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  • Prof. Dr. Şengül Öymen Gür
  • Prof. Dr. Mark Jarzombek
  • Pietro Laureano
  • Prof. Saverio Mecca



Prof. Dr. Şengül Öymen Gür

Dr. Gür, a graduate of Ankara College (TED-1964), Karadeniz Technical University (KTU-1970), Trabzon, Turkey, and the University of Pennsylvania, USA (Ph.D-1978), is currently Professor of Architectural Design (since 1989) and the head of Building Sciences in the Faculty of Architecture (KTU), where in addition to directing design studios, she offers courses on Behavioral Issues in Environmental Design for the undergraduates, and Architectural Theories and Principles, Architectural Criticism, Environmental Research Methods, Spatial Organization, and Housing Question for the graduates, and supervises doctoral and master’s theses.

She organizes LIVENARCH (Livable Environments and ARCHitecture) International Congresses in Architecture. She lectures at national universities, and abroad. She also acts as an advisor to governmental institutions and has worked as a member of the State Housing Committee responsible for the planning of the Seventh 5-year Development Plan of Turkey.

Dr. Gür who is included in the Directory of Environment-Behavior-Design Researchers and is a member of several professional associations such as CICA (Comité International des Critiques d'Architecture), DRS (Design Research Society), Turkish Chamber of Architects and WA (World Architecture Community) and an intermittent member of IAPS (International Association for the Study of People and Their Surroundings), CIB W84, IAHS, Heritage, etc. She also supports non-professional associations (Governor’s Human Rights Committee of Trabzon, Turkish Women’s Association Trabzon Section). She is the honorary member of BTI (Bund Türkischer Ingenieure und Akademiker e.V).

She has served as the editor of Mimarlık (the periodical of Turkish Chamber of Architects) between 1988 and 1992 and is presently the editor of the scientific periodical of the Anatolian University (Eskişehir, Turkey), editor in chief of the Educational Technology (İstanbul) and the editor’s aide of YAPI (a renowned Turkish architectural periodical). She also serves as the editor of E-books and the regional editor of World Architecture. She is the reviewer of the Scientific Research & Essays ( and Design Studies.

She did research for the DPT (State Planning Organization of Turkey), for TUBİTAK (The Scientific and Technical Research Organization of Turkey), Turkish Ministry of Culture and Karadeniz Technical University. She is the architect of the Business Administration Building (KTU, Trabzon) and the Sports, Recreation and Social Facilities Complex of the School of Education (KTU, Trabzon), School for the Blind (Trabzon) among others, which are mainly residential.

Dr. Gür is the author of 14 books and about two hundred and fifty articles and papers communicated at national and international platforms. Among her major books are Social Interactions and Architectural Design: A Method of Approach to the Evaluation and Design of Communal Spaces, KTU Dept, of Architecture, No: 27, Trabzon, 1985; Spatial Organization, Trabzon, Gür yayıncılık, 1996; House Culture: The Case of Eastern Black Sea Region, Yapı Endüstri Merkezi (YEM), Istanbul, 2000; with T. Zorlu , Spaces For Children, Yapı Endüstri Merkezi (YEM), Istanbul, 2002. She has contributed to many book parts outstanding of which are “Construction of Criticism in Architecture: Perspective, Truth, Method and Principle” in Theory and Criticism, Hüseyin Su (ed.), Ankara: Hece, 2004, pp: 211-262; “Eastern Black Sea House”, Rural Architecture in the Eastern Black Sea Region, Milli Reasürans Publications, Amelie Edgü (curator), 2005, pp:162-212; “Like an Adventure in Linguistics: A Look into Building Typologies and their History in the Kars-Ardahan Region”, Architecture in Northeastern Anatolia, Murat Ural and Figen Kuzucu (Eds.), Milli Reasürans, 2009, pp.181-207; “Behind the Mountains of Yalnızçam” Architecture in Northeastern Anatolia, Murat Ural and Figen Kuzucu (Eds.), Milli Reasürans, 2009, pp.207-252, etc.

Dr. Gür received the Fulbright Scholarship between 1972 and 1977, and he DAAD Scholarship in 2002 and 2008. She is the holder of many honor plates and prizes: she has been awarded by TÜBİTAK and KTU for several of her publications and is the winner of Research Excellence Award for 2008, launched by Architectural Foundation of Turkey by her work in collaboration with A. Bekleyen: “The Failure of Man-Environment Studies In Influencing Design Decisions”, Places People and Sustainability, People and Places, G. Moser, Y. Bernard, M. Bonnes, J. Corraliz, and V. Giuliani (Eds) Göttingen, Germany, Hogrefe and Huber, 2002, pp. 94-106.

She is married and has two children.


Prof. Dr. Mark Jarzombek

Mark Jarzombek, Professor of the History and Theory of Architecture, is the Interim Dean of MIT's School of Architecture and Planning. He received his Architectural Diplom from the Eidgenossische Technische Hochschule (E.T. H.), Zurich in 1980 and his Ph. D., in the History and Theory of Architecture from M.I.T. in 1986. Jarzombek works on a wide range of historical topics from the 12th century to the modern era with a particular focus on nineteenth and twentieth century aesthetics, and the history and theory of architecture. He is a leading advocate for global history and has published several books and articles on that topic, including the ground-breaking textbook entitled A Global History of Architecture (Wiley Press, 2006) with co-author Vikram Prakash and with the noted illustrator Francis D.K. Ching. He is the sole author of Architecture of First Societies: A Global Perspective (Wiley Press, 2013), which is a sensitive synthesis of first society architecture through time and includes custom-made drawings, maps and photographs. The book builds on the latest research in archeological and anthropological knowledge while at the same time challenging some of their received perspectives. His ground-breaking work on global architecture history is further highlighted by a million dollar grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation that Jarzombek received to create a new scholarly entity called Global Architecture History Teaching Collaborative (GAHTC). Promoting the development and exchange of teaching materials for architectural history education across the globe, the collaborative provides awards to members and their teams to develop new lecture material from global perspectives.

Jarzombek was a CASVA fellow (1985), Post-doctoral Resident Fellow at the J. Paul Getty Center for the History of Humanities and Art, Santa Monica, California (1986), a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, NJ (1993), at the Canadian Center for Architecture (2001) and at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute (2005). He serves on the board of several journals and academic institutions including the SSRC and the Buell Foundation, and was a member of the 2011 Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) "Excellence Initiative."  He is the faculty editor of Thresholds, an annual peer-reviewed journal produced by the Department of Architecture and held in over 150 university art and architecture libraries around the world. The content features leading scholars and practitioners from the fields of architecture, art, and cultural studies.

Pietro Laureano

Pietro Laureano, an architect and urban planner, is a UNESCO consultant for arid regions, water management, Islamic civilization and endangered ecosystems.

He lived eight years in the Sahara, engaged in the study and restoration of oases in Algeria. In numerous essays and books published since the late 1980s, he has demonstrated that oases are the result of human ingenuity, and that they represent a heritage of technical knowledge to combat aridity and a model of sustainable management for the entire planet. He has coordinated and managed projects based on the recovery of the ancient techniques of water harvesting systems with various international organizations throughout the Mediterranean, and in Yemen, Mauritania and Ethiopia. In particular, he has studied the water systems of Petra, in Jordan, contributing to the UNESCO plan for ‘Greater Petra’, and restored canals and drainage systems in the monolithic town of Lalibela, Ethiopia, as team leader of the UNESCO and World Monument Fund (WMF) projects.

He is the promoter of the recovery of the troglodyte city of the Sassi of Matera in southern Italy, which had been completely abandoned in the 1960s. To this end he spent ten years in the Sassi of Matera, living in caves he restored using traditional methods and recovering prehistoric systems for the collection of rainwater and methods of passive cooling. He is the author of the reports that led to the inclusion of the Sassi and the Cilento Park on UNESCO’s World Heritage List and has contributed, with his example and activities, to the model of success achieved in these two areas in relation to the recovery of urban ecosystems and the preservation of landscape. He is founder and coordinator of Ipogea, Centre for Studies on Traditional Knowledge, a non-profit organization based in Florence and Matera that carries out projects to preserve landscape through the use of ancient systems such as dry stone terraces, water harvesting cisterns and catchment tunnels.

Prof. Saverio Mecca

Saverio Mecca is Full Professor of Building Production at the University of Florence, Italy.

Saverio Mecca was born in Firenze in 1952 and graduated summa cum laude in Architecture from the University of Florence in 1977. He was a Research Fellow at the National Council of Research for research on economics and management of building processes from December 1, 1978 to October 31, 1981. Thereafter, he was Researcher in Building Technology at the University of Florence, Dipartimento di Processi e Metodi della Produzione Edilizia, from November 1, 1981 to October 31, 1992. He was then Professor in Construction Management at Dipartimento di Strutture of Faculty of

Engineering of University of Calabria from November 1, 1992. He was then Professor in Building Technology at Dipartimento di Ingegneria Civile of Faculty of Engineering of University of Pisa from November 1 1999. He is Tenured Professor in Building Production at the University of Florence, Dipartimento di Tecnologie dell’Architettura e Design, from November 1, 2002, till now He has been Dean of the Faculty of Architecture of University of Florence, from November 2009 to December 2012. He is Dean of Department of Architecture of university of Florence from its institution on January 2013 till now.

Saverio Mecca has considerable practical experience as an Architect in design and building of building projects. He specialises in:

- construction management,

- risk management in construction processes.

- architectural heritage and sustainable development,

- knowledge management and vernacular architecture.

Saverio Mecca has published widely and participated in international congresses and symposia. He is also engaged in consulting and implementing as construction management strategies as architectural heritage conservation related to local development. In the past few years, he has been working actively in earthen Architecture, architectural local knowledge systems, project and construction management training in graduate courses and in academic and non academic post-graduate courses.

He has been working actively in academic research orienting the research activity on:

- Vernacular and Earthen Architecture,

- local and indigenous architectural knowledge analysis and modeling Knowledge managemnet

techniques for supporting architectural heritage based design,

- innovative methods and techniques of construction management,

- organisational and technical tools applied in supporting design and construction processes

- tutorial systems for academic training on building techniques.

Among others he has been Scientific Coordinator of Research Unit of University of Pisa and Member of Steering Committee of RTD Research European Community, Fifth (EC) Framework Programme, Web based INtelligent Design tutoring System – WINDS, 2000/2003 He has been the scientific chairman and coordinator of the “1st International Research Seminar on Architectural Heritage and Sustainable Development of Small and Medium Cities in South Mediterranean Regions. Results and strategies of research and cooperation”, held in Florence, on May 2004. He is also engaged in consulting and implementing as construction management strategies as architectural heritage conservation related to local development. In the past few years, he has been working actively in European projects on traditional knowledge systems and building techniques training in graduate courses and post-graduate courses. He has been partner of two EACEA Culture Programme project: Terra Incognita and Terra (in) Cognita, the second one (2009-0758/001-001 CU7 COOP7). He coordinated a European EACEA Culture Programme project “COUPOLES ET HABITATS”, on earthen dome villages of Northern Syria (COUPOLES ET HABITATS - Ref N°: CLT2007/1.2.1/IT-93). He is partner of still running EACEA Culture Programme project: VerSus, Vernacular Heritage and Sustainability.