MERVE BEDIR ° Hospitality and the Politics of the Floor Table

Floor Table, Merve Bedir, Mutfak مطبخ Workshop, 2021

The form of the table, who sits at the table, and how to sit at the table, as well as manners of eating, talking, and sharing are all based on a politics of instituting everyday life and public space. “Turning the table” then is a matter of questioning hospitality and its politics around the table. Ulus Baker’s theory of intervals is based on the proximity between two things/subjects (that may or may not seem far from each other), and their participation in the existence of a total being. My talk will then focus what might constitute an architecture of proximities.

Biography

Merve Bedir is an architect based in Rotterdam and Istanbul. Her ongoing research examines infrastructures of hospitality and mobility. A second line of research follows the human and nonhuman relationships in the context of ecology and cybernetics. She is the co-founder of Aformal Academy (an experimental school program in Pearl River Delta region), a founding member of Mutfak مطبخ Workshop (focusing on Kitchen as a cultural space in Gaziantep), and a founding member of Center for Spatial Justice in Istanbul. Merve Bedir holds a PhD from Delft University of Technology, and a BArch from Middle East Technical University in Ankara. She taught at Hong Kong University, Columbia GSAPP, and TUDelft. Currently Merve is a fellow at BAK, Utrecht.

Merve curated “uncommon river” (Plovdiv, Bulgaria, 2015), “Vocabulary of Hospitality” (Istanbul, 2015), and co-curated “Automated Landscapes” (Shenzhen, 2017 and 2019). Most recently her work “Unsettled Urbanism” was exhibited in Matadero Madrid (2020), and Venice Architecture Biennale’s main exhibition (2020/2021). Another recent work “Floor Table” (2022) is presented by the Smithsonian Design Museum. She designed and managed the architectural adaptation and reuse project of Postane, Istanbul. She took part in Istanbul Design, Saõ Paulo, Shenzhen, Bucharest Biennales, and Oslo Triennale. Merve wrote in Harvard Design Magazine, AD Magazine, and The Funambulist among others. Her work was awarded by Prins Claus Foundation, European Cultural Foundation, and Europan; and has been reviewed in The Guardian, Metropolis, and Avery Review.