The main question that animates my teaching is the role of architecture in the articulation, mediation, and negotiation of political selves. My work recognizes not only the agency of the built environment but also of architects. I have recently lectured and published on how architects have used their professional knowledge to advocate for justice, a topic that has received relatively little attention. My current research spans the full range of social engagement in the profession, from the longer history of humanitarian architecture, such as that of religious missionaries, to more recent efforts by contemporary designers to contribute to social movements. My work supports a new generation of architects interested in social justice by building on the profession’s history in this realm, as well as the discipline’s record of urban advocacy.
Since 2012, I am a tenure-track Assistant Professor of Architecture at McGill University. Before joining McGill, I focused on visualizations of the city in photography, film, exhibitions, and museums. My research on Istanbul was awarded the Regents Fellowship at UC Berkeley, and external grants by the Graham Foundation and Middle East Research Competition; the Andrew Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship at Brown University, and the Aga Khan Fellowship at MIT. I co-edited, with Deniz Gokturk and Levent Soysal, Orienting Istanbul (2010); and guest edited International Journal of Islamic Architecture’s special issue on “Streets of Protest” (March 2013). Forthcoming publications in 2014 include an article on the local actors and associations of heritage preservation in Turkey, for theEuropean Journal of Turkish Studies; three essays in edited books from Routledge (US/UK) and Transcript (Germany): one on urban illlumination in Istanbul, a second one on the “black-and-white” as a representational mode in street photography, and a third one on Istanbul Reklam building, the winning scheme in Turkey’s “first private-sector sponsored competition” (1968). My new project on the intertwined histories of transnational education and global architectural practice is supported by FQRSC and SSHRC.
I am a licensed architect in Turkey, and a member of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada. I collaborate in design, media, and installation works (www.dmrlab.org).
Past course outlines:
“Heritagisation of the ‘Ottoman/Turkish House’ in the 1970s: Istanbul-based Actors, Associations and their Networks,” European Journal of Turkish Studies [online], 19 (2014), 27 p.
“’‘Small’ Architectures, Walking and Camping in Middle Eastern Cities,” International Journal of Islamic Architecture, 2.1 (March 2013): 5-38(34).
“Istanbul in Black and White: Cinematic Memory,” Freer and Sackler Galleries (Smithsonian) in the special dossier ‘Cinematic Urbanism’ – an online component of Ars Orientalis 42 (October 2012).