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 and its relation with the main theme of the studio)
2- Current resume (CV) and creative portfolio
3- English Language Proficiency Test Result

Participants will be able to join the program without paying any contribution fee.

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. Seminars, conferences and events are mostly held in Turkish. 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.

2023 / Fall Semester

Application Deadline: Septemer 10, 23.59 (UTC+3)
Interview Date: September 16, 2023
Program Start Date: Sepetmber 25, 2023
Program End Date: January 14, 2024

AURA Istanbul 2023 Fall Semester Certificate Program will start on Sepetmber 25 and will continue for 16 weeks.

During the Semester, seminars, conferences and events will be held in person at the AURA Istanbul’s center in Beşiktaş, Istanbul. Participants are expected to adapt to the dynamic structure of the events within the program and participate in the program fulltime on weekdays and Saturdays.

The core of the Academy’s program is the Research-Based Design Studio. The instructors of the studio will be the founders of SO? Architecture and Ideas, architects Sevince Bayrak and Oral Göktaş. The projects will be formed around the theme of “The Repair Shop“.

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

The application deadline for the 2023 Fall Semester is 10 September, 2023.


“We need a generation of architects who do not indulge in the madness of building but take part in repair.”
Marina Tabassum

The words repair (tamir), architect (mimar) and life (ömür) are paronyms, meaning to revive. Buildings, like machines, need regular maintenance and repair to stay alive. Repairing requires total maintenance and revitalization involving engineering, design, and craft rather than a superficial tidying up. On the one hand, economic, ecological, and social crises, on the other hand, developing materials and construction technologies diversify the responses to emerging new needs.

  • Can architecture get out of the jam in its field of application thanks to this diversity?
  • Will new needs and possibilities lead to the proliferation and diversification of architectural production?

This semester at AURA, we will be discussing these questions in the studio titled “The Repair Shop” with Sevince Bayrak and Oral Göktaş.


SO? Architecture and Ideas

Sevince Bayrak

Oral Göktaş

Sevince Bayrak and Oral Göktaş founded SO? Architecture and Ideas in 2007 after they got their bachelor’s degree in architecture in 2005 from Istanbul Technical University.

In 2013, they won the Young Architects Program awarded by MoMA PS1, creating Sky Spotting Stop for Istanbul Museum of Modern Art, which was exhibited in MoMA and MAXXI.  In 2015, they won a design competition at the Royal Academy of Arts to realise their project Unexpected Hill, an installation of tessellating ceramic blocks installed at the entrance to the the academy’s Grade-II listed Burlington Gardens building in London. Shortly after, their installation about public space in Istanbul, Lost Barrier, was exhibited at MAXXI in Rome.

Their interdisciplinary projects on post-earthquake housing, Hope on Water and Fold & Float have been exhibited in the 4th Istanbul Design Biennial, Z33, Luma Arles, Royal Academy of Arts, MAXXI, and Danish Design Museum. Both Lost Barrier and Fold & Float were acquired by MAXXI for their permanent collection.

Their work has been published internationally, won numerous awards and was nominated for the Mies and Aga Khan Awards. In 2023, Sevince and Oral are the curators of the Pavilion of Türkiye titled “Ghost Stories: The Carrier Bag Theory of Architecture” at Venice Architecture Biennale.




AURA ON SATURDAYS: Interdısıplınary Conferences

AURA SUARE: Desıgn Talks