Artist’s Statement

Ambiguous Standards Institute Photography


An Institute Within An Institute. exhibition


It was your toy that was hacked . exhibition


Dreamscapes: Hypercritical Dissections in Space . exhibition

An empty room creates its own function. exhibition


Plasticity v2 . critical design studio

Art Maker Lab . space

The Crocodile . stage design

Taking Scarpa for a Walk . workshop

Domesticity v2. design studio

Toolsturning . design project

M(F)aking Between Finality and instrumentality . article


Velocity v2 . design studio

Architectural Model Making In Turkey: A Tool For Thinking and Visualization . exhibition design

Stools as Tools: Tactical Units and Ways of Sitting in Public Space . article

Electricity v1 . design studio

ALT.Lounge . space

Two Modes: Playing Darzana . article

The Bride's House or the Era of Hyper-Rituals  . article


Plasticity v1 . critical design studio

Reprojecting Autoprogettazione? . exhibition

Curious Assembly . research

The New Domesticity: Furniture Issue . exhibition

Domesticity v1 . critical design studio

Creature Comforts . design practice


Velocity v1 . critical design studio

The Design Journal
An International Journal for All Aspects of Design
Volume 19, 2016 - Issue 3

Tactics of Cultural Adaptation: Design and Production Characteristics of Toys in Istanbul
Avşar Gürpınar, Artemis Yagou & Şebnem Timur Öğüt
Pages 451-472

Toys, more than being objects of play, reflect society’s relation to globalization on different layers, manifesting themselves in typologies of toys, their production methods and the industrial organization of the sector, as well as in the exploitation of cultural references in new product development (NPD). Contemporary theories of globalization state that globalization does not only work in a homogenizing and standardizing way but the global dynamics are transformed and adapted by local actors. In the encounter of the Global and the Local, different modes of articulation emerge in addition to the dichotomic responses of acceptance and rejection. In that manner, toys embody an important issue of research, acting as the physical manifestations of local and global dynamics. This paper aims to understand how design and production characteristics of toys have been adapted to the changing socio-economic characteristics of Turkey and İstanbul in particular. Starting from the first instances of systematic toy production, the transformation of production practices and different typologies have been analysed in relation to the changing urban structure; economic, social and cultural conjuncture of their times. The evaluation of different systems of design and production has established a background for understanding the contemporary structure. The geographical and industrial organization of the sector as well as the actors and networks are analysed to generate a comprehensive analysis. Then, different types of contemporary toys and tactics of cultural adaptation are studied to reach a comprehensive understanding of the issue. Toys are sampled, categorized and analysed both in means of design characteristics and design and production processes. As a result, different instances of cultural adaptation were methodized, namely translation, transliteration, hybridization and reproduction, where toy companies facilitate elements of traditional, popular and global culture as well as different modes of production for their NPD tactics.

Keywords: toys, culture, design, globalization, hybridization

Full text of article.