Panel_01 on “Role of Computational Design in Architecture” will be moderated by Assist. Prof. Dr. Guzden Varinlioglu.

29 April Wednesday, 10:30
İzmir University of Economics, Faculty of Fine Arts and Design

Guzden Varinlioglu's photo.

Through the course of Guzden Varinlioglu’s undergraduate education in architecture at METU and her graduate education in graphic design at Bilkent University, she became interested in digital technology and its contribution to the preservation and presentation of cultural heritage. Her research period in Texas A&M University in 2010 was followed by a PhD degree from the Program of Art, Design and Architecture in Bilkent University.

Her research responded to the lack of systematic methodology for the collection, preservation and dissemination of data in cultural heritage studies. In 2011, Guzden received a post-doc position in architectural design computing at ITU. In January 2013, she started her post doctoral studies at the Center of Digital Humanities at UCLA. Since 2015, she is teaching in the Department of Architecture at Izmir University of Economics.


Being multi-, inter- and trans-disciplinary is a distinctive characteristic of architecture and all design practices. Starting with the program (or problem definition), through design conception, development and construction, all the way to accommodation, architectural practice inevitably and essentially necessitates the involvement and integration of a wide range of disciplines. It is hard to think of any other practice that involves as many disciplines as architecture does. Yet, we still feel the need to discuss the importance of interdisciplinarity, to emphasize the necessity of incorporating interdisciplinary strategies while talking about its education. Why interdisciplinarity? Why now?

Here, I argue that a critical assessment of the current models of architecture education and the need for adopting a fresh look leads us to go back to its basic premises, and to rethinking what architectural practice is. I suggest a reorganization of architecture education around themes, topics, issues and values that cut across the disciplines, instead of the current fragmentation through courses that focus on disciplines as discrete chunks of knowledge. Essentially, what I suggest is using the ‘act of design’, or design practice as a model to restructure the education of design.

29 April Wednesday, 14:30
İzmir University of Economics, Faculty of Fine Arts and Design

Guzden Varinlioglu's photo.

Zuhal Ulusoy graduated with B.Arch and M.Arch. degrees from the Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey. Receiving a Fulbright scholarship, she continued her graduate studies in the School of Architecture at Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, PA, USA), where she completed her M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in architecture and urban regeneration. In 1992, Dr. Ulusoy joined Bilkent University (Ankara, Turkey) as the Founding Chairperson of the Lands

cape Architecture and Urban Design Department. She was a visiting professor at Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Architecture in 2003-2004, where she taught senior level design studio and a course on housing. In 2005 she joined the newly founded Architecture Department of Izmir University of Economics. Since 2008, she has been working at Kadir Has University, Istanbul, Turkey, as the Dean of Faculty of Art and Design, and a faculty member in the

Architecture Department. She also serves in the Administrative Board of the Istanbul Studies Center at Kadir Has University. Her research interests include urban studies, particularly urban regeneration and transformation, as well as design education at various levels. Her articles and chapters on these areas have been published in various refereed journals and in books. She has taught courses on urban design, concepts in architecture, took part in foundation design studios and urban design studios, and supervised Master’s and Ph.D. theses.


The transition from craft to mechanic production over the first half of the twentieth century led to an aesthetic crisis, in Herbert Marcuse’s words, the division of ‘thought and action’, ‘conception and execution’, ‘hand and mind’, in several disciplines, including the field of architecture. Architectural discourse, theory and practice today have to additionally deal with a new crisis arising from the encounter with digital media. The role of computers in the more creative aspects of architectural design is still however, limited and the promise of digital tools heralding a new era in our ways of designing is far from being realized. There has been huge gap between what is theoretically possible with computation and current practice; between the potential of digital media and actual usage by architects. On one hand architecture has seen the widespread adoption of computer aided design (CAD) and computer aided manufacturing (CAM) as representation tools in the last 2 decades. On the other hand, conventional methodologies such as sketching and model making are still crucial in architecture education. Related to this crisis, Sema Alaçam argues that aesthetic dimensions of bodily experience is one of the key concepts in the effort to get a deeper understanding of today’s crisis and gain insight about future directions of digital design environments. In her talk she will discuss the potentials of imperfective encounters between architecture students and the unexplored digital.

29 April Wednesday, 11:00
İzmir University of Economics, Faculty of Fine Arts and Design

Guzden Varinlioglu's photo.

Dr. Sema Alaçam is an architect and a lecturer at Istanbul Technical University (ITU), Faculty of Architecture, Department of Architecture. She received her Bachelor of Architecture degree from ITU in 2005 and Master of Architecture degree from Architectural Design Computing graduate program of ITU in 2008

She attended Hyperbody Research Group Studies in TU Delft, Netherlands during 2006. Receved her PhD in 2014, she was among the first generation PhD students at the Architectural Design Computing Graduate Program in Graduate School of Science Engineering and Technology, Department of Informatics of ITU where she also worked as a research and teaching assistant between 2007 and 2014. She worked at ETH Zurich, Department of Architecture, Chair of Structural Design in 2013-2014 during her PhD studies as an academic guest. Both her master and PhD research studies have been supported by BAP-ITU(Scientific and Projects-ITU) and TUBITAK (Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey) under the number of 2210, 2211 and 2214-A.

Apart from the undergraduate architectural design studio, she teaches various graduate courses related to the computational design and fabrication approaches in architecture. She has numerous papers presented and printed in national and international conferences.