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Main trends/topics


As design education was started as part of the modernization process of Turkey, it followed an ideal which assumed that graduate designers would be working in large companies with a mass production capacity. In compliance with this ideal, designers were educated to design industrial products for mass production. Experimenting with different forms of production was rare and involvement with crafts was seen as moving away from the rationalist, modern approaches to design. This situation started to change in the 1990s as the Turkish design scene started to open to international influences at an accelerating speed. As Turkish designers started to exhibit their work at international venues, they felt the need to explain themselves and became more aware of their culture as a source of new product ideas. This development was also supported by the increasing sophistication of at least some consumer segments gaining purchasing power and developing a taste for well designed products. The search for a Turkish design identity continues to be a discussion issue in the design circles both in Turkey and abroad.