About OCEAN net

OCEAN net was founded in 1994 in London by Michael U. Hensel, Ulrich Königs, Tom Verebes and Bostjan Vuga as a collaborative and interdisciplinary network practice that focuses on experimental design in architecture, landscape architecture and urban design. The network practice engaged in pioneering research-based experimental design and advanced design computation. In 1995 teams were established in Cologne, Helsinki, London, Lubljana, and Oslo.

In 1998 the teams in Cologne, Helsinki and Oslo fused and operated until 2008 as the experimental practice OCEAN NORTH. During this time the practice produced numerous iconic works, including the World Center for Human Concerns. Works of OCEAN are included in the Prints and Photographs Division of the Library of Congress in the United States and the FRAC Centre (Fonds Regional d’Art Contemporain) in Orléans, France and were exhibited in various Venice Architectural Biennials and other high-profile venues.

After a successful 10 year run OCEAN North the practice transformed into a research organization. The OCEAN Design Research Association operated from 2008 to 2018 as a not-for-profit organization that conducted inter- and trans-disciplinary research by design across the creative sector. During this 10-year period the association developed a significant research and scientific publication portfolio and established leading approaches to systems-oriented and performance-oriented design.

In 2018 the practice OCEAN Architecture | Environment was launched by Michael U. Hensel and Defne Sunguroğlu Hensel.

OCEAN net was relaunched in 2020 by Christina Doumpioti, Defne Sunguroglu Hensel, Michael U. Hensel, Pavel Hladik and Jeffrey P. Turko as a collaborative network following the original network structure and mission of OCEAN.


OCEAN net (2020-present): Christina Doumpioti, Dr. Defne Sunguroğlu Hensel, Dr. Pavel Hladik, Jeffrey P. Turko, Dr. Michael U. Hensel

Christina Doumpioti [Dip. Arch.Eng (Hons) AA March (distinction)] is an architect, researcher and educator. Currently a PhD researcher and instructor at EPFL’s Media x Design Lab, her work investigates the relationship between typology, morphology, and micro-climate. Prior to EPFL, Christina taught at the Architectural Association (2009-2016), Brighton University and Royal College of Art. She was the co-director of the Biodynamic Structures Global Visiting School, a collaborative workshop between the Architectural Association and the California College of Arts in San Francisco and member of the organizing committee of the Smart Geometry conference in New York in 2012 and in London in 2013. She has collaborated with Arup Associates, London, Ocean Design Research Association and Buro Happold, London. Her research on computationally driven architecture and simulation has been published in peer-reviewed computational associated conferences such as ACADIA, CAADRIA and ECAADE and has been featured in various journals (Arch+, Architectural Design).

Prof. Dr. Michael U. Hensel [Dipl. Ing. Drag Dip Des AA PhD] is a registered architect (BYAK) and founding member of OCEAN. He is partner partner in the practice OCEAN Architecture | Environment and steering board member of LamoLab Research Center in Tuscany, Italy. He is university professor at Vienna University of Technology where he is head of the research department for Digital Architecture and Planning and board and faculty member of the inter-faculty Center for Geometry and Digital Design. Previously he taught at the Architectural Association School of Architecture, the Berlage Institute, Technical University Munich, and Rice University. He was honorary fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies at the Technical University in Munich and innovation fellow at University of Technology in Sydney. At the Oslo School of Architecture and Design he was founding and acting director of the Research Center for Architecture and Tectonics. He has published extensively and is book series editor of the Springer Nature series Designing Environments.

Dr. Defne Sunguroğlu Hensel [BA Hons AA Dipl RIBA II MSc EmTech PhD] is a trained architect and partner in the practice OCEAN Architecture | Environment. From 2008 to 2018 she was a founding member and board member of OCEAN Design Research Association. She is coordinating manager and steering board member of LamoLab Research Center in Tuscany, Italy, and book series editor of the Springer Nature series Designing Environments. Previously she worked at renowned practices, including Tabanlioğlu Architects in Istanbul and Buro Happold’s Generative Geometry Group in London. Her work and research focuses on integrative and adaptive architectural design aiming for novel and hybrid building types, especially in green construction with focus on urban ecosystem functions and urban food production. Furthermore, she focuses on design methodology, especially on design computing, data-driven design and innovative design decision support systems. Currently she is university lecturer at Vienna University of Technology. Previously she taught at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London, Oslo School of Architecture and Design, Technical University in Munich, and University of Technology Sydney where she was innovation fellow from 2007 to 2008. Currently university lecturer and post-doctoral researcher at Vienna University of Technology in the Special Research Area Advanced Computational Design in the context of the Centre for Geometry and Computational Design. From 01.04.2021 post-doctoral researcher at Technical University Munich in the context of the H2020 FET Open project ECOLOPES as work-package leader WP 4 – Data Acquisition and Information Modelling.

Jeffrey P. Turko [AA Dipl RIBA II]  hails from New Jersey USA, was educated at the Architectural Association School of Architecture, London (AA Dipl, 1999) and holds registration as an Architect in the Netherlands (Since 2000). Jeff is an educator and researcher based in the UK where he currently is a Senior Lecturer of Architecture and directs the Masters of Architecture course at the University of Brighton. He has previously taught and held academic posts at the University of East London and at the Architectural Association School of Architecture where he was unit master of Diploma Unit 12 and was the inaugural Programme Director of both of the AA Global Visiting School’s in Sydney and Melbourne, Australia. Professionally Jeff is the founder of Nekton Studio, a small architectural/design studio that aims to look beyond the boundaries of conventional practice. Previously he founded collaborative architectural practices Urban Office (1999 – 2001) and Nekton Design (2002 – 2009), through these Jeff has received awards in international design competitions and has also had work representing the UK in expos such as the Beijing Architectural Biennial (2008). Jeff’s involvement with OCEAN spans 20 years, he has been an active collaborating member of OCEAN since 2000. Examples of design work and writing appear in the following publications, Performalism [Routledge 2011], Mobility of the Line [Birkhauser 2013], and Grounds and Envelopes, Reshaping Architecture and the build Environment [Routledge 2015].

OCEAN Architecture | Environment (2018-present): Michael Hensel & Defne Sunguroğlu Hensel


Founding members of OCEAN net (1994): Michael U. Hensel, Ulrich Königs, Tom Verebes, Bostjan Vuga.

OCEAN NORTH (1998-2000): Johan Bettum, Kim Baumann Larsen, Michael U. Hensel, Markus Holmstén, Bonsak Schildrop, Birger Sevaldson, Kivi Sotamaa.

OCEAN NORTH (2000-04): Michael U. Hensel, Birger Sevaldson, Kivi Sotamaa, Tuuli Sotamaa

OCEAN NORTH (2004-08): Natasha Barrett, Daniel Coll i Capdevila, Andrea di Stefano, Yasha Grobman, Michael U. Hensel, Pavel Hladik, Aleksandra Jaeschke, Steinar Killi, Toni Kotnik, Achim Menges, Eva Menges, Charles Rice, Birger Sevaldson, Defne Sunguroğlu Hensel, Jeffrey Turko.

OCEAN Design Research Association (2008-18): Natasha Barrett, Daniel Coll i Capdevila, Salmaan Craig, Christina Doumpioti, Hulya Ertas, Yasha Grobman, Michael U. Hensel, Pavel Hladik, Peter Hayward Jones, Steinar Killi, Toni Kotnik, Sofia Martins da Cunha, Andrew Morrison, Fredrik Nilsson, Janne Beate Reitan, Christoper Robeller, Alex Ryan, Birger Sevaldson, Defne Sunguroğlu Hensel, Søren Sørensen, Jeffrey Turko, Joakim Wiig Hoen.

Honorary Members of OCEAN Design Research Association (2008-18): Prof. Dr. Ipek Akpinar, Prof. Dr. Tevfik Balcioğlu, Prof. Dr. Anne Beim, Prof. Mark Burry, Prof. Dr. Derek Clements-Croome, Prof. Dr. Jolly Monge, Prof. Dr. David Leatherbarrow, Dr. Harold G. Nelson, Prof. Dr. Julian Vincent.