OCEAN net emerged in 1994 in London as a collaborative and interdisciplinary network practice that focuses on experimental design in architecture, landscape architecture and urban design. The network practice engaged in pioneering research-based experimental design and advanced design computation. From 1998 to 2008 the practice operated under the name OCEAN NORTH. During this time the practice produced numerous iconic works, including the World Center for Human Concerns. Works of OCEAN are included in the Prints and Photographs Division of the Library of Congress in the United States and the FRAC Centre (Fonds Regional d’Art Contemporain) in Orléans, France and were exhibited in various Venice Architectural Biennials and other high-profile venues. From 2008 to 2018 OCEAN operated as OCEAN Design Research Association, a not-for-profit association conducting inter- and transdisciplinary research by design across the creative disciplines. During this 10-year period the association developed a significant research and scientific publication portfolio and leading approaches to systems-oriented and performance-oriented design. In 2018 the practice OCEAN Architecture | Environment was launched by Michael U. Hensel and Defne Sunguroğlu Hensel. In addition OCEAN net was relaunched in 2020 as a collaborative network following the original structure and mission of OCEAN.


OCEAN Architecture | Environment undertakes research and design at the intersection between architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, engineering ecology, and advanced design computation. Our mission is to fuse architecture with the natural environment to ensure the protection, support and enhancement of nature and human well-being. We have an extensive track-record in the areas of Performance-oriented Architecture, Embedded Architectures and Ecological Prototypes, which situate the practices unique approach to green architecture. Our novel data-driven and computational design methods and decision support systems powered by information models enables inspiring solutions for everyday life and architecture. Our target groups include public and private clients and we provide consultancy for other practices. We are a partner in LamoLab Research Center in Toscany, Italy, where we analyze productive landscapes, support farmers and heritage organizations, and derive sustainable solutions for architecture integrated agriculture and ecology. This research serves to develop models for sustainable urban environments, urban green infrastructure and urban food production.       


Michael U. Hensel (Dip. Ing. Grad Dip Des AA PhD)  is registered in the German Chamber of Architects since 1994. He is a co-founder of the international network practice OCEAN, and was partner in OCEAN NORTH and founding and acting chairperson of OCEAN Design Research Association. He is steering board member of LamoLab Research Center in Toscany, Italy, and book series editor of the Springer Nature series Designing Environments. Currently he is Professor at Vienna University of Technology where he leads the research department for Digital Architecture and Planning. Previously he taught at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London, Berlage Institute Amsterdam, Oslo School of Architecture and Design, Technical University in Munich, Rice University in Houston and University of Technology Sydney. He was founding and acting director of the Research Center for Architecture and Tectonics (RCAT) and its innovation hub the Advanced Computational Design Laboratory (ACDL) in Oslo, innovation fellow at the University of Sydney and honorary fellow of the Institute of Advanced Studies at the Technical University in Munich.

Defne Sunguroğlu Hensel (BA Hons AA Dip MSc EmTech PhD) is a trained architect and interior architect and joined OCEAN NORTH in 2004. From 2008 to 2018 she was a founding member and board member of OCEAN Design Research Association. She is coordinating manager and steering board member of LamoLab Research Center in Toscany, Italy, and book series editor of the Springer Nature series Designing Environments. Previously she worked at renowned practices, including Tabanlioğlu Architects in Istanbul and Buro Happold’s Generative Geometry Group in London. Her work and research focuses on integrative and adaptive architectural design aiming for novel and hybrid building types, especially in green construction with focus on urban ecosystem functions and urban food production. Furthermore, she focuses on design methodology, especially on design computing, data-driven design and innovative design decision support systems. Currently she is university lecturer at Vienna University of Technology. Previously she taught at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London, Oslo School of Architecture and Design, Technical University in Munich, and University of Technology Sydney where she was innovation fellow from 2007 to 2008.


OCEAN Architecture | Environment (2018-present): Michael Hensel & Defne Sunguroğlu Hensel

OCEAN net (2020-present): Christina Doumpioti, Michael Hensel, Pavel Hladik, Defne Sunguroğlu Hensel, Jeffrey P. Turko


Founding members of OCEAN net (1994): Michael U. Hensel, Ulrich Königs, Tom Verebes, Bostjan Vuga.

OCEAN NORTH (1998-2000): Johan Bettum, Kim Baumann Larsen, Michael U. Hensel, Markus Holmstén, Bonsak Schildrop, Birger Sevaldson, Kivi Sotamaa.

OCEAN NORTH (2000-04): Michael U. Hensel, Birger Sevaldson, Kivi Sotamaa, Tuuli Sotamaa

OCEAN NORTH (2004-08): Natasha Barrett, Daniel Coll i Capdevila, Andrea di Stefano, Yasha Grobman, Michael U. Hensel, Pavel Hladik, Aleksandra Jaeschke, Steinar Killi, Toni Kotnik, Achim Menges, Eva Menges, Charles Rice, Birger Sevaldson, Defne Sunguroğlu Hensel, Jeffrey Turko.

OCEAN Design Research Association (2008-18): Natasha Barrett, Daniel Coll i Capdevila, Salmaan Craig, Christina Doumpioti, Hulya Ertas, Yasha Grobman, Michael U. Hensel, Pavel Hladik, Peter Hayward Jones, Steinar Killi, Toni Kotnik, Sofia Martins da Cunha, Andrew Morrison, Fredrik Nilsson, Janne Beate Reitan, Christoper Robeller, Alex Ryan, Birger Sevaldson, Defne Sunguroğlu Hensel, Søren Sørensen, Jeffrey Turko, Joakim Wiig Hoen.

Honorary Members of OCEAN Design Research Association (2008-18): Prof. Dr. Ipek Akpinar, Prof. Dr. Tevfik Balcioğlu, Prof. Dr. Anne Beim, Prof. Mark Burry, Prof. Dr. Derek Clements-Croome, Prof. Dr. Jolly Monge, Prof. Dr. David Leatherbarrow, Dr. Harold G. Nelson, Prof. Dr. Julian Vincent.