As professor at the Institute for Contemporary Design Practices, researcher, lecturer, and practitioner, I take a context-specific approach and combine the fields of anthropology, gender studies, urban studies, design, and architecture in my work on more-than-human visionary lifeworlds. Within the nexus between socio-cultural, bodily and spatial transformation, I focus on intersections of bodies, spaces, and ecologies as material and immaterial entanglements that tie them into larger networks. Thereby, I grapple with the ambiguity and fluidity of body-spatial relations regarding states of un/building, re/constructing, and in/visibility.
Through spatial and sensory ethnography, I study archival bodies that store and change with such information. I am particularly drawn to the an:archival, which I understand as matters that defy conventional methods of archiving. Various projects take the form of multimodal explorations that integrate interaction and participation through research artefacts. When it comes to formats of documentation, (re)presentation and communication, I experiment with diverse aesthetics beyond the visual to the olfactory, gustatory and auditory.
Since my work as an architect I am interested in the social agency of architecture and have had a keen interest in understanding the interrelations of urban and socio-cultural development in various urban lifeworlds. I have been able to pursue this research interest in a master's thesis at the Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences and TU Istanbul, and later with a Doctor of Design degree in Urban Studies at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. In order to tie community work and research stronger together methodology, research and teaching, I continued my studies in a joint PhD in Anthropology/ Middle Eastern Studies with a Secondary Field in Gender Studies at the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Currently, I am a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Basel and the FHNW Academy of Art and Design.
I am committed to feminist pedagogy and take a situated and inquiry-based approach to teaching and learning. I attend to diversity among learners and offer various learning experiences in a community of practice format in the course room as a safe space for discussion and exchanges. I have gained teaching experience at Harvard University, Darmstadt University of Technology, Boston Architectural College, Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston, the Faculty of Sociology at Boğaziçi University, FHNW Academy of Art and Design, and the University of Basel.
As part of my research and my engagement with different local communities, I encounter a range of actors who are involved in and impacted by urban and social transformation. I strive to contribute to their efforts in partaking in the urban with practices of activist*scholarship that are context-specific and aimed at inclusion and toward greater equality. Hereby, I question and deconstruct hierarchies of South-North and East-West knowledges and practices. Together with and for diverse groups of participants, I organize trainings, courses, and workshops in embodied and digital formats. Examples for this can be found in my work as co-organizer of the Urban Ethnography Lab (www.urban-ethnography.com) and as co-founder of the Critical Icono-Ethnography Lab (www.cielab.ch). I focus on social performances, participatory processes, and the verbal, embodied and visual communication of diverse, more-than-humxn actors, negotiating belonging through collaboratively produced artifacts, bodies, spaces, ecologies aimed at common futures.
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