Significance of Client and His/Her Changing Characteristics in
Architectural Design Practice History of the Skidmore, Owing and Merrils - New York Office
in the 1960s-the 1970s
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(Scholarly in-depth Research Study by Dr. Ekincioglu at Columbia University-GSAPP, Ph.D. Program).
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When I was research scholar at the Columbia University, Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Ph.D. Program, I conducted a scholarly research study on theory and history of “architecture as an art & a profession”, in particular, the interaction between design architect’s creativity and (different profiles) of the client’s economic and commercial expectation that I could clarify during my Ph.D. dissertation research at Harvard University. In this respect, as a significant case, I scholarly examined architectural design practice history of SOM-NYC office with an emphasis on client and his/her changing profile/ characteristics in the private sector in the 1960s-the 1970s during my Ph.D. dissertation research at Columbia University, GSAPP, Ph.D. Program in addition to my dissertation research on postwar Turkish architecture.  With research support by Professor Kenneth Frampton, Professor Reinhold Martin, Janet Parks (in order to reach out to a collection on the sociology of the architecture profession, design architect-client interaction, and architectural design practice), and generous help by the SOM’s New York Office, I focused on four specific architectural buildings designed under Gordon Bunshaft’s design leadership in the private sector (selection criteria of those four architectural buildings was their historical significance with their architecture design, practice and different client’s profile/organizational/economic-commercial characteristics), I examined a. their architectural design process and b. practice through interaction between design architect’s creativity - client’s economic or commecial expectations. In this respect, relevant Ph.D. dissertations, in-depth scholarly essays by architecture historians, theoreticians, critics, AIA reports and surveys, my appointments with Kenneth Frampton, Reinhold Martin, Mustafa Kemal Abadan, Michael Sorkin, Robert Hillier, William Menkings, Robert Ivy and Suzanne Stephens, my electronic communication with Nicholas Adams helped me to comprehend how to clarify my Ph.D. research problem on “design architect’s creativity and client’s economic / commercial expectations”  through their scholarly, architectural and editorial perspectives and different/multilevel experiences. In parallel to my scholarly research process, I also visited those significant architectural buildings by SOM-NYC Office, examined characteristics of their spatial organizations, took their architectural photographs, etc. In the end of this Ph.D. dissertation research studies at the Columbia University, GSAPP, Ph.D. Program (after my Ph.D. dissertation research at Harvard University), I could clarify the essential problem, hypothesis, theoretical foundations, method, case study of my Ph.D. in the US as my all e-mails reveal this fact. With this in-depth dissertation research studies at Harvard, and in particular, Columbia universities, I began to study on “practice history and theory of Tekeli-Sisa Architecture Partnership in modern Turkey (as a case study of my Ph.D.) in the US with an emphasis on interaction between design practitioner’s creativity and clients’ (economic and commercial) expectations in practice.
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Without generous dissertation research support by Kenneth Frampton, Reinhold Martin, Nicholas Adams and SOM-NYC Office (and my previous independent Ph.D. dissertation research at Harvard University), I could not clarify all essential principles of my Ph.D. With my English dissertation draft (including essential research problem, hypothesis, theoretical studies, method to examine four large-scale architecture buildings designed by Tekeli-Sisa Architecture Partnership (Chrysler Truck Assembly Plant, Lassa Tyre Factory, a bank and office building complex in Zincirlikuyu, Metrocity Shopping, Office and Residence Complex.), I went back to Istanbul Technical University, and submitted my all Ph.D. dissertation English text to the jury and Tekeli-Sisa Architecture Partnership. As the founding partner of this office clearly expressed after my Ph.D. dissertation research in the US, there was no Ph.D. or any other (systematic and in-depth) scholarly research study/essay on “their practice history” with theoretical analysis on design architect’s creativity and client’s changing profiles in the private sector.
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As Ph.D. jury reports clearly show in Turkey, Ph.D. jury's decision was a comparative Ph.D. between the US and Turkish architecture although it is highly critical by all professors, architecture historians, critics at Harvard, Columbia universities and in the US. Following my in-depth and systematic dissertation research studies in the US, I succesfully completed and obtained my Ph.D. (only) on Turkish architecture as all professors highly recommended in the US, and supported my scholarly efforts in many ways.
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All documents and sound records are in my personal archive; and all revelant documents, jury reports, some e-mails were submitted to the Presidency of Republic of Turkey for my copyright and (upcoming international) scholarly publications.
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All rights reserved
Meral Ekincoglu, Ph.D.
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International Affiliations
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Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Columbia University
Harvard University
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