Under Construction Building the Material and the Imagined World

Heine, Eike-Christian. Under Construction Building the Material and the Imagined World. Berlin: LIT, 2015.


In this book, eleven authors from seven European countries examine the discursive alongside the performative construction of reality when things are being built. Construction sites are ideal objects for a cultural studies approach, as they show that the world not so much has a certain state but that the world is constantly being rebuilt, reshaped and reimagined.

In particular, I focused on the chapter ‘Become a permanent construction site: Istanbul after 1923.’ Two main transformation steps—Prost (1930-1940) and Menderes Period (1950-1960) were explained and compared. By criticizing the similarity in discourse and outcome of the two projects, the author argues that plans based on ideology rather than the need of inhabitants and the city are always prone to cause unwanted results.

The way how the book put the Prost’s period with an afterward project and put Istanbul among other cases of urban transformation creates a comparison and dialogue in both time and space.



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