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A Card Game Designed to Help Urban Communities Plan for the Future

Imaginable Guidelines gives players a shared vocabulary and base of knowledge with which to talk about their city.
After Turkey's 2013 protests, ignited by plans to develop on a public space in Istanbul, architect Alexis Şanal says she “started to think about how the social act of imagining together could be a way to break down all this dogmatic determinism I was so frustrated with in Istanbul.”
After Turkey's 2013 protests, ignited by plans to develop on a public space in Istanbul, architect Alexis Şanal says she “started to think about how the social act of imagining together could be a way to break down all this dogmatic determinism I was so frustrated with in Istanbul.”Jennifer Hattam

When mass protests erupted in Turkey in the summer of 2013, sparked by the planned development of one of the scarce green spaces in central Istanbul, a hand-painted banner hung in the threatened park encapsulated the demonstrators’ wide-ranging frustration with life in a city many felt was slipping out of their grasp. It read: “Hands off my neighborhood/square/tree/water/soil/home/seed/forest/village/city/park.”

“There was a lot of anxiety about the huge influx of global capital pouring into Istanbul at that time, and all of the potentially destructive consequences. People felt that they weren’t being listened to,” says Alexis Şanal, an Istanbul-based architect.