ITU Project Participants
Zeynep Günay, Ph.D.
Zeynep Gunay is an associate professor at the ITU Department of Urban and Regional Planning (URP). Her major areas of interests are urban conservation theories and policies. Through her scholarly works, she questions the vicious relationship between conservation vs reproduction of space with reference to neoliberal urban agenda; and explores heritage with a particular focus on critical narratives based on conflict heritage, memory & heritageisation, and inclusive conservation. She also reflects upon critical perspectives in urban studies ao. politics of urbanisation vs urbanisation of politics, culture arts and urban space, public space everyday life body politics and justice, with a specific interest upon the developing world. Within her academic and professional career in ITU, she also serviced as a visiting scholar in various international platforms including Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, TU Darmstadt, Tor Vergata, and Gran Sasso Science Institute. She has several international and national projects including Prizren Municipal Development Plan under the supervision of UN-Habitat and UNESCO/WHC supported Istanbul Historic Peninsula Conservation Project, which was awarded a Medal in Europa Nostra Awards. Currently, she participates in Horizon 2020 MSCA-RISE Project on Art, Culture, Economy to Democratize Society (Trans-making) with her research on alternative narratives on heritage, arts and conflict in Morocco, Chile and Bosnia. She is the academic consultant of Istanbul Planning Agency Vision 2050, the member of ICOMOS, and serving in the Board of ISOCARP for two terms as the Director of Young Planning Professionals’ Programme.
Derya Güleç Özer, Ph.D.
Derya Güleç Özer received her B.Arch in Architecture from Middle East Technical University in 2004, MSc. from Gazi University in 2007, and PhD from Istanbul Technical University Architectural Computing Department in 2014. She finished her master’s degree on “Integration of building energy performance assesment into architectural design studio”, and Phd on “Optimization of User Accessibility in Architectural Design Using Genetic Algorithm: Case Study on Health Campuses”. After PhD, she continued her post doctoral studies in MIT, Boston in 2015 with the Tubitak 2219 Scholarship. During post-doc studies, she conducted her research with Prof. Takehiko Nagakura on cultural heritage digitalization in Parion. Her interest in archaeology led her to work as an architect in such sites as Corinth, Sardis, Sagalassos, Parion and Syedra, and developed many on-site projects.
Since 2004, she has participated in many architectural and design competitions, and won several prizes. She also continues her practice through counseling interior design projects of high rise office buildings in Istanbul Finance Center.
İmge Akçakaya Waite, Ph.D.
İmge Akçakaya Waite is currently a lecturer at the ITU Department of Urban and Regional Planning, where she received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. She earned her PhD in urban planning in the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Luskin School of Public Affairs, with her dissertation titled “Planning, power, politics: Urban redevelopment in Istanbul.” In affiliation with UCLA and ITU, she has participated in EU, UN-Habitat and other internationally and nationally funded research projects on institutional and community capacity building, urban and rural governance, and inclusive planning. Among her recent fields of interest and teaching are decision-making and governance mechanisms, collaborative and participatory planning, and urban redevelopment.
Ayşegül Akçay Kavakoğlu, Ph.D.
Ayşegül Akçay Kavakoğlu is an architect and assistant professor in Faculty of Architecture, Department of Landscape Architecture at İstanbul Technical University. Her research interests involve design process, computational design, fabric formwork, representation and moving image studies in general. Akçay Kavakoğlu graduated from Dokuz Eylül University, with a Bachelor of Architecture degree. She has conducted her master studies at Middle East Technical University and Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’architecture de Paris-Belleville. She graduated from METU with her master thesis focused on the representation of city images in cinema. She got her Ph.D. in architecture degree from METU by researching the contribution of moving image to the computational design process. She executed several workshops and curated exhibitions. Akçay Kavakoğlu has worked on various architectural design projects and has awards in national architecture competitions.
Bihter Almaç, Ph.D.
Eda Yücesoy, Ph.D.
Eda Yücesoy is an Associate Professor at the ITU Department of URP. Her research focuses on spatial relations, social and economic geography, urban history, public space. She is the academic consultant at Istanbul Institute. Her latest projects include Community Participatory Model Proposal for Healthy Cities (TUBITAK 2019-2022), Cultural Heritage Technologies for Sustainable Cities (Science Diplomacy Fund NWO 2020-2021), PIVOT Re-visioning Peripheral Geographies (UK Royal Academy 2020 – 2021).
Begum Eser is a designer and researcher of urban studies. Her main research interests are contemporary urban design theory and method, design education in urbanism and studio pedagogy. She works as a research and teaching assistant in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning (URP) at Istanbul Technical University (ITU). She also is currently pursuing her PhD at the ITU. She graduated from ITU Urban Design Master’s Program with her thesis entitled: Semiotics in Spatial Design and Its Potentials in The Design Studio.
Elif Öz Yılmaz has been working as a research assistant in Architectural Design Program at İstanbul Technical University (ITU) since April 2019. Since then, she has assisted several architectural design studios in different years of study, during which she has had hands-on experience in various architectural pedagogies. She is also a Ph.D. candidate at ITU. Her research focuses on potentials of uncertainity in architecture design. She has a M. Sc. Degree from the Architectural Design Program at ITU in 2021. In her graduate work, she worked on the exploration of boundaries in children’s everyday spaces.