Alexis Şanal, the Istanbul-based architect who came to Australia as part of the Droga Architect in Residence program in 2018 thinks so and she’s prepared to make the case. She also thinks that other public spaces and buildings could be improved by taking some lessons from the way markets use space. Raised in Los Angeles, Şanal co-founded the architecture and design practice Şanalarc with Murat Şanal in 2002. Her proposal for the Droga residency was to build on her past research into Istanbul’s open-air neighbourhood markets and investigate ideas about public marketplaces in an economically advanced nation such as Australia. Continuing our look back at the Droga program, we spoke to Şanal about what makes the Australian market unique, genuine bottom-up community involvement in design and the importance of “play” in generating ideas.