Dr Cansu Curgen-Gurpinar


Pronouns: She/her
  • University Teacher

Research and expertise

Exhibitions and artworks

  • Public Art Installation ‘When Pigs Fly’, with Avşar Gürpınar, Yankose Contemporary Art Project, Istanbul, TR. April-November 2023.
  • Jerusalem Design Week 2022, ‘Ambiguous Standards of Time’, in ‘Reading Time’ Curators: Dana Benshalom, Danielle Weinberg, Anad Safran, Tal Erez, Hansen House, Jerusalem, Israel. June 2022.
  • Solo Exhibition, ‘Ambiguous Standards Institute: A Travelling Exhibition’, Martin Hall Gallery, Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK. Jan-Feb 2022.
  • Solo Exhibition, ‘An Institute Within an Institute’, Curators: Zoë Ryan, Maite    Borjabad Lopez-Pastor, Art Institute of Chicago (AIC), USA. March-June 2021.
  • Jerusalem Design Week 2019, ‘Ambiguous Standards of Electricity’, Curators: Anad Safran, Tal Erez, Hansen House, Jerusalem, Israel. July 2019.
  • Biennial Participation, ‘A School of Schools’, Curator: Jan Boelen, in Luma Days, Luma Arles: Parc des Ateliers, Arles, France. June 2019.
  • Biennial Participation ‘A School of Schools’, curator: Jan Boelen, in C-Mine, Genk, Belgium. June-September 2019.
  • 4th IKSV Istanbul Design Biennial, ‘A School of Schools’, curator: Jan Boelen associate curators Nadine Botha, Vera Sacchetti, Pera Museum, Istanbul, TR. September-November 2018.  
  • 16th International Architecture Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia Pavilion of Turkey, Associate Curator, with Kerem Piker (Curator), Yelta Köm, Yagiz Soylev, Nizam Sonmez and Erdem Tuzun, Sale d’Armi, Arsenale, Venice, Italy. May-November 2018.
  • A Roaming Table, Assistant coordinator of event and space design by guest curator Dr Alexandra Midal, as a part of the ‘Tables: Designing New Forms of Curation’ project by Dr Jana Scholze, in partnership with the British Council TR, Crimean Church, Istanbul, TR. November 2018.
  • Reprojecting Autoprogettazione?, Curated Exhibition, co-designed w. Cansu Cürgen, Görkem Özdemir, Open Design for Experiment, Cumulus Conference, 21-24 November 2016, Hong Kong.
  • The New Domesticity: Furniture Issue, International Exhibition, curation and exhibition design with Avşar Gürpınar, 22-30 October 2016, Dutch Design Week, Eindhoven, Netherlands.
  • 3rd Istanbul Design Biennial, “Are We Human?”, 22 October – 14 November 2016, Istanbul, “Toyscape” project, with Avşar Gürpınar, curated by Beatriz Colomina & Mark Wigley, exhibited in Studio X, İstanbul.
  • An Open Design Experimentation: R-Autoprogettazione?, Exhibition Design and Coordination, with Avşar Gürpınar and Gorkem Ozdemir, 19 August – 9 September 2016, Studio-X, İstanbul, TR.
  • IABA, 3rd International Architecture Biennial, 5 September – 30 October 2015, Antalya, “AgCc DES. ARCH. IND. T. CO. LTD. LOL” project, Antalya BECC
  • 2nd Istanbul Design Biennial, “The Future Is Not What It Used To Be”, 1 November – 14 December 2014, Istanbul, “TWTRATE” project, design and implementation, curated by Zoe Ryan and Meredith Carruthers, exhibited in Galata Greek Primary School.
  • Take Something/Leave Something, April/May 2014, Interactive Installation, Istanbul Modern, Istanbul.
  • Disobedience Archive (Park), exhibition setting design for Disobedience Archive project, with Architecture for All, Curated by Marco Scotini and Andris Brinkmanis, SALT Beyoğlu, Istanbul. April-June 2014.      
  • 1st Istanbul Design Biennial, “Imperfection”, 13 October – 12 December 2012, Istanbul, “The Bomb” by KPM Architecture, co-curated by Joseph Grima and Emre Arolat, exhibited in Istanbul Modern Museum.

Recent publications

Peer-Reviewed Articles  

  • ‘Grid’i Konuşturmak: Bilgi ve İktidarın Mekansal Diyaloğu’, ‘Drawing out the Grid: A Spatial Dialog Between Knowledge and Power’, Ege Mimarlık, 111, 2021/3, 64-71, Design and Applied Arts Index (DAAI).
  • ‘Ambiguous Standards of Protest’, co-authored Avşar Gürpınar, October 2021, Monu: Magazine on Urbanism #34 (Avery Index).
  • ‘​​​​Concrete Sprouts and Unfinished Urban Dreams’, co-authored Avşar Gürpınar, Nur Horsanali, November 2022, Monu: Magazine on Urbanism #35 (Avery Index).


  • ‘Gündelik Hayat Çalışmaları Yayın No. 1’, ‘Daily Life Studies Publication No. 1’, co-authors Avşar Gürpınar and Oğul Öztunç, September 2017, İstanbul Bilgi University Publishing, Istanbul.
  • ‘Vardiya’, ‘The Shift’, co-editors Kerem Piker, Nizam Sönmez, co-authors Kerem Piker, Erdem Tüzün, Yelta Köm, Onur Sönmez, Yağız Söylev, 2018, Yapı Kredi Publishing.


  • ‘Repetition and Partition in Space: Spatial Grids as Dispositifs’, in ARCHTHEO '21 / XV. International Theory and History of Architecture Conference Proceedings, Istanbul DAKAM (Eastern Mediterranean Academic Research Center), November 2021. 
  • ‘The States of Openness: An Educational Perspective’, in Open Design for E-Very-Thing, co-author Avşar Gürpınar, Cumulus Conference Proceedings, Hong Kong Design Institute and Cumulus International Association of Universities and Colleges of Art, Design and Media, Hong Kong, 2016. 
  • ‘Collective Memory, Emancipatory Movements and Conflicts over Toponymical Commemoration: Issız Adalar vs. Demokrasi ve Özgürlükler Adası’ co-author Gözde Şarlak, RC21, International Sociological Association (ISA), The Transgressive City Conference Proceedings, 2016, Mexico City, Mexico 
  • ‘An Evaluation of Open Source in Design Practices’, MITA Architectural Design Research National Symposium, 2015, Özyeğin University, Istanbul, TR. 

 Other Publications       

  • ‘Mimarlık ve Set Tasarımı’ içinde ‘Timsah’, ‘The Crocodile’ in ‘Architecture and Stage Design: An Affair of Hundred Years’, with Avşar Gürpınar, Arredamento Mimarlık, 333, p.65-67. 2019. 
  • ‘Venedik’ten Bienal Notları’ içinde, ‘Veni Vidi Vardiya’ in ‘Reporting from the Venice Biennial’, Arredamento Mimarlık, 322, p.58-89. 2018.
  • ‘Hayaller Paris Gerçekler Şanzelize’, ‘Paris Dreams, “Şanzelize” Realities’, Arredamento Mimarlık, Guest Editor, Emrah Altınok, PhD, 306, p,85-96, 2017.
  • ‘Tasarım Pratiklerinde Açık Kaynak Ne kadar Açık?’, ‘How Open Is the Open Source in Design Practices?’ Betonart 45, p.38-43. 2015. 
  • 'Enzo Mari: Nesnenin Özü, Formun Kesinliği', 'Enzo Mari: The Essence of Object, The Precision of Form', in Betonart, Concrete Architecture and Design, 48, pp. 30-33, With Avşar Gürpınar, 2016, İstanbul, TR.
  • ‘Cephe Gridi’, ‘Façade Grid’, Serbest Mimar 19, p.35-37, Guest editors, Kerem Piker, Hüseyin Kahvecioglu, 2014. 
  • ‘Rekreasyona Ayrılmış Bir Kamusal Alanın Rekronomik Peyzaja Dönüştürülmesi’, ‘Transformation of a Recreational Public Space into a Recronomic Landscape’, Gezi Parkı Dosyası in XXI, July-August, p.41., 2013.

Research Grants

‘Design Chronology Turkey: Toys’, 3rd Istanbul Design Biennial, Beatriz Colomina & Mark Wigley (cur.), 22 October – 20 November 2016, Istanbul, with Cansu Cürgen, Nur Horsanalı, Liana Kuyumcuyan and Günbike Erdemir.


I am currently working as a full-time University Teacher at LU-Arc, however, my experience in working within higher education (HE) extends back just over ten years.

I started my career in HE by joining Istanbul Bilgi University’s (IBU) Faculty of Architecture in 2013, as a Teaching & Research Assistant, and continued as a full-time Lecturer between 2106-2021. Throughout my teaching experience and in addition to my regular teaching and research duties, I developed a specialised, in-depth command and understanding of both the traditional and contemporary means of design and production by organising a series of workshops, summer schools, and internships for various groups of learners across different schools and disciplines. 

At LU, being recently qualified as a Fellow in HE, I continue taking part and responsibilities in teaching and learning activities across years and different modules.


  • Part A Architecture - Design Studio Tutor
  • Part A – Cross-school Professional Practice (Module Leader)
  • Part B Architecture – Design in Context (Module Leader)
  • Part C Architecture – Year Tutor
  • Part C UG Supervision of dissertations on topics aligned with my research interests
  • Part I – UG Placement Tutor


  • Part II M.Arch Year 1 – Contemporary Cities: Theory and Design (Module Leader)
  • Part II M.Arch Year 2 – Supervision of dissertations on topics aligned with my research interests


Current Projects

  • BArch Live Project 2023-24: A new learning space for RGS the Grange Schools 

Recently Completed/Implemented Design Projects

  • BArch Live Project 2022-23: A new learning space for RGS the Grange Schools
  • Art Maker Lab, Learning Center for Kids, interior, product and graphic design and implementation, client: Istanbul Modern Museum, December 18th, 2018, Istanbul, TR.
  • The Crocodile, Stage Design and Video Art Commission, client: Das Das Theater Company, December 2nd, 2018, Istanbul, TR.

Short Courses & Workshops

  • Athena STEMM Workshop Series 2023, Loughborough University SABCE.
  • Fallow Thinking Lu-Arc Summer School, with Dr Robert Schmidt III, Dr Çağrı Şanlıtürk, in collaboration with La Fraud (Audrey Samson and Francisco Gallardo), SABCE Loughborough University, 10-19 September 2022.
  • Athena STEMM Workshop Series 2022, Loughborough University SABCE.
  • Taking Scarpa for a Walk, International workshop, with Elena Pazzaglia, Avsar Gürpınar, 16th International Architecture Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia Pavilion of Turkey Sale d’Armi, Venice, Italy. 16-22 July 2018. 
  • Architecture as Critical Media, International workshop, with Nadine Botha, 16th International Architecture Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia Pavilion of Turkey Sale d’Armi, Venice, Italy. 09-15 July 2018.
  • Protocol, Drawing & Design Hunting in Tahtakale District of Istanbul, 28 March - 1 April 2018, Kadir Has University, Istanbul TR
  • Give It Another Chance, Betonart Architecture Summer School, Concrete design workshop, 20-29 August 2017, Bursa Beton, Bursa, TR. 
  • Creature Comforts, Summer Internship Course, 13 June-1 July 2016, İstanbul Bilgi University, İstanbul, TR. 
  • CUP ‘Critical Urban Practice’, 8-9 October 2016, İstanbul Bilgi University, İstanbul, TR.
  • ‘U-Topic Time’ International Workshops of Architecture, Design and Art, with Sophie Warren, Jonathan Mosley in Vernal Workshops III –19-23 April 2014, Istanbul Bilgi University, Istanbul, TR.


I am an architectural designer, scholar, and co-founder of the Ambiguous Standards Institute (ASI), a design-research initiative that explores the social and political implications of design standards. The trajectory of my early career is formed around two parallel engagements, working full-time as a scholar in the academy and simultaneously conducting internationally renowned and exhibited design-research projects.

I have a PhD, an MSc in Architectural Design, and a BSc in Architecture, from Istanbul Technical University. I have more than a decade of international experience in design teaching, research, and practice. My work focuses on the intersections of design, economy, politics, culture, and everyday life. I am also interested in urban interventions, open-source design practices, the history and critique of design standards, and the theory and criticism of modern architecture.

As the co-founder of ASI and its primary author/designer-maker, I have been responsible for exhibition design, artwork conception and production, graphic design, research, and curation. I have exhibited and collaborated internationally; produced radio broadcastings; received exhibition and research funding; and been featured in newspapers, national television broadcasts, and internationally acclaimed design magazines. Some of my recent works include a public art commission ‘When Pigs Fly’ in Istanbul in 2023; ASI’s solo exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago in 2021; and my editorial and associate-curatorial roles in the “The Shift | Vardiya” project for the Pavilion of Turkey at the 16th Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia in 2018. The Art Institute of Chicago has acquired several pieces of my work for ASI for their permanent collection. I have also co-edited and co-authored the 4-volume project book Vardiya | The Shift, Published by Yapı Kredi Publications, Istanbul, 2018.

Professional Affiliations

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (UK), 2023.
  • Member of The Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects (UCTEA) – Licensed Architect, Istanbul, TR, 2011 – Present. 
  • Project Coordinator, volunteer work in “Architecture for All” Non-Profit Organisation, providing architectural services for disadvantageous groups of society, TR, 2012-2013.  
  • Member of Organisation Committee, Editor of Web Publishing, MSGSU International Yunus Aran Architectural Conferences, Istanbul, TR, 2008-2020.


  • Loughborough University, SABCE Extra Mile Award, 2023.
  • 1st Prize - Ministry of National Education Turkey, National Invited Architectural Design Competition for Education Campuses (Mardin), design team led by Kerem Piker KPM Design, 2013.

External Activities

  • Invited Speaker, Loughborough University, SDCA, UK, May 2023.
  • Invited Speaker, Istanbul Technical University, TR, April 2023.
  • Invited Speaker, Istanbul Bilgi University, TR, September 2022.
  • Invited Speaker, Penn State Stuckeman School Architecture, September 2022.
  • Interviewed for EkoTurk TV Channel, TR, Balik Kavaga Cikinca, 2023. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vc9kn7ZUc4Q&list=PLzDTlpT_wsyjZWTYGx5Cy8tLVe4MeUZNf&index=2
  • Featured and interviewed in Cumhuriyet, Haberturk, Milliyet, Hurriyet Newspapers, TR for the project ‘When Pigs Fly’, Istanbul TR, April 2023. 
  • Featured in DAMN Magazine, words by Gabrielle Kennedy 'All Eggs Are Not Equal' - in conversation with Cansu Cürgen and Avşar Gürpınar of ASI, on Damn Magazine 77 'A Conversation on Happiness'. https://www.damnmagazine.net/editions/77/
  • Interview with curator Maite Borjabad López-Pastor on AIC website: 'Making “An Institute within an Institute”: A Conversation with Cansu Cürgen and Avşar Gürpınar' and the Art Institute of Chicago. https://www.artic.edu/articles/911/making-an-institute-within-an-institute-a-conversation-with-cansu-curgen-and-avsar-gurpinar
  • Featured on the ‘Hayat Sanat’ Programme, Turkish State National Television Channel for Arts and Culture, ‘Ambiguous Standards Institute is in Chicago’, 8 April 2021. 
  • Quoted and featured in ‘Curating for Whom?’, by Zoë Ryan; featuring the works of ASI on the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians (2020) 79 (4): 381–392. https://doi.org/10.1525/jsah.2020.79.4.381
  • Invited Speaker for AURA Forum #6 Designers’ Summit, 2021. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8lJjoP9LIg8
  • Interview with Oktay Orhun, for Argonotlar - Güncel Sanat (TR) Contemporary Arts, 2021. https://argonotlar.com/muglak-standartlar-enstitusu-ve-sikago-yolculugu/
  • Interviewed in DOMUS ‘Ambiguous Standards and Everyday Geopolitics’, Salvatore Peluso, 2019. https://www.domusweb.it/en/design/gallery/2019/07/01/ambiguous-standards-and-everyday-geopolitics.html
  • Radio Broadcasting Series for Acik Radyo, Istanbul TR, Muglak Standartlar Sozlugu 2018-2019.
  • Interviewed for the Turkish State National Television Channel TRT World “Showcase Programme on Venice Biennale of Architecture” Aired in May 2018.
  • Featured in ICON Magazine ‘Spaces of Exception’, by Priya Khanchandani, December 2018. 
  • Interviewed on Disegno Podcast series ‘Back to School’, September 27th, 2018. 
  • Featured on Archdaily ‘Vardiya / the Shift: The Turkish Pavilion at the 2018 Venice Biennale’, 2018.
  • Featured on E-flux ‘Vardiya / the Shift’, May 2018. 

Key Collaborators

My research and enterprise activities are conducted with a range of academic and stakeholder partners, including:

  • IKSV – Istanbul Culture and Arts Foundation, TR
  • AIC – The Art Institute of Chicago, US
  • JDW, Hansen House Center for Design, Media and Technology, Jerusalem, IL
  • Istanbul Modern Museum, TR
  • Istanbul Bilgi University, TR
  • Architecture for All Association, TR
  • Studio-X Istanbul -Columbia University GSAPP Studio X Network, TR
  • Kahve Dunyasi – Yankose Contemporary Art project, Istanbul, TR
  • British Council, TR