Aerial view and its role in spatial transformation: The case of Istanbul

Thesis Type: Postgraduate

Institution Of The Thesis: Orta Doğu Teknik Üniversitesi, Faculty of Architecture, Department of Architecture, Turkey

Approval Date: 2014




What is intended to be explored in this research is the historical course within which the transformation of aerial view has influenced the observation, documentation and realization of the built environment. As the central discussion of this study suggests, the course of architectural perception is interdependent with the advent of transportation technology. Aerial view, from the earliest days on, has been a subject of imaginative thinking until human-flight was rendered a possible mode of transportation by the course of technological advent. The last two centuries proved substantially significant for the mechanization of air travel, while the nature of such notions as speed, scale and perspective have gained additional dimensions in the process. The course of transformation has eventually induced a drastic shift in the perception of the built environment, upon which a unique set of imagery was created regarding the notion of flight. Today, as technological progress maintains its advance, the interaction remains no different. This thesis aims to explore this intricate relation between transportation, surveillance and architecture within the context of aerial vision. Regarding the modes in which the city has been aerially surveyed to date, the transformative impact of the celestial perspective on the documentation, realization and transformation of the built environment will be documented within a historical course. The discussion will be further grounded on the case of Istanbul, and the influence aerial view holds upon its spatial domain. The historical course of the view from above as well as the actors involved in the process, in that regard, will be investigated within the case of Istanbul, and prospective connections will be explored in relation to the theoretical framework.