Uncovering Her Archive

Ayla Karacabey in Postwar Architecture

Authored by: Meral Ekincioglu

The Routledge Companion to Women in Architecture

Print publication date:  June  2021
Online publication date:  June  2021

Print ISBN: 9780367232344
eBook ISBN: 9780429278891
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter interprets and analyzes Ayla Karacabey, a Turkish woman architect, and her career history in the United States, Europe, and the Republic of Turkey during the 1950s–1970s. A graduate from the American College for Girls in Istanbul, Turkey (1954), and Vassar College in the state of New York in the US (1956), she obtained her master of architecture in urban design degree from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design in 1960. As a result of the transformation of architectural education in the postwar United States, the core arguments of her designs reflect on the importance of regional values in modernism, large-scale planning efforts, and interdisciplinary understanding confronting the rigid principles of the International Style with individualistic creativity and a strong emphasis on the aesthetic design codes in the 1950s. In this perspective, she is one of the early figures among Turkish women architects who emphasized the integration of architectural history in urban design and urban planning throughout her career. Based on her archive at the International Archive of Women in Architecture, this paper for the first time will discuss some significant projects by Karacabey and uncover how she solved problems within her male-dominated profession and offered new creative solutions in urban design and regional planning.

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