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Research profile

Fatma Tanış is a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Architecture at TU Delft. She is also a registered architect with the Chamber of Architects İzmir Branch. Before joining the department's section Building Knowledge and academic group Architecture Archives of the Future, she has been responsible for the science communication of the Department of Architecture headed by Kees Kaan and the curator of the department's digital repository for research output and activities (2022- ), as well as she was the coordinator of the Jaap Bakema Study Centre (JBSC), special research collaboration between TU Delft and the Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam, led by Dirk van den Heuvel (2021-2024) and served as editor to the 100% Research directed by Frank van der Hoeven (2018-2020).

Her current research builds on her doctoral project executed in times of corona and explores innovative and creative ways for constructing archives. It focuses on hybridising analogue and digital to display and utilise research conducted on architectural history in the age of data. In line with her research and within her capacity as the coordinator of the JBSC, she coedited proceedings of three consecutive conferences entitled 'Architecture Archives of the Future (2023)', 'Building Data: Architecture, Memory, and New Imaginaries (2022)', and 'Observers Observed: Architectural Uses of Ethnography (2021)'. Her other publications include a themed issue 'Narratives #1 Eastern Mediterranean and Atlantic European Cities (2021)'; 'Spatial Stories of İzmir (2020)'; 'Space, Represention, and Practice in the Formation of İzmir during the Long Nineteenth Century (2020)' in Migrants and the Making the Urban-Maritime World: Agency and Mobility in Port Cities, c. 1570–1940, eds. Christina Reimann, Martin Öhman (New York, London: Routledge, 2020).

Research interests

Her scholarly interest stems from her affection for knowledge cultivated and operationalised in in-between realms. In her graduate years, she started exploring this condition with port cities, which hold unique historical significance due to their position at the intersection of local and global influences. With a twofold focus to deepen her understanding of port cities, she completed masters' programmes with her theses entitled 'The Waterfront Regeneration Projects and Contemporary Design Approaches of European Port Cities (2016)' and 'Waterfront Regeneration Projects: Development Strategies and Conservation Approaches (2018)' for which she received Master's degrees in Architectural History (İstanbul Technical University) and Conservation and Restoration of the Historic Built Environment (Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University) respectively.

Driven by her curiosity for the merits of in-betweenness, she has further examined the specificity of port cities through the notion of cosmopolitanism in her doctoral dissertation 'Urban Scenes of a Port City: Exploring Beautiful İzmir through Narratives of Cosmopolitan Practices (2022)' and earned a PhD degree from TU Delft. In her doctoral project, she combined her personal interest in literary writing with her interdisciplinary background to explore İzmir from a cross-cultural perspective. Next to her research, she has been involved in education. She was a teaching assistant in 'Building Green' with Carola Hein (TU Delft) and in 'The Global Turn: Modern Architectures and Movements since 1851' with Tom Avermaete (ETH) & Michelangelo Sabatino (IIT) in the Department of Architecture at TU Delft. She lectured to MSc students in the Diploma Studio of Methods & Analysis with Klaske Havik (TU Delft). She has tutored MSc 1 students for the theme Perception during the course 'Architectural Positions: Delft Lectures on Architectural Design and Research Methods' addressing contemporary positions in architectural discourse and practice. Within the framework of the course, final presentations of the 2021 Group formed the exhibition 'Portraits of a Port City: Rotterdam'.

Before moving to Delft, Tanış pursued architectural studies in İstanbul, Stuttgart, Parma, Rome, and Hamburg while also studying Business Administration. Her deep and continued interest in building knowledge is kindled during her undergraduate studies in İstanbul. She conducted an external individual research project, parallel to her training in architecture at the Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University. Her research on 'Modernism and Oscar Niemeyer' was awarded competitively in 2012 by Emre Arolat Architecture. The grant was outsourced from the Aga Khan Award for Architecture. In Delft, in parallel to her exploration on how architectural knowledge and practice were transferred, generated, and integrated into port cities during the long nineteenth century in particular as a graduate student, she simultaneously strengthened her knowledge both on global and Turkish modernism by involving in and contributing to research projects undertaken at the History of Architecture and Urban Planning of TU Delft (e.g., 'The Culture of Planning and the Role of the Manual' led by Carola Hein, Cor Wagenaar, and Herman van Bergeijk and funded by the Van Eesteren-Fluck & Van Lohuizen Foundation in 2017).

Her research and activities received further support from several funding bodies and organisations including the European Cooperation in Science and Technology and International Council on Monuments and Sites. In 2018, she received the TU Delft tuition fee grant. Tanış was selected by a committee consisting of several research group leaders, based on academic potential, motivation, scientific output (both achieved and underway), and her active contribution to the department's research community. In 2023, she was awarded with SAH Opler Membership Grant for Emerging Scholars and Professionals. By weaving the threads of her experiences, she is currently working on two parallel research projects A-BK Since 2000 (with Kees Kaan and Georg Vrachliotis) and The Postbox by Jaap Bakema (with Dirk van den Heuvel), that is supported by the Nieuwe Instituut, museum for architecture, design, and digital culture. 

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities

External positions

Jaap Bakema Study Centre, Het Nieuwe Instituut Rotterdam

1 Mar 2024 → …

Coordinator of the Jaap Bakema Study Centre, Het Nieuwe Instituut Rotterdam

1 Sept 202129 Feb 2024


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