An Atypical Architectural Practice – DS | From Rural Painting to Landscape – From Documentation to Preservation is an attempt to discuss two special areas of architecture, namely landscape architecture and documentation for preservation, based on the personal experiences of Deniz Aslan and Sevim Aslan, the co-founders of DS, a firm specializing in these areas. Their personal stories, from their student days to the beginning of their professional careers and from there to this day, offers clues about the stages architectural practices in Turkey have gone through during this period (the last thirty years). As we listen to them, we come to understand that architecture is not only about designing buildings, and begin to intuit its multi-dimensionality and richness when placed in the proper context and as part of the relationships spanning the past, present, and future. Together with them we feel the excitement of getting to know the material, conducting experiments, discovering new methods, and engaging in research that occasionally approaches the work of a detective. There are also failures, settling of accounts, and even resentments. Their experience introduces us to other actors who have shared or still share a similar passion—actors who passionately love the grown and the built, following their life cycles with great interest, sharing what they learn with their students, putting it into writing and letting it go around. 

Constituting one part of the book’s long title, “From Rural Painting to Landscape” points at the common perception regarding the concept of landscape. Probably because of the perception based on “rural painting,” even many architects today think landscape architecture is about “gardening.” The second part of the title, “From Documentation to Preservation,” refers to the fact that ideal preservation depends on the quality of documentation. The concept of the “atypical” in the title offers the key to the way the book is set up. This is not a typical memoir, a portfolio, or an attempt to read praxis through theory. The book is based on the people, projects, and experiences that constitute thresholds in the lives of Deniz and Sevim Aslan. As such, the book has a highly personal aspect to it. The way some of these thresholds are presented can be seen as case studies in terms of the method employed—with a contextualization that takes snapshots of both the professional practices and the academic world at different points in time.

Editor Pelin Derviş
Translation Cem Akaş
Design Aslı Altay, Future Anecdotes Istanbul
Publisher YEM Yayın (Istanbul, January 2016)
Printing Ofset Yapımevi
ISBN 978-605-4793-53-2
Language English
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