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Re-defining domestic craft making

Istanbul Technical University



Making and producing traditions have been in a state of change with the emergence of digital media that creates knowledge sharing platforms affecting the conventional pathways. With a focus on embroidery making activity, this paper seeks the dynamics of domestic craft making under the influence of digitalization culture and aims to reveal the change of traditional practices and approaches fostered through social media platforms. To understand the potential of social media platforms, an online survey was conducted with forty-two Turkish craftspeople engaging in embroidery with particular open-ended and sample-based questions. The findings show that the use of social media triggers the creative activity with new improvements and technique development of homemaking that affect the originality of the end product and shifts the used source for inspiration from traditional to digital that have overflowed the homemaking approaches from the constraint of conventional craft making methods. It has also changed the form of social interaction between makers, makers and customers through the emergence of new online communities and expanding the limits of embroidery making activity by transforming hobbyists into makers and producers. Briefly, social media decentralizes the traditional making through the cultivation of new craft techniques and redefines the identity of domestic-makers.

social media platforms; domestic craft making; embroidery; Turkish craft

About the Authors

Pelin EFİLTİ received her BSc (2015) and MSc (2019) in Industrial Product Design from Istanbul Technical University (ITU). Currently, she is a research assistant in Istanbul Technical University, Industrial Product Design Department. Her research interest focuses on design research and qualitative research methods. She, as a Turkish woman, is interested in women-oriented issues, which have daily life practices and intimate content. Her MSc thesis is a design research for an intimate experience, menstrual products and practices of Turkish women. She takes part in planning and teaching of design research and product design studio courses, thus she is also interested in design education and pedagogy. Efilti searches the effects and potential of social media for design practice and education within the Turkish context. She aims to understand the practices and viewpoints of non-designers and students in order to discuss their reflections in design practice and design research.

Gizem ÇELEBİ is a research assistant at Istanbul Technical University, Industrial Product Design Department. She received her Bachelor Degree in Industrial Product Design from Gazi University (2012); her MSc in Industrial Product Design from Istanbul Technical University (2018). She currently continues her PhD education at Istanbul Technical University (2018- ). Her research interests include knowledge transformation, narrativity, product semantics and phenomenology. She is a Turkish woman, literature enthusiast and watercolour hobbyist that affected her research area. Her MSc thesis is structured on the analysis of the transformation process of verbal narratives into visual narratives based on product semantics perspective. She participates in product design studio and visual communication courses that lead her interests include design pedagogy. Her research interests include the emergence of new technologies and its effects on perception and behaviours of individuals.

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