Post-Disaster Urban Regeneration through Community Co-creation

Turkiye Design Council
Antakya, Hatay, Turkiye
A collage featuring interviews conducted in Antakya, showcasing the interviewed individuals.

To ensure a community-centered approach, SOUR kicked off the co-design process with ethnographic research in the cities of Antakya, Samandağ, Serinyol, and Defne Harbiye throughout October 2023, conducting interviews with 60+ locals with diverse cultures and socio-economic backgrounds. We have worked with psychologists, anthropologists, and trauma experts closely to enable a co-design process that is trauma-informed and responsible. The sociological and design insights obtained from the field research developed into a report and documentary for the collaboration group.

Throughout field research, we identified a co-creation panel, representative of diverse stakeholder groups, to continue co-design process through ideations and preliminary concept feedback. Such an approach is significant for us to genuinely reflect the vision of the city’s inhabitants and honor the region’s history.

Top keywords emerging from field interviews

Community Centered Design

Our community centered design approach brings diverse co-design methods that elevate:

  • Trauma-informed,
  • Equitable
  • Empowering

design decisions in our work.

For Recovery, Resilience and Readiness: Architecture as a healer.

Principles to Follow

Sensory Boundaries:
  • Create Sense of security
  • Enhance Well Being and Wonder
  • Hard Egdes to Gradient Transitions
  • No Dividers but Permeable Membranes (smell, sound, sight)
Nested Layers:
  • Change over Time
  • Grey Spaces, Transitional Spaces
  • Gradient of Experiences
Identity Anchors:
  • Connecting with past, present and future
  • Create Sense of Belonging
  • Sense of Self - Being Velued

ESG’s: Environmental, Social, and Governance

Design Decisions: Sensory Boundaries
  • Less Industrial Materials
  • More Natural Materials (Wood, Natural Fibers, Fabrics)
  • Thresholds: Gentle Gradient Transitions between indoor / outdoor, public/ private, compression / expansion
  • Daylight through the Day
  • Inviting Outdoors In
  • Textures, Reliefs, Visual Curiosity
  • Fresh Air, Odor Mitigation
  • Transitional Spaces: Membranes not Dividers
  • Control: Light, Temperature, Sound Control to regulate self

Design Decisions: Nested Layers
  • Multiple Use of Space
  • Niches and Nooks for Escape and Rest
  • Human Scale
  • Variation in Volume, Color, Pattern
  • Soft Thresholds (Sponge Spaces)
  • Gradients of Security (main entry to residential unit)

Design Decisions: Identity Anchors
  • Places for Personalization (Mural Walls, Gardens, Open Libraries)
  • Intergenerational Spaces (Multi Use for Children, Young Adult, Adult, Seniors)
  • Gathering Spaces (Community Cook-outs, Common Amenities, Indoor Areas for Memorials, Celebrations, Pets)
  • Ritual Spaces (Pray, Meditate, Exercise, Create, Cook, Smoke, Journal)
  • Ice Breakers - Community Building, Conversation Sparking (Work of Art, Odd-Looking Courtyard Doors)
  • Symbolic Ties - Sincere Spaces (Cultural, Historic Objects, NO FAUX Materials, NO TOKENISTIC REPRESENTATION)
  • Gender Responsive Spaces (Different Genders - Different Needs to feel safe, connected, and confident)
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As a result of these studies, design principles, were determined. And the design process was carried out together with the people of Antakya and experts.

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Project Info
Project Name:
Revitalization of Hatay
Antakya, Hatay, Turkiye
18.392 m2
Concept Design
Turkiye Design Council
Social Housing
Project Credits
Inanc Eray Design Lead, Pinar Guvenc Design Strategy Lead
Design Team:
Marianne de Zeeuw, Project Coordinator Gamze Gürgenç, Project Coordinator Ugur Imamoglu, Architect Merve Güven, Architect Pinar Gürsoy, Architect Merve Akbay, Architect Sevki Yapici, Architect Kadija Fadil Bayero, Architect Irem Gocmenoglu, Video Editor & Graphic Designer Nafla Alqorayani, Design Researcher Ersin Gök, Producer Leyla Akça, Field Research Lead Duygu Çendag, Anthropologist & Researcher Sema Çiçekli, Psychologist Tamer Kocager, Videographer

Research Participants:

Çagla inan, Ali Ugurlu, Dogus Genç, Mert Salihli, Emel Duman, Fikret Duman, Gizem Cabbaroglu, Cansel Aslan, Özge Uysal, Ferhat Yolcu, Misel Atik, Cansel Sahutoglu, Hüseyin Ataser, Süleyman Karatas, Lider Miçoogullari, Necati Ogural, Rahsan Burgurcu, Ali Kanatlı, Selman Eskiocak, Nilgün Karasu, Hikmet Cinçin, Ece idil Ceylan, Mustafa Özçelik, Çagan Kaya, Sezer Kizgindemir, Nursen Avat Büyükasik, Edip Bagdatli, Berç Kartun, Agop Gökçe