The Bartlett School of Architecture


Ecem Ergin

PhD title: Reality as an Uncanny Concept: Times Square in the era of Post-Truth Politics

Ecem Ergin: map of New York City

PhD research


Reality as an Uncanny Concept: Times Square in the era of Post-Truth Politics



This research will explore the definition of reality and its variations, as revealed by interpretations of digital architecture. The subject merits discussion because these realities simultaneously stir confusion while providing significant opportunities. The disciplines of architecture, media studies and computer science will provide knowledge for the research.

With distinct types such as speculated, augmented, virtual, hyper etc., reality finds itself located in an uncanny position. To wit, contemporary representation methods of architecture, and their status in political discourse in various countries, have made the issue relevant to the architectural rhetoric. Built environment has served incumbent power—periodically causing intentional obstacles. In turn, new definitions of realism have been on the rise. Today, one fairly may say that ours is the age of realisms.

Accordingly, what needs to be further explored is the production of realism and how the rule-makers are involved in this process. I will investigate new realities, through public spaces that exist under the effects of connected digital technologies. My research seeks to establish a meaningful relationship between the spatial organisation of actual public squares, and the methods to distort collective opinions with virtual extensions. To do this, the research will investigate two metropoles – New York and Istanbul – as examples of two diverse types of speculation.


Ecem studied architecture at Istanbul Technical University (ITU) and Politecnico di Milano. She subsequently received an MSc degree from the Pratt Institute's Post-Professional Architecture program in New York. She is currently doing her PhD in Architectural Space and Computation program at The Bartlett, UCL, in London.

Ecem is also a photography and video editing enthusiast with a social media account where she shares her architectural photos using the title ‘imperfect is beautiful’.