Ömer Akin

Professor Emeritus

Ömer Akin served as a faculty member at Carnegie Mellon University since 1977. He earned his Ph.D. in 1979 from the School of Architecture graduate program under the advisory of Charles Eastman, Bill Chase and Herbert Simon, and focused his research in building commissioning, architectural programming and generative design. During his time with SoA, he taught design studios and graduate courses, advised graduate students and lectured both nationally and internationally.

At SoA, Ömer developed the Architecture–Engineering–Construction Management (AECM) Master’s and Ph.D. degree programs, as well as the Doctor of Professional Practice (DPP) degree program. Ömer co-authored with William Mitchell and taught in the first professional Master of Architecture degree program of the School from 1980 to 1985. He also served in many administrative positions including as head of the School of Architecture.

Ömer conducted extensive research in design cognition, and is best known in this area for his book Psychology of Architectural Design (Pion Ltd., 1986). More recently, he also published Generative CAD Systems (CMU, 2004) and Embedded Commissioning of Building Systems (Artech House, Inc., 2012).

He authored numerous publications on topics including creativity, early stages of design, architectural programming, computer aided design and human computer interaction. Ömer served as the chair of three international conferences and guest editor of several international journals. He also designed and was the Architect of Record for the Turkish Nationality Room installed at the University of Pittsburgh’s Cathedral of Learning.

Professional Affiliations

Honorary Fellow of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University


  1. Embedded Commissioning of Building Systems
  2. Generative CAD Systems
  3. Hermit Crab, 2nd Edition (fiction)


Turkish Nationality Room, Cathedral of Learning, University of Pittsburgh

The Turkish Nationality Room (TNR) in the Cathedral of Learning on the University of Pittsburgh campus employs the Kündekâri and Çıtakâri techniques as part of its interior design in its cupboard doors, main entrance, ceiling and other wall paneling. The rationale for this decision rests on two important conditions: 1) The Nationality Rooms and Intercultural Exchange Programs of the University of Pittsburgh mandate that all nationality room installations be designed to depict conditions that predate 1787, and 2) Kündekâri and Çıtakâri are two of the most exquisite features of historical Turkish interiors that not only date far back into the Turkish artistic milieu but also symbolize its transformation from a nomadic form into a stationary (permanent) one. The Kündekâri technique complements the overall design of the TNR that is based on the “başodasi” room-type. The başodasi, meaning the “main room,” is an ever-present room-type found in Safranbolu and the Topkapı Palace in Istanbul, among other historical sites in Anatolia. Most if not all of these edifices are amply adorned with Kündekâri and Çıtakâri carpentry works.