The Site Narrative: Mimarlik 1990-2020




Mimarlık journal, Site, Text-mining


Throughout history, various alternative approaches have been considered that conceptualize the dialogue between architectural objects and their sites. This study explores whether this conceptual richness is reflected in Turkey’s contemporary architectural agenda by focusing mainly on the period from 1990 to the present. The Mimarlık Journal, one of Turkey’s leading architectural journals, was chosen as the object of investigation, presenting the contemporary written language of academics and professionals. In this research, relevant and current literature was first reviewed to identify site-related terms (place, settlement, local, topography, context, environment, nature, history, social, culture and identity) as a toolkit for analyzing the Mimarlık Journal. The analysis of the toolkit has led to the creation of a digital database via the application of digital humanities methods of manual text mining and critical reading to highlight the diversity and richness of sites’ language(s). The result is the mapping of the terms used in context to understand the diversity, actors, and systems of thought in site narrative. The results show that the discussions in the journal mainly focus on the critique of contemporary architectural practices, rather than theoretically expanding the topic and drawing on production in fields such as art, philosophy, and anthropology. The discussions in the journal refer to the canonical texts of international literature in the field of architectural theory and urbanism between the 1960s and the 1990s. However, there is an evident lack of current sources in the bibliographies, which shows that systems and patterns of thought do not change simultaneously. This study shows that the mapping and deep reading of journal articles represent a very effective research method in the field of architecture by contributing to the site narrative while making apparent the diversity and richness of its language.


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Author Biographies

Beste Şimşek, Middle East Technical University

Beste ŞİMŞEK completed her undergraduate degree in architecture at Bilkent University and her master’s degree in architecture at Middle East Technical University. She currently works as an assistant controller at Republic of Turkey Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

Esin Kömez Dağlıoğlu, Middle East Technical University

Esin KÖMEZ DAĞLIOĞLU is an Associate Professor Dr. at the METU Department of Architecture. She received her Ph.D. from TU Delft Architecture Department where she also worked as a design tutor and lecturer between 2012-2016. She has published in numerous journals including Architectural Theory Review, METU JFA, OASE, and Archnet-IJAR.

Pelin Yoncacı Arslan, Middle East Technical University

Pelin YONCACI ARSLAN is a licensed architect and an architectural historian currently teaching at the METU Department of Architecture. Her research focuses on the historical topography of pre-modern cities, urban history and architecture, digital technologies, and visualization tools applied in architectural history writing.  Receiving her Ph.D. in Architecture and Urban Design from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 2015, she has been involved in teaching and writing digital humanities projects and curating exhibitions.


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How to Cite

Şimşek, B., Kömez Dağlıoğlu, E., & Yoncacı Arslan, P. (2024). The Site Narrative: Mimarlik 1990-2020 . ICONARP International Journal of Architecture and Planning, 12(1), 75–94.