I studied architecture at Istanbul Technical University and graduated in 2011. After graduation working as a professional in the practice of architecture, I found that my perception of architecture is more innovative and experimental than that of the firms I worked for. I always wanted to push the limits by bringing different approaches to architecture, by discovering new materials or by integrating other disciplines’ findings into architecture, those of anthropology and biology in particular. 


To pursue my goal, I started the MSArch program at Pratt Institute, New York, in 2013, where I had a chance to examine the innovative ways of architecture, especially new methods of production that I had not experienced before. During my studies there, I discerned the aesthetics of organic material working with Professor David Ruy and Ferda Kolatan. My point of interest was abominable, grotesque appearances seen in landfills, treatment plants, cemeteries, contaminated locations; places which people reject to see or choose to avoid. Although I really enjoyed working on strange aesthetics inspired by living organisms, the work did not go beyond the visual generation of scenes and images. Subsequently, I wanted to move onto producing the living organism itself instead of copying its aesthetics, form or mechanism. To reach that goal I worked in Terrefom One, who were using living materials for their installations. 


After my work with Terreform One, I returned to Turkey to try to carry on my biological architectural academic work. I was able to provide teaching at two universities, unfortunately, the architectural faculties were not yet prepared to support my application for work in the cross-section of architecture, living materials and digital fabrication. To be able to find this work I moved to Newcastle University and enrolled in the PhD program as part of the Living Construction team within the Biotechnology in the Built Environment (HBBE). Currently, within my research, I am working on how to inform the morphogenesis of living material, specific to fungi. I aim to demonstrate design within living systems and the role of a designer, in a system which is not fully under their control, on form-making.  


For the future, I see myself continuing with design-led research and teaching. I aim to involve myself in new bio-digital fabrication methods that allow work with organisms and help designers to use them as living materials.


What is Mycotecture?

A collaborative that shares knowledge about fungi in all forms.

To exchange ideas, help each other, find individual collaborators, buildup a library of methods and projects

© 2020 by Dilan Ozkan dilanozka@gmail.com


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