From ECB to Yazd

One of my two brothers is an architect who has settled in Germany. The other is a city planner who has settled in Turkey.

I'm very proud of both of them. One has an architecture firm in Darmstadt and the other has an art shop in a small tourist village on Turkey's southern coast.

I'm the oldest, the one in Turkey is second and the one in Germany is the youngest.

We are particularly proud of our younger brother. Not only did the architecture firm in which he is a partner do extremely well in the architecture competition for the European Central Bank (ECB) last year (coming out among the three finalists), he has also most recently done something quite innovative by taking a group of young architecture students form Darmstadt for a 20-day tour of Iran to explore its architecture and city planning, old and new, with some particular attention to ancient cities like Yazd but also with a look at newer architecture. It is very stressful to manage such a big academic tour but I'm sure he can manage it.

If an image is to have value for orientation in the living space, it must have several qualities. It must be sufficient, true in a pragmatic sense, allowing the individual to operate within his environment to the extent desired. The map, whether exact or not, must be good enough to get one home. It must be sufficiently clear and well integrated to be economical of mental effort: the map must be readable. It should be safe, with a surplus of clues so that alternative actions are possible and the risk of failure is not too high. If a blinking light is the only sign for a critical turn, a power failure may cause disaster. The image should preferably be open-ended, adaptable to change, allowing the individual to continue to investigate and organize reality: there should be blank spaces where he can extend the drawing for himself. Finally, it should in some measure be communicable to other individuals. The relative importance of these criteria for a "good" image will vary with different persons in different situations; one will prize an economical and sufficient system, another an open-ended and communicable one.

Kevin Lynch, The Image of the City(1960)

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