Design and Authority

4T Design and Design
History Association,
Biannual Symposium, 2019
May 2-4 2019,
İzmir, Turkey


The coupling of design and authority in a Google search, the “internet search authority,” surprisingly results in entries which have more to do with the procedural and legislative aspects related to design: The “authority” issues rules for which the product of design or the designer has to comply with, or claims privilege in shaping the design product. Authority is usually attributed to an agent of enforcement regulating products and to an extent, that those produce design. Understood as a form of legitimized power, authority is realized only by the mutual recognition of those who hold power and those who do not.
A cliché argues that Italians cannot leave their Moka pots behind when they go on a holiday, or the Turkish obsessively want their tea served in a specific type of glass, Japanese cars will never reach the quality level of the Germans, the Chinese are the new rulers of the world of electronic gadgets and so on. Another recounts the obsession of those who hold possession of a unique or rare object carrying the signature of a famous designer and how it’s valued. How do we account for the authority of designed objects in our daily lives, or in the way we value other cultures?
Digital culture, on the other hand, independent of any geographical, national boundaries, has been enthusiastically embracing all kinds of sharing platforms and collaborative tools. Digital design culture seems to have built its own peculiar collaborative environment. This collaboration does away with authorship by way of open-source software (which are generally not devised by designers), or by acts like taking and modifying scripts, utilizing algorithms shared online by various designers. Our way of teaching is, therefore, heavily influenced by the way we learn, question, think about and produce design. Call it the “digital elimination of authorship” or the “digital design knowledge of many hands,” old authorial notions of intellectual property and copyright often remain meaningless in such a collaborative environment.

Taking these subject headings as possible strands we welcome contributions from all design-related disciplines and fields that address questions such as, but not limited to:
In what ways do design and authority come together?
How does design exert authority?
How can design resist authority?
How does authority shape design in shaping itself, its powers?
How do products of design have authority over lives, cultures, countries, histories or how do they lose the authority they once had?
When does design become complicit with authority in creating authoritarian structures?
How does authoritarianism enforce design regimes that hold sway over the field of cultural production?
In what ways can one explain the relationship of authorship, design and authority?
Is it possible to talk about the authority of collective authorship in design?

Organizing Committee
Derya Irkdaş Doğu
Bahar Emgin
Erdem Erten
Batuhan Taneri
Emre Yıldız

Keynote Speakers

Alison J. Clarke
The Politics of Design: Manufacturing “Undeveloped Peoples”

Frederic J. Schwartz
Bauhaus and Critical Theory


May 2, 2019 Thursday
16:00-18:00 Registration
18:00 Opening Speech
18:30 Keynote
Frederic J. Schwartz
Bauhaus and Critical Theory: An Uneasy Relationship
19:30 Reception
May 3, 2019 Friday
09:30-11:00 Public Space, Art and Authority
Chair: Erdem Erten

Learning For/From Darağaç: Art, Design, and Space-Making as a Subversive Practice
Kıvanç Kılınç, Burkay Pasin and Güzden Varinlioğlu

Enhancing The Engagement Of The Community In Contemporary Art Through The Development Of Public Art Spaces
Silvia Rolla

Spatial Experience Phenomenon Against Authority
Bahar Gökçen Kumsar
Coffee Break
11:30-13:00 Authority, Culture and Product Design
Chair: Aren Emre Kurtgözü

Resisting the social authority: Taboo-breaking design approaches on menstrual products
Pelin Efilti and Şebnem Timur Öğüt

A Study on the Notion of Authority within the Design History of Turkish Tobacco and Cigarettes
Elif Kocabiyik Savasta
Effects of Authority in the Case of Tea and Tea Glass
Ilknur Küçükoğlu, Emre Tüfekçioğlu, Gülbin Özdamar Akarçay and Deniz Kılıç
13:00-14:30 Lunch
14:30-16:30 Design vs Authoritarianism
Chair: Tuğcan Güler

Decoding Type: To what extent has the invention of Unicode in 1990 contributed to multiculturalism in international type design?
Marion Bisserier
Clandestine presses during the Italian Resistance
Andrea Vendetti

Authority and Austerity: Influence Flows Between EstadoNovo and Port Wine in Posters From The 1930 and 1940
Mariana Almeida and Helena Barbosa

Design against authoritarianism in Portugal and the constitution of other parties: a vision through the design of posters
Helena Barbosa
Coffee Break
17:00 Keynote
Alison J. Clarke
The Politics of Design: Manufacturing the “Undeveloped Peoples”
May 4, 2019 Saturday
09:30-11:00 Authority, Authoritarianism, Design
Chair: Kıvanç Kılınç

The Portuguese World Exhibition (1940): the propaganda event from an authoritarian regime
Ana Filomena Curralo and Helena Barbosa

The Re-Making of the Taksim Square: Design Process Revisited
Ipek Akpinar and Kerem Ganic

Design between Dignity and Identity: Burning Borders for New Routes of Migration
Safouan Azouzi
Coffee Break
11:30-13:00 Safeguarding Authority, Reclaiming Authorship
Chair: Fehmi Doğan

Authority over One’s Work: Perspectives of Industrial Designers in Entrepreneurial Careers
İrem Dilek, Zeliha Didem Yanpar, Kardelen Aysel, Pınar Kaygan and Utku Ay

Doğru mu hocam? (‘Am I right, my teacher?’): User-centred design challenging authority-laden education practices in Turkey
Marina Emmanouil

Personalization of Space & Sense of Belonging among International Students
Zaid Alawamleh
13:00-14:30 Lunch
14:30-16:00 Authority, Authorship, Author
Chair: Berna Yaylalı Yıldız

Delegation of authority between the government and an architects and its impact on architectural design: Serbian architecture after the WWII (1945-1980)
Aleksandra Jevtovic

Towards Posthuman(ist) Authorship in the Field of 4.0 Fashion Design
Natalia Särmäkari

The authority of those who play: understanding architecture through ontological drawings
Igor Fracalossi
Coffee Break
16:30-18:00 Challenging or Reinforcing? Limits of Authority
Chair: İpek Ek

Handing over the authority: The effects of social media on domestic making and production practices
Gizem Çelebi and Pelin Efilti

IKEA hack: Who is challenging whose authority?
Renk Dimli Oraklıbel

Power, counter-power: Adobe and Libre Graphics
John-Patrick Hartnett
18:00 Closing Speech