Welcome to my page,
As a feminist scholar in architecture history in the U.S., I am originally from Istanbul, a world city where West meets East along with a unique multicultural history and culture in architecture.
The subjects of my recent academic study are politics of gender, multiculturalism, diversity and inclusion in global architecture history. With this scholarly motivation, I conducted my independent and advanced academic research project on one of the significant cases from the modern Middle East in the global and multicultural context of U.S. architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, History, Theory and Criticism of Architecture (1) in 2014-2016: "Historical recognition of Turkish women architects of the postwar generation in the U.S.". Following my Ph.D. degree in Architecture in 2011, my advanced academic research project at MIT is the first scholarly study on the early women architects from the Princeton University, School of Architecture (Class of 1970 and 1971) as well (2). My scholarly endevaur brings into focus a critical insight into the politics of gender in institutional policies, academia, the profession, education, history and history-writing in postwar architecture.
Based on my advanced academic research project and archival studies at the MIT, HTC Program (2014-2016), I presented my scholarly studies and findings at the MIT, HTC Program (2016), the International Women in Architecture Symposium at Virginia Tech. (2017), the MIT, Women’s and Gender Studies Program, Intellectual Forum Series (2017), the Women’s Studies Speaker Series organized by Center for the Study of Women and Society at the CUNY, Graduate Center and Harvard University for a talk series organized by New England Turkish Student Association as the invited speaker. In addition, I was a speaker at the 71st Society of Architectural Historians, Annual International Conference (2018) and awarded by SAH Fellowship for this international conference. In my expertise field, I am also a contributor of two international publication projects edited by well-known feminist architecture historians and professors on women in architecture (in-progress).
Based on my Ph.D. dissertation research at Harvard University, Aga Khan History of Art and Architecture, Ph.D. Program in 2006-2007 (as special Turkish fellow) and at Columbia University (3), School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Ph.D. Program in 2008-2009 (as research scholar), I conducted and completed the first Ph.D. dissertation on the practice history of Tekeli-Sisa Architecture Partnership (1954, Istanbul-present) and obtained my Ph.D. degree in Architecture at Istanbul Technical University in 2011. My secondary academic fields are sociology, theory and the modern history of the architecture profession, modernization of architectural design practice, relationship between the design architect and the client, and their historical thresholds in postwar Turkey.
While conducting my Ph.D. dissertation research at Harvard University, History of Art and Architecture, Ph.D. Program (2006-2007) and Columbia University, GSAPP, Ph.D. Program (2008-2009), I presented my two academic papers at "Media in Transition 5 and 6", two international conferences organized by Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Comparative Media Studies in 2007 and in 2009. With my editorial background and scholarly formation, my academic papers discuss the historical progress of professional architectural journalism, its significant editors, their journalistic criticism, recent development in architectural media in Turkey and their impact on the built-environment in the country.
In order to stimulate critical awareness of gender and women in architecture (in its profession, practice, education, history and historiography), and to give an impetus for new collections in those fields, I created and developed the collection, "Women in Modern and Contemporary Territories of Turkish Architecture" at MIT. Conducted for Archnet, online source of MIT, this is the first project on documenting the leading figures of the first and the second generations of Turkish women architects, and based on my scholarly research, literature review and texts.
With my editorial and architectural background on modern Turkey along with my scholarly perspective, I also conducted an extensive project on "Arkitekt", the leading professional architectural journal published in modern Turkey (1931-1981) for Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals at Columbia University while conducting my Ph.D. dissertation research at that academic institution in 2008-2009. Entering 50 years of architectural data (1931-1981) from modern and contemporary Turkish architecture, editors, architectural historians, critics, practitioners, etc., my contribution to Avery Index to Architectural Periodical was to support scholarly research on alternative modern and contemporary architectural examples in relation to my native country and its unique architectural culture in between East and West.
In addition to these, I conducted two short documentary film projects on Turkish architects of the postwar generation in the U.S. in 2017 and in 2016. My most recent short documentary film project, “Unfolding the Turkish Chapter at Massachusetts Institute of Technology-Architecture” aims to indicate the lack of historical studies on women and gender in architecture education as well as the undocumented background of Turkish architects of the postwar generation in the U.S. My second short documentary film project elaborates the educational background and professional career of the first woman architect from the Princeton University, School of Architecture. Following my advanced academic research project at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, my descriptive text on this short documentary film was published by Architexx, founded by Professor Lori Brown and Nina Friedman as an independent organization for women in architecture in New York City and by “Herkese Bilim Teknoloji” (a Turkish periodical on science and technology) in June 2016. This short documentary film was the top video among the video collection of Archnet, online source of Massachusetts Institute of Technology in June 2016 as well, and announced by the social media platforms of various academic institutions and organizations in the U.S., such as International Archive of Women in Architecture (IAWA), a joint program of the College of Architecture and Urban Studies and the University Libraries at Virginia Tech.; Harvard University, Graduate School of Design @WomenInDesignGSD, Pritzker Recognition for Denise Scott Brown and Princeton University Alumni Weekly. In addition to these short documentary films, I conducted a short architectural film project on the MIT, non-denominational Chapel, a significant iconic architectural design by Eero Saarinen in postwar U.S. and in the MIT campus’ postwar architecture. All of those short documentary and architectural films are based on my scholarly and archival research, text and were broadcast in the U.S. in 2016 and in 2017.*
I received my Bachelor and Master degrees in Architecture from Istanbul Technical University. Following my education, I maintained productive dialogs and collaboration with Turkish academia by promoting critical discussion platforms to re-evaluate existing curriculums and the academic agenda. In relation to my master thesis (1996), I took the first step to organize “Architecture and Philosophy I”, the first national symposium which offered a rich academic platform to discuss the influence of philosophy on architecture through the extensive participation of philosophers, professors and practitioners in Turkish architecture. Bringing together Prof. Dr. Safak Ural from the Istanbul University, Department of Philosophy and professors in Turkish architecture, I am the pioneering architect of that academic event, served as its organizing committee member and delivered my published presentation (2001). Considering its success and positive feedbacks, this first academic event turned into a national symposium series organized under various philosophy-architecture themes. Prior to Istanbul Technical University, I pursued my education at the Erenkoy Girls High School founded in Istanbul in 1911 and one of the oldest surviving girls' high schools in modern Turkey.
In Istanbul, I taught advanced studio design and various courses related to the history, theory and discourse of 20th century modern and contemporary architecture and its practice at the Yeditepe University, Department of Architecture. Established in 1996, Yeditepe University is one of the well-known foundation universities in the Republic of Turkey. All courses by the Department of Architecture are offered in English and the university is a signatory to Student Exchange Protocols with over 30 universities in the United States.
In the end of the 1990s, I began to work as the architectural journalist and the editor in Istanbul. As the co-founding editor and the foreign affairs representative at the leading architectural journals of Turkey (Tasarim in 1996; Arredamento Mimarlik in 1999-2001; PORTFOLYO in 2002-2005), I established very nurturing and communicative dialogs with academia, professionals and design practitioners in Turkish and world/global architecture. Having numerous published articles, interviews, translations, my 19 editorial monographs are available at leading academic libraries in Turkey and in the U.S., such as at the Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library of Columbia University, the Frances Loeb Library of the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and the Rotch Library of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Architecture & Planning. As the architectural journalist and the editor, I always put my readers’ learning needs at the forefront of my investigative journalism through my highly informed research and writings.
In 1996, my graduation project was nominated as the award candidate at the Fifth National Architecture Awards organized by the Chamber of Architects of Turkey, and I worked for various architectural offices and firms in Istanbul in the 1990s.
In addition to my scholarly studies and projects in architecture, my another mission is to support creative artistic, cultural events and inclusive approach in architecture in various ways: In collaboration with the MIT-Turkish Student Association and the Harvard-College-Turkish Student Association, I organized two piano recitals by Gulsin Onay (a world renowned Turkish woman virtuoso in Western classical music and the soloist of the Presidential Symphony in Ankara) at MIT and Harvard University in 2015. As a volunteer, I actively served and participated to the 25th Harvard Arts First Festival and the Common Boston Festival, organized by Boston Society of Architects Foundation in 2017. In the same year, I took a part of Mayor Marty Walsh's campaing as a volunteer to support his agenda on equity and inclusion in the social and cultural progress of Boston.
As the registered architect of the Chamber of Architects of Turkey, I am the member of the Middle East Studies Association (2017-present), Society of Architectural Historian (2017-present), the friend of Boston Society of Architects (2015-present), Harvard Neighbors (2006-2007; 2017-present), the MIT’s Women Chorale (2006-2007), the MIT’s Women League (2014-present) and the honorary member of the World Architecture Community (2008-present). Based on my scholarly studies, my biographical information has taken its place at the Biographical Database of the International Archive of Women in Architecture, a joint program of the College of Architecture and Urban Studies and the University Libraries at Virginia Tech.
Architectural photography is my deep-interest and I am a contributor of SAHARA, a digital image archive developed by the Society of Architectural Historians in collaboration with Artstor and funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. As an acoustic guitar player (Fender, rhythm guitar and lead vocal in alternative rock and folk), I am a fanatic appreciator of some electro/acoustic guitarists and bass players (in jazz, jazz-rock/fusion and progressive rock), like Stanley Clarke, Marcus Miller, Eberhard Weber, Dave Holland, Mike Stern, Kurt Rosenwinkel, John McLaughlin, Robert Fripp, and my music practice is one of the deepest ways to connect with my inner-self and establish a creative dialog with the world.
Thank you for reading my page;
Meral Ekincioglu, Ph.D.
(1) Massachusetts Institute of Technology named No. 1 university worldwide for architecture, No. 2 for art and design in 2016:http://news.mit.edu/2016/mit-named-no-1-university-worldwide-architecture-no-2-art-and-design-0404, accessed on September 1st 2016.
(2) I contacted Professor Robert Geddes, the first dean of the Princeton University, School of Architecture, Professor Mary McLeod, a feminist architecture historian at Columbia University, GSAPP, Professor Lori Brown, a feminist architecture historian at the Syracuse University, School of Architecture, Beverly Willis, the founder of Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation, shared my findings all architecture historians at the Princeton University, School of Architecture, Monica Ponce de Leon, the woman dean of the Princeton University, School of Architecture by e-mail and asked for their scholarly and architectural views on my advanced academic research including the early women architects from that school. (in 2015-2016). None of them shared any scholarly or architectural research on this research subject. In addition, I could not reach any study on this subject at the library of that school as well while conducting my advanced academic research project at the MIT, HTC in 2014-2016.
(3) According to DesignIntelligence, Harvard University ranked the first, Columbia University ranked the fourth on the top graduate programs in the U.S. architecture in 2016-2017: http://www.architecturalrecord.com/articles/11865-americas-toparchitecture-schools-2017, accessed on September 1st 2016. For the summary of my Ph.D. Dissertation: https://www.slideshare.net/MeralEkincioglu/dr-meral-ekincioglu-phd/MeralEkincioglu/dr-meral-ekincioglu-phd.
* In 2007, Turkish‐American Television received the Community Service award from the American‐Turkish Association of Washington, DC (ATA-DC) and was also awarded by the Community Access Magic (CAM) Awards in the International Category from Prince George’s County Community TV (PGCTV) in 2007 and 2008. The most recently, the TATV received “Excellence in Media” award at the 32. Annual National Turkish American Convention, organized by The Assembly of Turkish American Associations (ATAA) , The Federation of Turkish American Associations (FTAA) and Turkish American Cultural Centers (TACC) in 2012.