The elective course “Sketching in Architecture” in the third-year curriculum of the departments at Gazi University Faculty of Architecture, basically aims to exercise the act of sketching as not only a representational tool but a discursive one. In the act of sketching ‘line’ turns into a tool for communication. Here, the communication is a monologue and dialogue that designer establishes with herself/himself and others. Sketching is a process of production of knowledge and creation of ideas on the built environment. In other words it creates a common ground for formal, spatial, social and cultural discoveries while assigning the designer a critical perspective. In the last two semesters, when distance learning started with the Covid-19 pandemic, the usual site trips organized by design studios to understand the context of an urban space, couldn’t be carried out. As a result, students had to design a project in a place where they don’t have any –spatial- experience. The lack of direct experience of the site and the knowledge about the context started an important discussion about whether it is possible to discover an urban context in the virtual environment. In this direction, throughout the course held in the spring semester of 2020-2021, the students were expected to make observations and understand the urban space and its context by means of sketches during a virtual trip on web-mapping platforms. The students were asked to let themselves in a virtual reality of a chosen city as a virtual flaneur/flaneuse on their virtual trips. Then, students were expected to produce several sketches during their trips and create a narrative using them. Examining the students’ works, this paper aims to investigate the possibility of experiencing the context virtually and gain the habit sketching as mediation of virtual site analysis in architectural design studio in the post-pandemic education.
Bengi Su Ertürkmen-Aksoy received her PhD from Gazi University in 2020 with her dissertation “Network and Modernity of ‘High Society’ in Urban Spaces of Istanbul, 1856-1896”. Her academic career as a Research Assistant at the Department of Architecture at Gazi University started in 2012 while working on her master thesis which is about the Jewish community and their quarter in Ankara in the 19th century. She is currently teaching the second-year Design Studio and third-year elective course Sketching in Architecture. In her early career she assisted the first-year Design Studio, Basic Design, Graphic Communication and History of Architecture I-II courses. Her research in the fields of urban and architectural history mainly focuses on modernization and daily life in the 19th century Ottoman Empire. Also she is currently researching about the gender issues and the leisure activities’ transformative impacts in urban spaces. With Kapusuz-Balcı, B.B. and Memlük-Çobanoğlu, N.O., she recently won Research Award from Koç University Vehbi Koç Ankara Researh Center (VEKAM) with their research Transformation of Ankara Sports Club Activities and Construction of New Locations: 1922-1946. Apart from her academic research she has various degrees in architectural design competitions.