Faruk Malhan
Which cities are the Design Driven Cities?

Antwerp, Glasgow, Lisbon, Montreal, Saint Etienne, Stockholm, Times Square, Bilbao.

When did the Design Driven Cities become a current issue?

The becoming a current issue of the Design Driven Cities theme starts with Saint Etienne Biennale in 2002.

Mark Choko and Mariee-Josee Lacroix from the University of Quebec explains about Montreal Design of Trade program. The conference is held at the Saint Etienne Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Two far away cities agree on mutual exchange of information, R&D and experience.

With the symposiums held at Saint Etienne in 2003 and Montreal in 2004, first the Design of Trade, then the Design Driven Cities themes become primary articles of the agenda.

What is design?

At the present day, design has exceeded the limits of product design; it began to encompass locality, universality, creativity, science, culture, technology, production, economy, competition, quality of life; the social existence of its city, area, country, its cultural economic existence, its identity, its brand, its creation with an interdisciplinary construction.

Why is it necessary to design a city?

The basic instinct of living creatures is to have its species exist in perfection.

One aspect of basic instinct is to shelter, to define the borders of one’s living area.

Throughout history, this basic instinct of living creatures has been a struggle to exist, and it has always been Armageddon.

This Armageddon-like life has been shaped, time to time with chaos, time to time with grace, miracle, kindness and virtue, belonging. We are together to get prepared for such beautiful times.

Why miracle, why kindness?

Miracle, to know what our cities will come across (planning-designing); kindness, to sense some of the goodness.

In today’s world living has become a struggle, a competition. A scale of competition is the one that is between cities.

The measure for the rivalry between cities is the “quality of life”. And the unit is the creative energy of the city, the vibration it has, its pulse. The resonance, rhythm, harmony, melody, color, sound, light of this pulse determines the existence and the future of the city, that’s why we will talk about the design of the city.

Who are the horsemen of apocalypse?

Its historical geography is a city’s field for its free existence, its subjective existence, for it to be able to escape the corrodent field of the global process, and its stand is materialized, shaped by its three main traits. The “memory” which it preserves, keeps fresh all the time, the “context” that it can construct, keep alive and the “identity” it has.

Can cities be preserved?

Upon the sudden socio-economic, political changes as powerful as tsunami, our cities has fallen defenseless and cannot be preserved.

The nation states, central volition, local volition, architecture and city planning deeds are having a hard time. Maybe defense and conservation should move together, development should be left to its own nature once the design is settled.

Can we start from one point? No!

It should be holistic and planned, keeping in mind that victory doesn’t come before war, emergent business should not spoil the important business.

What is holistic design?

The participation of design culture will be with the triplet of “memory, context and identity”.

That is holistic design.

How does a city’s identity form?

The identities of cities are formed by their landscape. The rhetoric of design will lie here. The life in the city is attributed to context of the landscape it’s in, directed by the city’s memory; they’re constructed sometimes with improvisation, sometimes with design, to form the identity of the city.

The actual rhetoric of our shelters and buildings are not hidden in their visual qualities or the glory of their inner spaces, but in their contextual relationship with our city and the landscape. We come across the landscape as a genetic heritage together with memory, and we have to love and respect it.

The histories of the cities are about free civilian existence. The squares, boulevards, streets, gardens, pathways, spaces form the civilian domain of the city. Today we’re facing domains we consume, we destroy. Now we just produce new buildings. The rest are relics. The essential is to take the civil voids that will be created as basis, void means absence, means presence.

Happy is the talented brave voyagers in the journey of creating up to date.

June 20, 2014

Faruk Malhan