OCEAN net is an experimental practice in architecture, landscape architecture and urban design.
The practice was founded in 1994 pioneering experimental design, practice-led research-based design, and novel approaches to computational design in architecture. The founding members were Michael U. Hensel, Ulrich Königs, Tom Verebes and Bostjan Vuga. Johan Bettum, Birger Sevaldson, Bonsak Schildrop, Kim Baumann Larsen, Kivi Sotamaa, Markus Holmstén, and Jurij Sadar joined in the following years and design teams were established in a number of European cities including Cologne, Helsinki, London, Lubljana, and Oslo.
The teams in Cologne, Helsinki and Oslo fused in 1998 to operate as OCEAN NORTH until 2008. During this period iconic works like the designs like the World Center for Human Concerns were produced. Works of this period 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 at various Venice Architectural Biennials and other high-profile venues.
Due to the economic crisis in 2008 OCEAN North was transformed into the OCEAN Design Research Association, operating for 10 years as a not-for-profit organisation conducting inter- and trans-disciplinary research by design across the creative sector. During this 10-year period the association developed a significant research portfolio, developing leading approaches including systems-oriented design and performance-oriented design.
Ushering in the next step in the evolution of the practice Michael U. Hensel and Defne Sunguroğlu Hensel launched OCEAN Architecture | Environment in 2018. This was followed by a relaunch of OCEAN net in 2020 by Christina Doumpioti, Defne Sunguroğlu Hensel, Michael U. Hensel, Pavel Hladik and Jeffrey P. Turko. Matteo Lomaglio joined in 2022. OCEAN net focuses once again on experimental design in architecture, landscape architecture and urban design. OCEAN Architecture | Environment provides expertise in understanding and designing environments, delivering scientific grounding to experimental design.
Christina Doumpioti [Dip. Arch.Eng (Hons) AA MArch (distinction)] is an architect, researcher and educator. Currently she is research fellow and instructor at EPFL’s Media x Design Lab. Prior to EPFL, Christina taught at the Architectural Association, Brighton University and Royal College of Art. She was 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 organising committee of the Smart Geometry conferences in New York (2012) and in London (2013). Her work investigates the relationship between architectural typology, morphology, and micro-climate.
Matteo Lomaglio [Dip. Arch (AHO) ETH MAS] is an architect, computational designer, and researcher. He holds a Master of Advanced Studies degree from ETH Zurich, where he was research assistant at the chair of Digital Building Technologies. He lectured at Institute for Advanced Architecture Catalonia (IAAC), Polytechnic University of Milan (PoliMi), and Atelier Robotics at the Norman Foster Foundation. In 2018 he received the Oslo Research Award for his project Oslo Convergence, based on multi-objective computational analyses for developing a 24-hours hub in the city of Oslo. His main interest lies in the field of advanced computational modelling, robotic and digital fabrication processes, emergent technologies, and material innovation, with applications in the field of architecture and design.
Prof. Dr. Michael U. Hensel [Dipl. Ing. Grad Dip Des AA PhD] is an architect and founding member of OCEAN. He is partner partner in the practice OCEAN Architecture | Environment and board member of LamoLab Research Center in Tuscany, Italy. He is professor at Vienna University of Technology where heads the Department for Digital Architecture and Planning. He previously taught at the Architectural Association School of Architecture, the Berlage Institute (Amsterdam & Rotterdam), 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 is a 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. She joined OCEAN NORTH in 2004 and was a founding and board member of OCEAN Design Research Association from 2008 to 2018. She is coordinating manager and board member of LamoLab Research Center in Tuscany, Italy, and book series editor of the Springer Nature series Designing Environments. She is Associate Professor for Landscape Architecture and Urban Ecology at Southeast University in Nanjing, China. She previously 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 awarded an innovation fellowship. Her work focuses on experimental design, research-by-design methodology, design computing, data-driven design, and innovative design decision support for tackling complex design problems.
Jeffrey P. Turko [AA Dipl RIBA II] is an architect educated at the Architectural Association School of Architecture, London and registered as an architect in the Netherlands. Jeff’s involvement with OCEAN spans 20 years as collaborator in OCEAN NORTH. From 2008 to 2018 he was a founding and board member of OCEAN Design Research Association. Jeff is an educator and researcher based in the UK where he 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.
OCEAN Architecture | Environment (2018-present): Michael Hensel & Defne Sunguroğlu Hensel
PAST MEMBERS OF OCEAN
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.