Today, architecture is a process in which contemporary knowledge and experiences are handled with new concepts, tools and tectonics. The progress in information and communication technologies as well as in digital technologies has changed architectural concepts, discourses and design methods. The most significant component of architecture that has never changed is the concept of space.

The architectural concept of space can be defined as a ‘place’ in which we live in, produced with our daily life practices, and which carries traces of our life and existence. When considered from this point of view, it can be observed that each era has its unique concept of space which is shaped by its peculiar political, ethical, and aesthetic values, beliefs and principles. Therefore, space in architectural design is not an abstract space that solely defines the abyss of the outer space, but it is a place having social and physical dimensions. In this sense, space, in our architectural discourse, and its content, can be explained and conceptualized only by means of social actions and interactions.

Architecture stands with equal distance to arts, philosophy, and engineering sciences since it essentially appeals to action, design, and construction of the designed, other than being a solely philosophical discipline. Thus, architecture is continually updated in advance relations not only with arts and philosophy, but also with economics and technology.

So, architecture is a philosophical phenomenon based on sensations and conceptions. It is conscious to environment, culture, daily life and technology. It has a conceptual background. It requires competence and creativity. Besides its particular concern to the necessities of the architectural program and meeting the requirements of the employer, it shows an exceptional responsiveness to the city and the nature. It aims to improve the potentials of urban public spaces with an innovative design approach.

Design is a conceptual and creative process. Creativity, which generates architecture, is the culmination of historical, sociological, cultural and technologic processes. However, the indispensible component of creativity is common sense. Common sense is always the designer’s, in a word the architect’s way of reflecting the spirit of the age. Although architecture generates a rational, technological, and a concrete product eventually, it essentially keeps within a prism of feelings, expectations, aspirations, and fantasies that create the product. Geometry is merely a tool for the architect to give form to space whereas meaning is always embedded within the life that makes space. In other words, it is life that gives meaning to space. So, architecture enhances the virtues of daily life with new approaches to design practices.

All conceptual studies on space suggest that the essence of space be questioned within the context of space-time relation. Urban space is woven with social relations. Daily life of each society produces and shapes their urban space. Hence, the relation between the human and the landscape has a cultural bond and it is a social phenomenon. So, all social processes are spatial. They produce and transform their spaces. During this transformation space is conceptually and formally re-structured.

Design is a process in which space is questioned and program is re-conceptualized. Therefore, design is contextual. It necessitates a cognitive approach towards the spirit of place, the genius loci, towards the aesthetic values, arts, and culture. It is also necessary to act with the concern of social responsibilities and give importance to technical facts. Seeking proper functional solutions while handling the design problem is learning from daily life practices. In this context, architecture is not to solve the problem and to find the solution, but to question the problem and design the process.

Consequently, an innovative design depends on the premise that architecture cannot be reduced to a mere technical and economic issue and that it cannot be produced with formal preferences. An original design is only possible through an architecture that possesses a conceptual background, a philosophical and an aesthetic concern. For us, design is an experiential journey between material and conceptual, abstract and physical, fantasy and real, traditional and new points of view. Architecture is a lifestyle for us.

Orhan ULUDAĞ · Zeynep ULUDAĞ