Şehnaz Layıkel was born in 1975 in Istanbul. She studied clinical psychology (MA) and art and design (MA) in Istanbul and New York. For almost 20 years she worked in human rights and cultural organizations (including SKYGD and Anadolu Kültür), in various cultural and art projects. She is currently doing her doctorate at the Berlin University of the Arts (UdK) under the direction of Prof. Kathrin Peters and is part of the art education team at the Gropiusbau. Şehnaz Layıkel is an Echoing Green (2007) and Ashoka Fellow (2012).