Adding to the pressure of overpopulation in metropolitan areas, the rapid increase in global urban population is expected to cause serious cultural and ecological consequences. Istanbul metropolitan area is one of the primary zones in the world to be intensely affected by this global phenomenon.

The transformation in urban / social life and its network of relationships with the built environment is becoming more complicated as time progresses. There is a need to develop new perspectives to grasp and understand this global fact.

The compartmentalizing modernist approach of the last century has been inadequate in trying to explain the relationships between society and the built and natural environment. Inevitably, this fact has to stand in the center of current approaches to education and practice of architecture and urbanism.

To be able to deal with these global and complicated problems, there is a need for cooperation between interdiciplinary programs and practices.

One of the options is to create alternative programs focusing on urban problems adopting approaches outside of those existing educational institutions.

Architecture and Urbanism Research Academy Istanbul (AURA Istanbul) is established to concentrate on applying new insights to urban and architectural practices  at an international level.

AURA Istanbul is a non-profit organization.

The Academy provides an intensive one semester research program for participants who are interested in architecture, urban design and urban landscape. The Academy emphasizes the exploration of architecture as a mode of cultural production, and aims to develop researchers’ understanding of the engagement of the built environment with broader social, political, and environmental systems.

The Academy is dedicated to accommodating a diversity of interests, and to providing both the physical and educational space for researchers to explore their individual objectives in a supportive studio environment.

What all participants share is the desire to explore the impact of design and space-making in an increasingly complex, urbanized society.