dr. Mehmet Aydın Baytaş is a designer, engineer, and educator.
Born 1988 and raised in Istanbul, Turkey, Baytaş spent his formative years immersed in technology and digital creativity. After attending Robert College in Istanbul, he earned degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Economics, as well as a master’s and PhD from the innovative Design, Technology and Society program at Koç University.
Following stints as a freelance web designer, e-commerce operations analyst, musician, and DJ, it was at Koç University’s Design Lab and Research Center for Creative Industries where he took up computer science as a platform for pushing boundaries of design and technology simultaneously. These experiences, merged with contemporary culture and emerging technologies, make up his trans-disciplinary practice today.
Baytaş produces Design Disciplin, a resource and community for design and innovation, publishing an academic-grade podcast, articles, and videos that help thousands of designers and innovators move forward.
He leads aerial robotics innovation at Qualisys, developing motion capture and autonomous drone technologies for engineering and creativity.
In 2021, Baytaş founded his commercial practice as WEATHERLIGHT, creating value via in-house projects and bespoke partnerships that leverage 10+ years of insights from scientific research and crafting digital products and experiences.
In the past he has:
- Taught digital product design at IT-Högskolan.
- Built a research program on Digital Preciousness – designing valuable and enduring digital products – secured $500k+ funding, and built a team at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm to carry it out.
- Built a research program on Social Drones – interactive autonomous drones flying in our homes and social spaces – bringing together design, engineering, and social sciences, secured $1.5M+ funding, and built a team at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg to carry it out.
- Earned a PhD in Design, Technology & Society from Koç University in his native Istanbul, based on a collection of innovative projects spanning interactive drones, augmented reality, blockchain-backed digital assets, electronic music, and design education, funded by an EU MSCA fellowship.
- Built 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 – securing a $2M+ startup grant from the consumer electronics giant Arçelik and turning it into a self-sustaining organization employing 4 faculty and their teams.
- Joined the inaugural research team at the first Design Lab in Turkey at Koç University, and received the first graduate degree from their innovative Design, Technology & Society program with his work developing design and programming tools for mid-air gestural interfaces.
- Worked as a freelance designer, software developer, and consultant, building web applications and IT infrastructure for clients ranging academia, culture, non-profits, heavy industry, professional services.
- Studied Mechanical Engineering and Economics at Koç University in Istanbul.