About us

4 members of the team, Muze Gazhane in the background

Spring 2022: (Status 09.05.2022) Futurewell currently has 4 core members (ozge, pinar, sena, zeynep solen). For student jobs, internships and visiting positions, visit this page. For postdoctoral positions and Master’s applications contact ozsubasi <at> ku.edu.tr

Özge Subaşı Director, Futurewell; Faculty, Department of Media and Visual Arts Foci: Designing for later life, health and well-being; co-creation; collaborative work; human-computer interaction.

Important questions to me: How can designers contribute to meaningful collective experiences for a better well-being for all? How can design methods help raise awareness for the undervalued populations?

Previous to Futurewell, I lived in Vienna for more than a decade and worked at IgW for 8 years, for industry research for 2 years, and co-owned an artistic studio for some years. I worked as a senior researcher in large projects collaborating with more than 40 research and industry partners in the last 15 years. I ferment, bake, sew, repair. I love to organize community and family gatherings, OR sometimes I shy away from the world too.

Associate Prof. (Habilitation, 2017, Austria), Aging, Wellbeing, Design and Technology

PhD, Design Anthropology, Vienna University of Applied Arts (d’angewandte), Vienna

MA, Institute of Design, Vienna University of Applied Arts (d’angewandte), Vienna

B.I.D, Middle East Technical University

Zeynep Şölen Yıldız (DTES PhD Program, Full Scholarship, 2020-2022)(Former member of KUAR, 2018-2020)

I am a psychologist and a member of the PhD program on Design, Technology & Society at Koç University. I am interested in understanding the already established meanings of disability, people with disabilities and the concept of accessibility and how design and technology may help us to rethink and reconstruct those by enabling better systems and interactions. I have worked with the local Autism Community in Turkey to explore their practices and support them digitally.

My current research investigates how access is socially and collaboratively designed and sustained in mixed-ability settings and how to design and sustain accessible experiences. Inspired by Disability Studies, I use social disability perspective in my research. I am also interested in exploring my own experiences as a design researcher with a disability and how design research environments can be more inclusive and socially accessible. I am into creative writing, literature and especially poetry.

B.A in Psychology, Koc University, Istanbul

Pınar Apaydın (DTES PhD Program, Full Scholarship, 2019-2024)

I research on rituals intersection with digital technologies, their reciprocal relationship and technologies possible effects on culture, society and people. My background is in Media & Visual Arts and Business Administration. Later on, I finished a Master of Arts program on Interaction Design Communication. I am interested in human interaction with humans’, objects, animals, visible, invisible systems and the role of technology within these encounters. For me, one attribute of design and art is to explore, communicate our imposed role within the systems and create space for people to play. In my free time, I draw, video call my dog friend and lately, I am trying to learn knitting.

M.A. Interaction Design Communication, University of the Arts, London.

B.A. Business Administration, Koc University, Istanbul

B.A. Media and Visual Arts, Koc University, Istanbul

Sena Cucumak (DTES Ph.D. Program, Full Scholarship, 2021-2025)

I am a design researcher who is interested in interaction design, social innovation, and design beyond humanism. My industrial design background also continued in the same direction as my master’s degree education. I have a great desire for thinking, researching, and creating value for humans, non-humans, and particular communal problems to design a more sustainable, egalitarian society and future. Currently, I work on analyzing human-centric approaches towards non-human entities in our surroundings. I love reading and watching fantasy, dystopian, and sci-fi to expand my perspective to think about other possibilities.

M.Sc. Product Design, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy

B.Sc. Industrial Design, Istanbul Bilgi University, Turkey

Mert Yildiz, MA Student July 2021-ongoing. (DTES PhD Program, Full Scholarship, 2021-2023)(Former member of IxD Group, Aykut Coskun, between 2018-2021)

Guest Researchers (Graduate School & External) We accept 1-2 guest researchers and designers to work with Futurewell per year. Our aim with this residency is to increase collaborations across different disciplines.

Guest Researchers

Serpil Karaoglu (DTES PhD Program, Artistic Research Studio, with Ilgım Veryeri Alaca), 2020-2021, two semesters 

Mert Yıldız (DTES PhD Program, Interaction Research Group, with Aykut Coşkun), 2019-2020, two semesters

Betül Gaye Dinc (DTES PhD Program, Artistic Research Studio, with Ilgım Veryeri Alaca),  2019-2020, two semesters

Alpay Sabuncuoğlu (MSc, Master’s Program, IUI Lab, with Metin Sezgin), 2019

Gül Kaner (DTES PhD Program, Simlab, with Lemi Baruh). 2019

Sena Cucumak (MA,  Sapienza Universita di Roma, Rome, Italy Faculty of Architecture, Department of Product Design). 2020, Summer internship.

Sara Arbealez (MA, KISD, Cologne, Germany, Integrative Design, Master Program) , Independent Design Anthropology Study on Food Cultures. 2019-2020

Undergraduate Assistants/ Tutors / Interns of Futurewell

Fatma Zehra Solmaz (2021 Sm, intern), Mina Terzioglu (2021Sm Intern), Irem Varol (2021Sm), Ceylan Akcali (2021Sm), Deniz Yazici (2021S), Burcin Bahar Guler(2021S), Betül Engez (2020S, 2020W) Ceren Aydoğdu (2019S, 2020W) Betül Dinçer (2018W, 2019S, 2020W) Eda Yağmur Pakel (2018W)

Elif Bediz (KOLT tutor, 104 Basic Design-Subasi)(2022S), Betül Engez (KOLT tutor, 104 Basic Design-Subasi)(2021W) Selin Yavuz (KOLT tutor, 104 Basic Design-Subasi) (2021S, 2020W), Öykü Göç (KOLT tutor, 104 Basic Design-Subaşı) (2019S, 2019W, 2020S)

Alumni [Graduate Thesis/Final Project] with Futurewell

Duygu Serim(2022S), Sevgil Helin Tilkicioglu (2021S), Gulce Kayikci (2021S), Sena Bozbay, Özge Gemalmaz, Pelin Peker, Yağmur Demirpehlivan, Nilay Nalbantoğlu

Our lab culture is a growing documentation of how we work, organise our everyday life, language and so on.