The Gate Highlights People’s Impact on Nature

The Gate: MAA’s Installation Raises Awareness on The Impact of Humans on Nature

October 28, 2022

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Rick Formalejo

Asking the question, “Where, how and what do we live? What kind of universe do we turn into to live?” is the anchor of Melike Altınışık Architects (MAA) when they designed the art installation, The Gate. These questions do not have a single answer and are still in pursuit of answers. The Turkish practice, which gained international recognition with its futuristic installations across the world, takes part in the interactive installation project at Tersane Istanbul (Golden Horn Port) in the 21st Brand Conference curated by In-Between Design Platform and led by Yapı Kredi World.

Through The Gate, MAA showcases an interactive spatial interface between “present” and “future.” The firm also aims to give a new perspective that is sustainable awareness to heal the wounds people left to nature and humanity for the future generations.

The installation appeared at the intersection of 550 years of mossy and stratified history like the Tersane and exists at the intersection of nature and humanity. According to the architects, The Gate exists in a fuzzy moment and space that includes movement, social encounter, and perceptual existence with the observer. 

MAA suggests that people are in ongoing questioning throughout their life. The practice highlights that the “present and future” are a general expression in nature and the universe expresses the principle of duality and complementarity. It is, however, in an opposite duality, like natural-humane, good-evil, or chaos-order. One cannot define itself without the other. 

Moreover, MAA explains that all spatial and functional transformations in the historical process of the Tersane are a duality of continuity in its natural environment, reflecting discontinuity. The contrasts, dilemmas, balances, and complementarities help it find its place. It keeps a new frame on the place that it physically owns in its current location. The designers emphasize that people experience thresholds and are not aware of them before from this frame. They dream of the land when they see the sea, the sky when they touch the earth, the day when they know the night, and the “future” when they live in the “present”.

The Gate represents the historical process that surrounds it in the physical layer with the corten material, which takes the lead in its location. The installation keeps a new frame with a corten gate without corners to the city, which contains contradictions, dualities, and the definition of limitlessness. It also blurs all dualities through the perforated reflective surface in its center. “People face the city in this special area where the land and the sea are the thresholds. Humans have the opportunity to observe themself and what they leave behind while experiencing “THE GATE”, MAA explains.

The Gate also has a digital layer that dialogues with a reflective perforated metal surface at the intersection. This feature conveys the story of the present and the future. The installation uses AR technology that allows it to confront the observer with the world of “present” and “future.” The “Present” interface is programmed to create scenarios in the AR world to make the climate problems more visible to raise awareness.

Another characteristic of The Gate is that it enables the experience of today’s destruction of nature in an ever-changing world, the surreal destruction of the urban landscape. The “future” interface shows how people begin to understand the return of wild nature (re-wilding nature) with the changing and developing technological tectonics. Here, wild nature will be revived and Humans, Nature, and technology will mingle in harmonic balance. Revived nature will tell the story of a struggle to cope with today’s climate crisis.

Lastly, The Gate creates a sustainable bridge between the present and the future and says what they want to say from the AR Interface. It brings people face-to-face with different scenarios apart from their own morphology. MAA highlights that The Gate does not transform, but a metamorphosis itself. This journey, which The Gate has established in time, is the questioning of one’s self in nature. 

Photo Credits: GRIYER | Mehmet Akif Sarı