Çağla Ilk works in theory and practice at the interface of architecture, visual arts, sound, and performance. She was born in Istanbul, studied architecture at the Technical University Berlin and the Mimar Sinan University Istanbul. Since May 2020, Çağla İlk together with Misal Adnan Yıldız is the Director of the Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden.
She worked as a dramaturg and curator at the Maxim Gorki Theater in Berlin where she had been co-curating 4 editions of the biennial exhibition Berliner Herbstsalon for 8 years.
Çağla Ilk has curated This might be a place for hummingbirds in the Berlin Galerie in Körnerpark, Flesh, Stone, Transition in the Whitebox Gallery Munich among others. As a researcher, she worked on the Baukultur in der multiethnischen Stadt at the University of Siegen.
Ilk is a member of the New Society for Visual Arts (nGbK) board, a member of the Berlin Council for the Arts, and served on numerous juries for the improvement of cultural policies.