Artisans in Istanbul is the thesis project of Rezzan Hasoglu. The full text is available upon written request.

The project represents itself on a website which is an exploration and documentation of artisans and small-scale manufacturers of Istanbul. It is a window to their work space, work conditions, personal stories and crafting skills. These artisans and manufacturers are probably the last ones in their generation. It becomes important task to protect their legacy and knowledge since they create an important element of the cultural heritage in Istanbul. As the research proceeds further, new subjects will be added.

ABSTRACT
BUILDING A COMMUNITY PLATFORM FOR ARTISANS AND DESIGNERS: ARTISANS IN ISTANBUL

REZZAN HASOĞLU

SABANCI UNIVERSITY, M.A., THESIS, MAY 2015
Supervisor: Hüseyin Selçuk Artut, PhD

Keywords: design, artisan, craft, integrating design to crafts, technology

“Technology” derives from the word “technē” in Greek, which means “craftsmanship.” The suffix “-logy” derives from “logos” which means “to reason.” The meaning of “Technology” resides in its roots: a way of knowing by making and crafting. This thesis aims to find a sustainable solution for the artisans of Istanbul whose story appears to constitute a noteworthy example to a much wider spread, seemingly global, problem: The location of artisans in the city, a failing system of apprenticeship, and the lack of a critical role of artisans within industrial production systems has led the thesis to a search for solutions regarding the future welfare of their livelihoods. Artisans are professionals who stand outside mass production systems, hand-manufacture individual products, mostly through traditional techniques that are handed down from master to apprentice whereas designers are professionals who are the first links of a chain of mass production. Unlike artisans, designers mostly do not directly manufacture creations themselves but instead develop prototypes / templates that are to be turned into products by others who are the further links of the above the mentioned chain.  Yet, artisans demonstrate the ability to adapt to new technologies and procedures. This leads thesis to query whether designers, who have formal knowledge (logos), can be an instrument of social change for artisans who have tacit knowledge (technē). Through collaboration between these two seemingly disparate professions, a joint strategy whereby artisans can readapt their traditional handcraft oriented skills towards autonomous unique design processes and develop small-scale productions.

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