David Turnbull


David Turnbull is a director of ATOPIA design<>communication<>urbanism (LLC), and a founder of ATOPIA_RESEARCH (inc), He has worked extensively in the UK, Japan, SEAsia, China, the Middle East, Europe and the USA, and has specific expertise in the area of new lifestyles and the way that individual buildings and new patterns of development take advantage from advances in telecommunications and digital media. His academic career started in 1989 at The Architectural Association in London. His more recent academic appointments include the Eero Saarinen Visiting Professorship in Architecture at Yale University, USA, and Visiting Professorships at the University of Toronto (sponsored by CITY-TV), Canada, and Columbia University in New York, USA. He was Professor of Architecture at the University of Bath in the UK from 2000-2005. He is currently a Professor of Architecture at The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture at the Cooper Union where he held the Ellen and Sidney Feltman Chair in 2008 and 2009. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts in the UK.

ATOPIA and ATOPIA_RESEARCH run on parallel paths, but knowledge migrates from one to the other. ATOPIA_RESEARCH, a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation founded in 2004 and supported by a major grant from The Annenberg Foundation, tends to work in some of the most ecologically challenging areas of the World, Sri Lanka (post Tsunami, Sudan (post Civil War), The Mississippi Delta (post Hurricane), The Ogalala Aquifer (ecological devastation caused by Agri-business), Sichuan, China and Haiti (post Earthquake).

ATOPIA, launched at the EXPERIMENTA Biennale in Lisbon in 2000, tends to work on projects that have the potential for ecological or technological ‘detournement’ in commercial or institutional environments.

Projects & Links

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  • 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.