About Dr. M.A. Baytaş
Dr. Mehmet Aydın Baytaş is a creative technologist, wearing hats that include designer, scholar, engineer, educator, and entrepreneur.
As a consultant design leader for early-stage startups, Baytaş works with founders and investors building new products.
He teaches product design, visual design, and software development at schools and workshops internationally, and produces resources like Design Disciplin to inspire and inform the next generation of designers.
He has a PhD in human-computer interaction design, based on technical and creative contributions in spatial computing interfaces.
Born 1988 and raised in Istanbul, Turkey, Baytaş attended Robert College in Istanbul, and earned degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Economics, as well as master's and PhD degrees from the innovative Design, Technology and Society program, at Koç University.
After an early career in freelancing and e-commerce startups, he developed his practice at the intersection of design and technology as a founding member of Koç University's Design Lab and Research Center for Creative Industries.
As an academic, Baytaş has authored 30+ peer-reviewed publications with 300+ citations, including award-winning works given at the esteemed ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems and the ACM Conference on Designing Interactive Systems. His research projects spanning spatial computing, physical interfaces, interactive robotics, augmented reality, gesture sensing, blockchain applications, electronic music, and design education have received funding from the EU Marie Skłodowska-Curie Program, the Turkish Scientific and Technological Research Council, an engineering sciences grant from the Swedish Research Council, and a $1.5M grant for AI research from the Wallenberg Foundations.
He has co-founded the Research Center for Creative Industries at Koç University in Istanbul – a first-of-its-kind institution in Turkey focusing on design, technology, and creativity – raising a $2M startup grant from Arçelik, and grown it into a self-sustaining organization.
He has designed and taught curricula on interface design, user experience design, interaction design, design philosophy, research methods, creative coding, computer science, and software development to hundreds of students at Koç University and Chalmers University of Technology, and given guest lectures at institutions that include Simon Fraser University's School of Interactive Arts & Technology, University of East Anglia's School of Psychology, RMIT University, Boğaziçi University, University of Nottingham, University of Bergen, the Italian Institute of Cognitive Sciences and Technologies, and KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden. He continues to teach at IT-Högskolan and Hyper Island in Sweden, as well as coaching creative innovators worldwide workshops and online platforms like Design Disciplin.
Baytaş is a member of the advisory board at SXSW Pitch, recruiting and mentoring startups to meet industry experts, high-profile media, and investors at the yearly event.
Since 2021, Baytaş conducts his practice through his business studio WEATHERLIGHT.