We are a design + fabrication office creating projects of various scales. From architecture to everyday objects, we tackle the issues of today with the emerging technologies of tomorrow. We develop projects, provide consultancy and conduct educational workshops.
The Back Lab, founded in 2020 in Istanbul, is an interdisciplinary collaboration formed by 5 designers. We have extensive experience and are specialized in a wide range of computational tools, digital fabrication techniques and novel materials. Our team consists of 4 architects and an interior designer with Masters degrees in Robotic and Advanced Construction, and Masters degree in Advanced Architecture. As a team, we have completed numerous projects around the world including Denmark, Nepal, Spain, Italy and Turkey where we were involved in projects of various scales from wearables to installations, from robotic fabrication to architectural scale.
We envision to push the boundaries of architecture and the built environment to a more sustainable future. We are developing projects and fabrication techniques through computational design, digital fabrication methods and automation that are conscious of material usage with the focus of decreasing the footprint of the built environment while optimizing the cost and the time involved. Our passion for innovation and research into new technologies and materials means we never stop learning, adapting and improving as we push the boundaries of architecture.
Yiğitalp is an architect specializing in computational design, digital fabrication and visualization whose interest lies in the development of new techniques that connect the design and fabrication process through digital tools. He holds a bachelor's of Architecture from Bahçeşehir University and a masters degree of Advanced Architecture from the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia.
His postgraduate research combines computational design and focuses on extensive prototyping through sensors, actuators and computational design tools. In his postgraduate education, he has developed an optical apparatus to decompose the chemical elements presented in the air pollution, fabricated a column by bending rebars through robotics, and took part in an installation for Llum BCN festival among others. For his thesis, he conducted a research on 3d printing wax as formwork for large scale concrete printing. His postgraduate projects of Suruc Camp and Metal Bending have been exhibited by Construmat BCN.
His previous work experiences have a wide range where Yiğit has worked in Akbey Architecture focusing on design and visualization and worked in Buda Architecture developing competitions and design solutions. He has participated in the design and development of The Turkish Pavilion for Venice Biennale in collaboration with Teğet Architecture. In Barcelona, he has assisted the introductory studio in IaaC with Orial Carrasco and Javier Pena as well as worked in Global Summer School in IaaC as an assistant on Robotic Fabrication and Computational design.
Aysel is an architect with strong enthusiasm towards sustainability, circular systems and digital tools. She speaks 5 languages and holds a bachelor's degree of architecture from Istanbul Bilgi University and acquired her postgraduate from the Institute of Advanced Architecture of Catalonia on Advanced Architecture. Having a pre-existing zest for experimentation and sustainability, she developed projects tackling real world issues with affordable means.
Believing in the power and future of digital media she has improved herself in capturing and editing comprehensive and artistic videos. She has collaborated with Blain Southern gallery in London where she has created a series of looping image sequences for the gallery’s promotion.
During her studies in IaaC, she has developed a passive material system that adapts to its environment, worked in a team of programmers for an interactive light installation that was exhibited in the Llum Festival in Barcelona and developed artificial reality application among others. For her thesis research, she has developed a methodology and an extensive catalogue for reusing single-use plastic waste materials for architectural elements with the aim of decreasing the footprint of the built environment and manufacturing industry while upcycling pre-existing waste materials. During this period she gained extensive knowledge on fabrication processes and emerging technologies in the design and manufacturing industry.
Doruk Yıldırım is an architect specializing in the fields of computational design, digital fabrication and bio-materials. He has a Bachelor's degree of Architecture from Istanbul Bilgi University, acquired his master’s degree in Advanced Architecture from the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia, and completed the course on off-grid, ecological and self-sufficient construction in Brenderup Højskole.
His projects lie in the cross-section of synthetic biology, computational design, material circularity, wearables and responsive design. In his postgraduate education, he has developed wearable senses in close relations with Cyborg Foundation, interactive installations for LLum BCN and an autonomous self-planning urban model that is able to adapt unprecedented changes among others. For his thesis, he has developed 3d printed active wall systems through mycelial biomass. Doruk has been published by various magazines,conferences and exhibitions including Construmat BCN and International Symposium of Wearable Computing.
His previous work experiences range from social intervention to architectural scale. He has organized international workshops and competitions with MEDS and DSGN while he has attended various conferences and workshops in the field of computational design, digital fabrication, fashion design and visualization.
Professionally, Doruk has been involved in the construction of the first fully off-grid house of Denmark in Brenderup, renovated Fort Liédot in France, and volunteered in Nepal, Italy and France helping the children and elderly. He has worked as an assistant architect with Alessio Patolocco in Italy focusing on competitions and visualization. In Nepal, he has been involved in the design and construction of a mountain dwelling that was digitally designed and fabricated to be the first prototype of Nepal Eco-Social Tourism in collaboration with Appareil and Backstreet Academy.
Hazal Yilmaz is an interior designer and a researcher who is specialized in robotic fabrication and computational design. She received her bachelor’s degree from Istanbul Bilgi University and acquired her master’s degree in Robotics and Advanced Construction from the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia.
Her research lies in the field of industry 4.0, focusing on the generative process of technological, computational innovation through computational design, robotic fabrication, human-machine collaboration and wearables. She has participated in numerous seminars and workshops on machine learning, artificial intelligence, robotic fabrication. Her wearable project of MetaForm wearable has been awarded by Reshape and published by Vogue Barcelona in 2020.
Professionally, she has worked in Çinici Architects as an intern architect and in Geomim as an interior designer, assisting and developing new design solutions. In Iaac, she worked as a research assistant in Master in Robotics and Advanced Construction where she has assisted numerous workshops and seminars on robotic fabrication and computing. Hazal is currently working in Istanbul Bilgi University as the lead in the seminar on robotic fabrication and large scale additive manufacturing with clay, and a part-time instructor in the Computation-based Basic Design studio.
Tolga Kalcioglu is an architect, who received his Bachelor's degree in Istanbul Bilgi University and his master’s degree in Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia in Barcelona, Spain. He is a graduate of Uskudar American Academy. Post graduation, he has been involved in the renovation of historical buildings in Trabzon. In his master’s degree education he developed various projects ranging from wearable design to computational design to digital fabrication. In his studies he has developed a wearable sense working closely with Cyborg Foundation. He has been involved in the design process of a mountain dwelling in Nepal which was constructed to be the first prototype of Nepal Eco-Social Tourism. In postgraduate, he conducted a thesis research on merging the digital and physical world where he developed an application and two-dimensional barcode storing augmented reality data, in order to merge these two worlds in the physical space.
Location: Kathmandu, Nepal
N.E.S.T is a touristic dwelling that combines ecotourism with social tourism in Nepal. It focuses on bringing tourists to unpopular areas of Nepal with the aim of boosting the local economy.
N.E.S.T is a prototype of a series of wooden dwellings to be constructed in various parts of the Himalayas that is designed to host two visitors. The structure is designed and optimized in Grasshopper, Ladybug, Galapagos and Karamba through generative algorithms. Design, optimization, budgeting and construction of the prototype has been done by the same group of people over the course of 6 months.
All parts of the structure are digitally fabricated through CNC milling, and custom steel elements were cast locally in black smiths. The timber elements were supplied locally, skin and insulation consists of Gore-Tex fabric for outer layer, wool for insulation and felt for interiors. The first prototype was built in Kathmandu in September 2019.