May 17th 2021

Architect and Building Scientist Irmak Turan to Join College of Architecture Faculty

The College of Architecture at Illinois Institute of Technology is excited to announce the appointment of Irmak Turan to assistant professor.

Turan comes to Illinois Tech from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she completed both her master of science and Ph.D. in building technology. She has taught as an instructor at MIT, as well as at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Northeastern University.

At MIT, Turan was a member of the Sustainable Design Lab, an interdisciplinary research group dedicated to advancing the environmental performance of buildings and neighborhoods. Her research explores the interrelationship of building performance, human health, and real estate economics.

“My research examining the link between building performance and real estate grew out of my own experience—and frustration—as an environmental designer,” says Turan. “During my six years in practice, I saw how clients weighed design ambitions against financial projections. This sort of decision-making underlines the tension between architecture and the economic forces that drive development. By linking building performance and real estate, I aim to make the financial case for more environmentally resilient, socially equitable, and healthy buildings.”

Turan looks forward to continuing her research agenda at Illinois Tech by drawing on the resources of both the College of Architecture and the university’s strengths in engineering, business, computing, and science. “I am excited to collaborate with colleagues in adjacent fields, within Illinois Tech’s various colleges and institutes, to examine buildings through the lenses of social, environmental, and economic systems,” she says.

Turan’s résumé includes extensive professional experience with industry-leading firms such as Buro Happold and Henning Larsen Architects. In these roles, she developed integrated design strategies to improve the environmental performance of projects and administered LEED and Living Building Challenge certification processes.

Turan’s position is the first tenure-track appointment at the College of Architecture since Reed Kroloff became dean in 2019.

“In addition to being an excellent teacher, Irmak’s interdisciplinary research is creative in its reach and innovative in its grounding of technology in broader sociocultural contexts,” says Kroloff. “She can help us understand not only how we make, but why we make.”