Alper Besen

Alper Besen

New York, NY, US


PDF Portfolio


Meaning is what I am looking for. I believe style can be collected from advertisements, but meaning needs to be cultivated patiently through connective thinking. I am inspired by combined explorations of spatial theory, philosophy, technology and craftsmanship. Design is not my profession; it is how I understand the world.

To understand design better, I have used every opportunity to diversify my experiences. I have worked in all phases of projects from design, construction, project management and teaching. These multiple approaches have sharpened my technical, artistic and theoretical skills, but to my surprise, my biggest lesson has not been about “skills”. Each design challenge, step by step, has increased my sensitivity to the complexity of human relationships. It took a long time, but in the end, conventional titles: client, co-worker, designer, constructor and official dissolved. I began seeing the individual behind them. I become a better listener. This helped me in seeing ideas, goals, ambitions and hopes of all those effected by my designs. My work became more fulfilling for clients. The struggles I had with contractors shifted into real collaborations. I generated stronger connections with my students. I have learned that listening is the key to design better. RISD’s international environment was also a huge step in my life. Today I feel connected to different cultures and perspectives more than ever.

I do not have title oriented career goals. I want to collaborate with enthusiastic people who care about learning from and contributing to others through design. My hope is that this evolving process of interaction, learning and listening continue and strengthen throughout my life.

Alper Besen



Urban Frame - MIT, Cambridge, MA, US, Program Coordinator

Coordinated classes with other teaching fellows. Coached teenagers during design and construction.
Formulated assignments and activities. Organized daily logistics. Participated in construction of final design. Developed strategic future goals for program improvement.

Jul 2012 - current

Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), Providence, RI, US, Instructor

Designed and taught the course “Drawing the Concept of the Concept”, focusing on the
connection between presentation, drawing techniques and design concept. Fostered a friendly environment that augmented student interaction. Improved students’ concept development and presentations. Projects included, designing a space for a poem, an artwork and meditation space in Providence

Jan 2013 - Mar 2013

Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), Providence, RI, US, Teaching Assistant - History of Adaptive Reuse

Supported instructor with coordinating the class. Helped students with understanding the dynamics that effect architectural history and observe their role in today's design culture.

Oct 2012 - Dec 2012

Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), Providence, RI, US, Research Assistant - Markus Berger

Supported Markus Berger with the project "Preservation with Imagination". The project is an exploration of digital image editing techniques and their effects on our daily perception of architecture, adaptive reuse and history.

May 2012 - Jul 2012

Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), Providence, RI, US, Teaching Assistant - Interior Architecture Intro Studio

Supported instructor with coordinating the class. Supported students with their studio projects through the processes of concept development, spatial manipulations, model making and drawing.

Sep 2011 - Nov 2011

Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), Providence, Teaching Assistant - From This To That (Interior Architecture Studio)

Supported instructor with coordinating the class. Helped students with developing coherent design concepts and transforming them to spatial projects. Supported instructor with grading and documentation. Designed the final course booklet.

Mar 2011 - Mar 2011

La Studio, Istanbul, TR, Partner

Efficiently managed all project phases, including: client relations, design, presentation, construction and budgeting for commercial, retail and residential projects. Successfully provided design and construction management services for the Canadian brand “Second Cup”. Coordinated project and construction projects for more than 100 store locations for Kredix.

Jan 2008 - Jan 2011

Yalin Tan Jeyan Ulku Interior Architects, Istanbul, TR, Interior Architect

Responsible for design, presentation and construction documentation phases of retail

May 2007 - Oct 2007


Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), Providence, RI, US, Masters, Interior Architecture | Adaptive Reuse


Jun 2011 - May 2013

Mimar Sinan University of Fine Arts, Istanbul, TR, Bachelors, Interior Architecture

Aug 2000 - May 2005


Risd Interior Architecture Department Fellowship Recipient, Scholarship


RISD Portfolio Cafe Design Charette - 1st Prize (Team Member), 1st Place


RIHPHC Conference | Guest Speaker | 2012, Other


Risd Additional Spring Fellowship Recipient 2012, Award


Areas of Specialization 


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