David Turnbull


David Turnbull is Director of ATOPIA Innovation, and Design Director of ATOPIA Research Inc dba PITCHAfrica, an award winning 501(c)3 tax exempt organization registered in New Jersey, USA, with a specific focus on the development and construction of building types that address global ecological and social challenges.

I am also a Professor of Architecture with more than 25 years of experience in Design Education Internationally. My academic career started in 1989 at The Architectural Association in London while I was working in the office of James Stirling, Michael Wilford and Associates, leading major projects in Spain, Japan and Singapore. My academic appointments since 1990 include the Eero Saarinen Visiting Professorship in Architecture at Yale University, and Visiting Professorships at the University of Toronto, Canada (sponsored by CITY-TV), Columbia University's GSAPP in New York, & Cornell University. I was Professor of Architecture at the University of Bath in the UK from 2000-2005 and from 2012 -13, Visiting Professor of Design & Innovation at The African University of Science & Technology, a Nelson Mandela Institution, in Abuja, Nigeria. I have been a Professor of Architecture at The Cooper Union in New York since 2007. 

PITCHAfrica's first WATERBANK School has been completed in Laikipia, in the Central Highlands of Kenya, in partnership with The Zeitz Foundation, and was named 'The Greenest School on Earth'​ by the USGBC. WATERBANK Schools were selected by SUSTAINIA in Denmark as one of the top 100 sustainable solutions in the World and won the INTERFACE support award in the 2013 Buckminster Fuller Challenge.

PITCHAfrica's WATERBANK Campus, including PITCHKenya, a high yield rainwater-harvesting Futsal Stadium, School & Environmental Centre was selected for 'Designs of the Year 2015 by Design Museum, London. As an inventor I have published patents for novel water and power technologies.

View David Turnbull's CV here

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  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.