Irem C Yildiz

People's Palace

Design Strategy, Experience Design, Urban Intervention

People’s Palace is a tactical and strategical design response that aims to modify the Palace of Culture and Science’s image as a frightful structure or a symbol of Soviet Union’s dominancy over Warsaw. By bringing it down to a scale of a single human being and creating an intimacy using scale as a tool, the distributed models of the Palace to the city invite people to share their memories and experiences with others.

The project is developed for The Palace of Culture:An Exploration in Design, Humanities, and Social Sciences, an intensive critical studio taught by Susan Yalevich and Mateusz Halawa at Parsons The New School for Design in collaboration with School of Form, Poznań, in the 5 day workshop in Warsaw during Spring Break 2017.

Team: Alana Weiss Nydorf, Irem C Yildiz, Oleksandr Holiuk and Zofia Borysiewicz.

Role: Researcher, strategist and designer.

  • Research and Ideation


Despite plenty of propositions to destroy it, the Palace has managed to survive and hold a place in Varsovian’s memories by serving as witness to innumerable first romances, childhood delights, civic debates, performances, and— in short— the lives of Varsovians. People’s Palace is about provoking, collectingsharing and multiplying these memories of the people.

To create a physically and emotionally intimate space, which would lead to be open to share and interaction; the notion of toy has become the main inspiration. As Barthes defines toys as the tools that adults use to implement the ideas and principles of adult world to children, toys are also the objects that people feel an affinity as well as the urge of being responsible of taking care of [i]

Referring to the concept of toy, People’s Palace consists of 4 miniature Palaces of Culture, only single occupancy at a time, fitted with various experiential interiors. 

The stories, photos, and memories collected by the Palaces would store in the people’s palace website as well as the Instagram account of People’s Palaces, where would serve as a contemporary informal archive.


Photo Booth

The purpose of the Photo Booth is to make people see and remember joyful moments of the Palace. People take photos of themselves in it hoping to get their own pictures by using the interface. However, they end up with unexpected pictures of the Palace that come out of the it. On the backside of every picture, there is a message telling the visitor that their pictures will appear on the project's website and they can e-mail the photos by themselves using the interface.

Phone Booth

A visitor steps inside of this Palace, picks up a telephone receiver, which triggers a connection to a random phone that you can encounter occasionally in the Palace, initiating a conversation between a booth visitor and whoever picks up on the other end.



The Palace as a Mailbox refers to the e-mails and letters that have been sent to the Palace from people by the purpose of conveying feelings. It invites people to communicate with the Palace as one of the most analog ways possible and in one of the most poetic spots of Warsaw, nearby the river. Inside this Palace there is a chair with a mailbox attached to its back, a table with a pen and a pile of postcards. Visitors write a message for the Palace on a postcard and put it into the mailbox. Then, if they write down their address on it, they receive a lipstick-kissed postcard and greetings from the Palace itself within a week.


Kid's Palace

The purpose is to create a positive impact of Palace in children’s minds allowing them to engage in various playful ways. Kid’s Palace is an interactive storytelling machine, which tells the history of the Palace through songs and stories to children.

  • Prototyping