Announcements 06.17.2021

Meet Damla Sucuka, one of our NOMA interns

Damla will be interning at our Chicago studio.
Damla and her dog.

Where are you from?
Ankara, Turkey

Where are you currently living?
Chicago, IL

What degree are you pursuing, and from what institution?
Bachelor of Architecture, Illinois Institute of Technology

Why is architecture and design important to you?

Architecture is universal and unique. As a person who grew up in a blend of middle eastern and western values, architecture has always been a part of my culture. The places I have seen, read about, and lived in shaped who I am and how I see the world. Architecture inspires me and teaches me new things every day, so I see it as a key element of life.

Damla with her favorite design project.
Damla visitng one of her favorite buildings, the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey

In what ways, if any, have you seen the industry responding to calls for social justice, diversity, and inclusion?

There is still so much work to be done, however, I think the industry is changing to become more inclusive and diverse every day. Architecture firms and organizations have started to see the benefits diversity brings to the workspace. Organizations like NOMA have also been a huge platform to bring minorities together and give them a platform to express themselves. In my local NOMAS chapter, NOMASiit, we work with our dean and diversity committee to listen and address the problems of inclusivity within the student body.

How does your work engage with J.E.D.I. principles? (Justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion)

Design is for people and it should be made with people’s needs in mind. J.E.D.I. principles give direction to my work and help me make more considerate designs. These principles create the base of my work and help me decide what I want to accomplish with my design.

As an aspiring designer, who has helped you get to where you are now?

My local NOMAS chapter and I-NOMA. I was an international student trying to adapt to a new language and a new culture. Joining NOMA organizations gave me a community I can rely on and helped me find my place in this field.

What’s a favorite project of yours, and why is it meaningful to you?

My favorite project was a shared dwelling project in Pilsen. I had an opportunity to learn about the local community’s needs, understand how culture affects design, and give a deeper purpose to a residential building. This project has also introduced me to sustainable design for the first time and how it will shape the future of architecture.

One of Damla's favorite hobbies.
5 Fun Facts about Damla
  • I have a 10-year old Cavalier who I love more than anything.
  • My favorite place I have traveled was Taormina, Sicily.
  • I am a very good piano player,
  • My favorite movie series is Pirates of the Caribbean.
  • The country I want to visit the most is New Zealand.