The Condenser is an architectural allegory device that spatially speculates The 20th Feminist Night March in Istanbul. It is an attempt at critical inquiry toward both the power dynamics of space and the spatiality of power dynamics in politically charged spaces. The model is 40 cm long, 45 cm wide, and 36 cm high; consisting of plexiglass, 3D printed pieces, acetate, fabrics, threads, and wooden pieces. It has three main zones; the first one is Funfair which establishes the spatiotemporal narrative of the March. Funfair is built upon an eight-minute audio recording of the Feminist Night March 2022. Thus, the slogans are the main notations that divide unequal segments within the circle. Each segment between slogans is either stretched or compressed according to the affective intensities within the auditory data. The second is the Affects part which deals with the preeminent feeling/affective layers of the protest. The affective layer can be traced on the model through colored threads and fabrics attached to pores and hooks, each of them referring to a different protester’s interaction with certain elements of protest, such as slogans, music, and memories. Lastly, the third is Generator which is in charge of how the affective solidarity takes place. This zone maps how the past of the protest relates to the present by centering the experiences of senior feminists and protesters. Their tactics and suggestions accumulated over the years to deal with the police order and its violence, physically manifest in the model as support systems. The discourses, feelings, thoughts, and strategies of nineteen years are the main sources of its energy. Further on, it will continue to offer its accumulations to the subsequent protests. The Condenser explores the possibility of critical space-making by baffling its observer through its odd existence, seeding curiosity over its endeavor. The observers then, unfold micro-narratives and add new meanings to existing stories. In this sense, the parallels between its operation principles and feminist storytelling become visible.
Here, architecture’s narrative identity intentionally disrupts and reestablishes its own methods to critically engage with a situated state of what Donna Haraway defines as the ‘thick present’; referring to the condensed troubling mechanisms of today. Gathering the fragments that constitute a phenomenon that has already turned into a meta-narrative, The Condenser is built upon seemingly minor experiences, interviews with the protesters, and site documentation. It puts forward an experimental approach to design research in the form of allegorical place-making by magnifying invisible, overlooked, seemingly insignificant interstices of political space.