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Ipek Türeli

On leave 2016-2017

Assistant Professor

Ph.D. in Architecture (UC Berkeley)

AA Diploma (Architectural Association)

(514) 398-6711  ipek [dot] tureli [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Email)



The main question that animates my teaching is the role of architecture in the articulation, mediation, and negotiation of political selves. My work recognizes not only the agency of the built environment but also of architects. I am interested in how architects can use their professional knowledge to advocate for justice, a topic that has received relatively little attention. My current research spans the full range of social engagement in the profession, from the longer history of humanitarian architecture, such as that of religious missionaries, to more recent efforts by contemporary designers to contribute to social movements. My work supports a new generation of architects interested in social justice by building on the profession's history in this realm, as well as the discipline’s record of urban advocacy.

Before joining McGill, I focused on visualizations of the city in photography, film, exhibitions, and museums. My research on Istanbul was awarded the Regents Fellowship at UC Berkeley, and external grants by the Graham Foundation and Middle East Research Competition; the Andrew Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship at Brown University's Department of History of Art and Architecture, and the Aga Khan Fellowship at MIT's Department of Architecture.

I am the co-editor of Orienting Istanbul (2010), Istabul Nereye? (2011); and guest editor International Journal of Islamic Architecture’s special issue on “Streets of Protest” (March 2013).


My new project on the intertwined histories of transnational education and global architectural practice is supported by Fonds de Recherche du Québec - Société et Culture (FRQSC), Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), Canada Foundation for Innovation - John R. Evans Leaders Fund (CFI); and the Yan P. Lin Center at McGill University where I am the coordinator of the Research Group on Democracy, Space, and Technology. As part of this research project, I co-organized a transnational and transdisciplinary conference on educational globalization, entitled School Time! at McGill University on May 16-17, 2016.


I am a licensed architect in Turkey, and a member of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada. I collaborate in design, media, and installation works (www.dmrlab.org). 


Recent teaching

Winter 2015

ARCH 304 Design and Construction 2

ARCH 251 Architectural History 2 

Fall 2014

ARCH 684 Contemporary Theory 1

ARCH 540 Sel Topics in Architecture 1 

Summer 2014

ARCH 677 Architectural Design 3

Past course outlines: 

Modern Istanbul 

Miniature Worlds

Urban Modernity and the Middle East


Selected recent publications

"Architecture as Advertising: The Istanbul Reklam Building," Mid-Century Modernism in Turkey: Architecture Across Cultures in the 1950s and 1960s, ed. Meltem Gurel (London: Routledge, 2015), 163-185.

"Istanbul: Nighttime Illumination in Istanbul," Cities of Light: Two Centuries of Urban Illumination, eds. Sandy Isenstadt, Margaret Maile Petty, Dietrich Neumann (London: Routledge, 2015), 1-9.

“The City in Black-and-White,” Cool Istanbul: Urban Enclosures and Resistances, ed. Derya Özkan (Bielefeld: Transcript Verlag, 2014), 103-129.

"Heritagisation of the 'Ottoman/Turkish House' in the 1970s: Istanbul-based Actors, Associations and their Networks," European Journal of Turkish Studies [online], 19 (2014), 27 p. 

“''Small' Architectures, Walking and Camping in Middle Eastern Cities,” International Journal of Islamic Architecture, 2.1 (March 2013): 5-38(34).

"Istanbul in Black and White: Cinematic Memory," Freer and Sackler Galleries (Smithsonian) in the special dossier 'Cinematic Urbanism' - an online component of Ars Orientalis 42 (October 2012).