Ela Kaçel

Vice Chair
Architecture and Design

Ela Kacel is an Architect, historian and theorist of architecture; Assistant Professor at Bahçeşehir University, Istanbul. After studying architecture at Yildiz Technical University in Istanbul and housing and urbanism at the Architectural Association in London, she received her Ph.D. in the History of Architecture from Cornell University in 2009. Drawing on case studies from postwar modernism in Turkey, Germany and the United States, her research considers the impact of cultural contacts that emerge between intellectuals, professionals and non-professionals on production of knowledge, space and arts in the context of social change, cultural politics and transculturalism. Her recent research involves the history of workers’ housing planned for Turkish migrants in Germany. In Fall 2013, as a DAAD scholar, she started her field research in Cologne while co-offering a seminar ‘Archive der Migration’ at the RWTH Aachen Faculty of Architecture with Professor Axel Sowa. Analytically focusing on spaces that the migrants occupy, inhabit and shape in their new cities in 1960s and 1970s Germany, the project compares architects’ and planners’ visions on housing and urban design to the migrants’ own strategies of placemaking and visual self-representation in cities. Funded by Humboldt Foundation, the project suggests establishing a new interdisciplinary link between architecture, migration studies and photography.