pine wood and reclaimed agriculture mesh fabric. During the ﬁrst 2 days of the workshop, the students and the instructors worked in a process of collaborative design in order to deﬁne: the architectural strategy to be applied, the location to install the structure and all the constructive details to be developed in order to build in the following 3 days.
The challenge of this workshop was to involve the students in all design phases, leading to the experience of building a 1:1 working and usable ‘small’ architecture. Geçit is a Turkish word meaning portal, passage or gateway. This is how the students wanted to name their work, once they had built it.
What makes this project one-of-a-kind?
It is the result of an intense 5-day collaboration between the architects -working as instructors- and the students. For the students, it was their ﬁrst design and build experience, which lead to an interesting piece of small architecture in wood, with a very low budget. Today, the pavilion is a meeting spot in the middle of the Faculty’s courtyard, as well as an example of what can be done in future workshops. It is a testimony of the importance of building with one’s own hands, of modularity in wood construction, the creation of enclosures with light materials and most certainly of trans-generational and international teamwork.