Admission is open to all bachelor’s degree holders, aiming academic or professional career and interested in furthering their education through a program of individual study in architecture and urban design.

Required application materials are:

1- Statement of Interest  (A personal statement explaining goals and objectives for the program, description of the intended field of study, research or design project based on Istanbul)
2- Current resume; creative portfolio
3- English Language Proficiency Test Result

Digital submissions are preferred, but hardcopy submissions are also accepted. Please note that application materials will not be returned. Given the individualized nature of the Academy’s program, there are a limited number of spots available each semester, so we suggest early applications. Interested participants are encouraged to contact the Academy’s director to express their intent to apply.

The language of the program is Turkish and English. The applicants are expected to have sufficient knowledge in English to be able to read, discuss, research and present their studies. All applicants whose native language is not Turkish or English must submit YDS (min 65), TOEFL IBT (min 70) or IELTS  (min 6.0) score for admissions.

2020 / Spring Semester

Application Deadline: February 7, 2020
Interview Date: February 15, 2020
Program Start Date: February 24, 2020
Program End Date: June 6, 2020

AURA Istanbul 2020 Spring Semester Certificate Program will start on February 24, 2020 and will continue for 15 weeks.

Participants are expected to adapt to the dynamic structure of the seminars, conferences, workshops and excursions organized within the program and participate in the program on weekdays. For a limited time, young professionals attending this popular program will not be required to pay any contribution.

Detailed information about the program can be found on the Program, Program Modules and Design Studio pages.

The application deadline for the 2020 Spring Semester is February 7, 2020.

2020 Research Based Desıgn Studıo Theme:
METROTOPIA: Alternatıve Lıfe/Space Imagınatıons ın the Metropolıs

The Research Based Design Studio, which forms the backbone of the AURA Istanbul Certificate Program, crosses the limits of traditional architectural studio practices and approaches contemporary urban issues with an interdisciplinary perspective.

Studio instructors, Cem İlhan and Devrim Çimen define the main theme of the 2020 Spring Semester as “METROTOPIA: Imagination of Alternative Life / Space in the Metropolis”:

“The population of urban residents has recently surpassed the population of rural residents. In the future this number will increase exponentially, the life of people will take place in cities and metropolises. This reality is alarming us to focus our attention on metropolises and to approach them with alternative perspectives.

Another important threat is the kind of a comprehensive crisis. Social events that develop within the framework of democratic demands that are spreading on a global scale, an inequality of income distribution reaching an extreme rate, the housing problem and the climate crisis that manifests itself in parallel with all this, all prove that the world is standing at a new threshold.

On the other hand, in parallel with the capitalist and neoliberal economy politics, uncontrolled growth of construction sector in Turkey caused terrifying results such as destruction in natural lands and urban areas that we are all observing and experiencing its consequences.

Meanwhile, we witness the deep impact of the rapid transformation of public spaces, affecting urban life too far from participatory and inclusive approach. The resulting effects are indifference and hopelessness in society. Perhaps the excessive development of technology and communication tools in social life also played a central role in terms of triggering this mode of indifference. Another outcome of this process has been the isolation of individuals and broken relationships between citizens, not only in the city at large but also in neighborhoods.

However, as we have seen in the past, all these negative developments also bring along alternative approaches for solutions and new perspectives rather than despair. For example, the “degrowth movement”, focusing mainly on ecology and on reducing consumption, which emerged as an alternative to the growth approach of the global capitalist economy.  There are “commoning practices” that can be both in a building scale and in urban scales. We have “Guerrilla / rebellion architecture”, hacking existing unused structures in order to create a new life/space scenario. These are only a few of the important alternative life / space imaginations. No need to mention that holistic utopian/dystopic imaginations usually emerged in such deep crisis epoch.

Study Subject

Within the scope of the study, we aim to search for the limits of an understanding that challenges the ways of producing conventional spaces at different scales. We will be questioning and engaging in new ways of designing while asking new questions about the current debate and exploring different ways of design attitudes. Studies in the studio will require a mindset that not only focusing on physical space but also taking into account new social and economic models. The route of this search/research can be utopian/dystopic imaginations independent of scale or critical analysis of the current situation within the framework of alternative life/space imaginations. However, in a broader scale participants can also propose concrete, alternative, small scale proposals focusing on a certain “place” that they consider problematic in suggesting alternative forms of space and different modes of living.

Therefore, the main subject of this semester is to develope  alternative perspectives and reflections to urban space of this comprehensive and multidimensional crisis visible through various representation methods. In this way, the imaginations to overcome that state of multidimensional crisis can be opened for discussion.”