I had visited Suleymaniye Mosque many times before. As the eye sees the same thing over and over, it sometimes forgets the significance. I was worried that I would not be able to see Suleymaniye for what it was, but only as an familiar attachment to the skyline I am accustomed to. [The trip of a software engineer (and two architects), Chapter 03: Part II]

Sultan Suleyman reigned over the most powerful Ottoman Empire of all times, when the empire was the single great power of the world. Mimar Sinan was his chief architect. …


The trip of a software engineer (and two architects)

I imagine Istanbul to be a mystical gypsy woman, just as you think you get a hang of it, Istanbul will unveil new surprises.

[The trip of a software engineer (and two architects), Chapter 03, Part I]

Istanbul is an old city, and it has many details from different eras that the eye may not see even if you look at it for a long time. And once you start seeing them, you get curious about the nature of the fabric that makes Istanbul which keeps decades of details in harmony.

Our time in Istanbul had this feeling: I grew…


This was the first time I was in the house of a living architect, not as a friend or an acquaintance, but as an interviewer. I was excited yet terrified. Would I understand the architect talk? Even though I was with my project partners who are architects, I still felt the pressure.

Furthermore, just to add to the mix, this architect was no ordinary architect (if there is a such a thing), she is the first female architect to build a mosque, ever, from ground up including its interior design.

Nermin Ozkok, at her studio in Kucukyali, Istanbul

Nermin Ozkok is a Turkish architect in her late 50s…


The trip of a software engineer (and two architects)

There is a hope for when you are approaching to the birth house of a genius. It is mixed with admiration, curiosity and a touch of jealousy. It feels as if you are about to find clues about the grand picture of human race. Your walk hastens and as you turn the corner which leads to the house, a surprise is waiting for you.

[The trip of a software engineer (and two architects), Chapter 02, Part I]

Mimar Sinan built 300+ major structures, he was the head architect for 3 sultans of Ottoman Empire over…


The trip of a software engineer (and two architects)

Cappadocia is over the ground as much as it is under the ground. Endless valleys of carved dwellings in tuff mountains extend in all directions. They did not raze and rebuild cities, they just used the same carved residences.

[The trip of a software engineer (and two architects), Chapter 01, Part III]

Imagine your house being built 3000 years ago.

Carved stone tables

Now, imagine using the same kitchen that cooked thousands of dinners for thousands of people, eating at the same stone tables that listened similar stories in different languages. This is a different living mode.


The trip of a software engineer (and two architects)

For thousands of years, architects and craftsmen decorated their buildings with intricate symbols. Sometimes they got influenced from neighboring civilizations. Sometimes they invented new ones. But every culture added their own mark. They tried different patterns. They tried different colors. Thousands of years of human endeavor created countless designs in the buildings of the world. [The trip of a software engineer (and two architects), Chapter 01: Part II]

Ten Thousand Year Heritage

The trip of a software engineer (and two architects)

Chapter 01: Part II

By Baris Yuksel

For thousands of years, architects and craftsmen decorated their buildings with intricate symbols. Sometimes they got influenced from neighboring civilizations. Sometimes they invented new ones. But every culture added…


The trip of a software engineer (and two architects)

Not in a million years, I would think about carving a house into a mountain. But you could actually carve your house into a mountain, complete with a kitchen, bathroom, and everything else, without power tools. You don’t have to be crazy to do that. You just need a mountain which is soft inside and hard outside.

[The trip of a software engineer (and two architects), Chapter 01, Part I]

Something that holds against rain and storms, but when you chisel the surface, it becomes so soft that you can use even your fingernails to shape the stone. …


Last week, I took sabbatical from Google for the rest of 2015. I’m embarking on a trip with two architects to decode the architectural patterns in ancient buildings in Central Asia and build an open source software library.

I don’t know much about architecture. I don’t know if we will be successful. But I have a feeling this can be done.

When I was a little kid, I had a Commodore 64 computer. I loved that computer. I loved it because of the games. But also, I was inspired that someone just wrote some code and made those games. …

project agama

De-coding + Re-coding Architectural History. A journey of two architects and a software engineer to decode architectural patterns in ancient buildings.

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