Graduation exhibitions started to excite design authorities with new promising ideas.
Tastemakers in the global design discussion; such as curators, critics, editors and gallerists; seek talents with a consistent language to launch in the new design landscape.
Istanbul Bilgi University’s Industrial Design Department’s 2019 graduation exhibition Ters-Yüz is answering the notion of today’s designer as becoming a facilitator in the community to create value via adoptable and evolving methods
In the previous years we have seen the Italian gallerists Rossana Orlandi and Nina Yashar, or design fairs such as Maison&Objet supporting and representing rising talents in the global scene.
Design Academy Eindhoven is contributing to this scene with a growing fame. Guglielmo Poletti has graduated from DAE as a designer whose style signifier is challenging the nature of material by using the structural strength. Or Sabine Marcelis, creating a design language based on materiality which she now interprets in various scales. Alissa Nienke, was discovered for researching materials to be used as alternative surfaces, and today the design studio is contributing to architectural world with creating interactive walls by using simple basics of physics. Dirk van der Kooji is using recycled plastics in the design of furniture and light fixtures combining craft and technology. Sebastian Brajkovic transforms everyday objects such as tables and chairs into surreal artworks whose first solo show will be opening at David Gill Gallery in London this September.
We should also mention Beirut’s rising design scene. David and Nicholas, Carlo Massoud, Marc Dibeh creating themselves a place in the collectible design scene, choosing to work with galleries.
Today these designers are collaborating with brands such as Fendi, Dior and commissioned to private collections without compromising their statement -much- but interpreting them into different briefs, thus creating an economy. What about the designers choosing to act like not one?
Back in the past and today, we are ending up with the fact that designers are designing for other designers or the privileged most of the time. Following others was a good strategy when human were hunter-gatherer. But today, social proof is a collective collapse.
Using materials which attract consumer via already deciphered codes or putting the spotlight on designer is no longer the future of design. This repetitive patterns change today; as the human activity’s transforming effect in the planet is the core issue of design. What can define the designer’s role to that transformation creates a new pattern that is no longer repetitive because of its genuine holistic approach, integrating local sources, nature, animals, other living and nonliving ecosystems in the process.
In the unlearning process of designer-user relation; transnational socio-politic decisions are standing out. The more world politics create disadvantaged situations, the more creative people try to adopt with an answer triggering to act collectively through design to create positive impact in the society. Designer is becoming a facilitator, a strategy maker, building sustainable ideas with the community to create circular economy with local sources and labor. Or even come up with a never ending yet always evolving design method.
Formafantasma’s “Above Ground Mining” project shows us how a simple product such as furniture can be based on a two-year study of electronic waste recycling which propose a new approach also for other designers.
What we have seen at this year’s Triennale; “Broken Nature: Design Takes on Human Survival” claimed designer’s role as a facilitator.
As we have been teaching Design Writing lecture at Istanbul Bilgi University, we were in touch with our senior students and followed their processes of expressing themselves through their graduation projects. The methodology of design education is playing a crucial role to create constructive and evolving approaches. For their graduation projects, the students are given the initiative to choose their own path which encourage them to start their own statement. We have seen how this statement turned into disruptive methodologies in the previous years. We have experienced one of Bilgi ID graduate Nur Horsanalı’s project; Halletmek, showing how simple practices of everyday life in the street can be a guide for designers. Or Hüsna Budak’s Bir Alttan Bir Üstten, project, creating a dialogue between design and craft by adapting today’s rapid prototyping technologies to traditional making.
At Ters-Yüz, we observed multidimensional thinking: pushing design beyond product; not to design “easy to digest” objects but methodologies that can create value for a better purpose.
Istanbul Bilgi University’s Industrial Design Department’s graduation exhibition: Ters-Yüz: “Re-thinking the potentials” is translating today's design approach as a critical method. Back in last century, the modernists translated design with functionality through “almost how to-do” formulas or efficiency or aesthetical value. We are still celebrating Bauhaus and worshipping Dieter Rams’s good design guide. Today good design is about creating equal value and doing good to the world.
Urban economy translates this as follows:
“Fitness club” turns into “health club”
“Kitchen” turns into “clean cuisine”
“Care” turns into “cure”
“Masterpiece” turns into “centrepiece” thanks to the millennial society who does not want to posses things but rather, prefer to share and rent things reflecting their style which will of course remain the same only for a couple of months.
This year, Art Basel was all about creating awareness for environmental issues by spotlighting art works with an intangible value, rather than collectible value such as Olafur Eliasson’s Ice Watch project. It somehow creates a contrast to discuss environment in a fair made for private jets. At the end of the day; the more you have wealth the more your carbon footprint is.
Giving a glimpse of today’s design world; we would like to share our selection of Ters-Yüz; re-examining tradition and local cultures, materials and forms of production, social norms, product-user experience, process and habits suggest different ways of thinking for existing products.
Metalik, Alara Altınören
Alara Altınören is enriching traditional crafts through a binding tool she designed. Metalik is a kit designed for people who are interested in metal hammering. The aim of this project is to examine the concept of the craft and ensure it’s continuity.
Müşter-Ek, Aziz Burakhan Viltan
Aziz Burakhan Viltan is answering one of the crucial problems of our society today: food and its sustainable cycle. The project triggers to make food accessible through a collective method which can be applied in the urban fields by using both craft and smart technologies. The project shows how design can nurture urban life and create equal access for food.
The difficult and costly access to fair food in the city has led to the proliferation of locally produced food communities or common formations that could provide alternative food supplies such as cooperatives. Through this basic need, Müşter-Ek can become a tool to raise awareness of the food-health relationship and to increase social sensitivity to the fair-food issue.
Göçebe, Gözde Erdem
Gözde Erdem is examining weaving craft in Turkey through a constantly evolving process she genuinely contributed with makers.
The inspiration of ‘Göçebe’ is ‘Yörük’s that had migrated from Middle Asia to Anatolia. ‘Göçebe’s space and environment is not perpetual. It does not belong to anywhere and it is moving continuously, is not stable. It settles in a place when it needs and this is efficient for its and then leaves again for new places.
The project aims to anaylze disappearing weaving craft in Turkey in terms of ‘learning from inside’ and create alternative solutions to make this craft work in today’s condition and open up new discussions about it.
haz, Hazal Kırıkçı
Hazal Kırıkçı is translating an everyday life routine; eating, into a sensual and mindful experience through a cutlery set she designed.
The project aims to create a cutlery set for sensual and mindful eating as exploring how eating tools can shape if we reconstruct the norms and our interaction with them. How can cutlery appear if it is designed to be more than a tool for placing food in our mouth?
The haz -which means ‘hoşa giden duygulanma, hoşlanma, zevk’ pleasure in Turkish- is a set for sensual eating that are developed from the reinterpretation of how we interact with our food as well as the norms that shape this interaction in our daily lives. The set includes 6 pieces of tools, 3 with the silicone heads, and a self standing stand to hang the tools. The form, texture and material decisions are made as a combination of literature review and the eating habit observations.
Pin Project, İrem Tosun
İrem Tosun is creating a statement through Pin Project; revealing the potential of natural materials as the basic source of design.
İrem aims to reduce the damage to ecology as much as possible by testing the potentials of natural materials. The first step is the choice of materials and the last step is collecting the waste. In the process of transforming the material into shape; materials and manufacturing methods interact with each other. She uses simple manufacturing methods (picking up, cleaning up, drying, mixing, decoction, pinning) to determine the function of the material according to its potential.
MORPH, Kuntay Seferoğlu
Kuntay Seferoğlu triggers to create adoptable soundscapes by integrating everyone and our surroundings through a wearable and programmable instrument he designed.
MORPH amplifies and alters the sound of any object with body movements. It connects objects, body, and sound for a new performative way to produce live electro-acoustic content.
It can be reprogrammed according to its user's needs via open-source music programming softwares like PureData and SuperCollider. The user can download patches from community forums online or make custom ones. Along with manipulating the voices of objects, MORPH can be programmed to generate live visuals or control other instruments.
Constructables, Mert Onur
Mert Onur designed an open collection to be produced by everyone who can adopt to design&craft route in Istanbul.
"Constructables” is a designing and manufacturing activity. This product is actually a manufacturing experience which includes the user to take part in the design and production processes by combining ready-made parts and traditional craftsmanship. The user can customize the products through following the designer’s and the craftman’s directives.
This new system questions the current notion of design, the role of the designer and the passivization of the user and aims to create new, local, customizable and informative products.
SAND – MADE, Özge Adanır
Özge Adanır examines design as a learning method through a mobile station where the slow design notion is the core of the process.
SAND – MADE is a collective manufacturing station which aims to transform the relation between user interaction and the industrial production methods. Learning from existing production techniques of moulding and transforming the information into a design parameter provides alternative “making” opportunities. The main objectives of this project is to create a production line in which the user both “design” and “produce”, examine the relation between the user and the industry through this station. Considering design as a method of learning and presenting production methods to the participant, encourages the “consumer” to become a producer and participate to the design activity.
TransformStation, Pelin Daldık
Pelin Daldık converts plastic waste into new, valuable products for buildings produce a great amount of plastic waste, such as design schools.
TransformStation started with the question “ Is it possible to gradually increase awareness by addressing the concepts of recycle and upcycle and create a meaningful place for people? ”. Is a transformation unit that emerged at the end of a long process. This unit consists of 3 modules. Waste Module allows to collect waste plastics and bring it into the system. Shredder Modul breaks waste plastic and the Extrusion module extrudes granular flames with different headings.
SOLEVATE, Senem Oğuz
Senem Oğuz is contributing to an architectural element, balcony, through a customized station she designed.
Solevate is a new balustrade as a building element to transform the balcony into a more comfortable living space which provides us an opportunity to spend more time at there, while considering the privacy we need, the light-shade relationship and the capability to adjust this privacy.