Exactly a year ago, Industrial Designers Society of Turkey (IDST) won the support of İstanbul Development Agency for its Industrial Design Promoting Agency (IDPA) and Industrial Design Virtual Museum (IDVM) project. A team of 9 spent an intense year with the activities and exhibitions that were included in the project. Finally, with an exhibition, they announced that they concluded all the steps of the project and IDVM was officially open.
We interviewed the Museum Administrator, industrial designer and museologist Burçak Madran about IDVM and its details. If you want to learn about these details, we recommend that you check below.
Why a virtual museum?
With İstanbul Development Agency’s support to Industrial Designers Society of Turkey for its Industrial Design Promoting Agency (IDPA) and Virtual Museum (IDVM) Project, our work started. The fastest solution that could be created as a result of this support budget would be an industrial design virtual museum formed over a virtual archieve. Using references from the world, Turkey’s industrial design chronology was put together in less than a year. A collection made out of products of designers, producers, brands was prepared.
What about the relation between the virtual museum and a real museum?
You can think of this virtual museum as a step towards a real one. A design museum – actually, any museum – requires a budget and collections. Great families that have their own collections and budgets find their own museums; however, it takes time for a society to chronologize the industrial design history of the country and form a collection by searching the products. We want these endeavors to someday result in a museum that physically exists.
We wanted to design a forum with multiple contributors by guiding the industry that produces the design, that cooperates with the designer to a single address. This virtual museum is our invitation area!
On the other hand, the power of virtuality is undoubtable. The number of people you can reach and continuity is so very different. At the moment, we can design a museum that contains more than 3 times the number of products that are in the exhibition in Beyoğlu. However, it is more important for us that this endeavor progresses through maturation. Furthermore, if a design museum is to be built, cooperation with the other creative disciplines is a must.
What about IDVM?
Every topic that was talked on in the searching conference last year was interpreted under the museologic logic and each topic became a reference for determining the collection policy of IDVM. Generally speaking, we wanted to collect everything about industrial design that belongs to this country. It is mandatory for products to be either produced in Turkey or to be designed by designers in Turkey.
IDVM has a manifest that clearly states what IDVM is with its collections, library, archieve and collection policy. The only thing it is missing to become a real museum is a staff policy.
What does IDVM present to its viewers?
There is a chronologic study about industrial design here. We wanted to bring together what the researchers of people that lived through that specific period remembered, knew and owned and present them to the viewers. IDST’s exhibitions up to date, its awarding systems and products that were in the activities are included in our collection and are being exhibited. With this website that has infinite accessibility we have created an area that is specialized on the subject of industrial design in Turkey.
Will there be virtual exhibitions?
A site on the internet can become a virtual museum by holding exhibitions, activities. IDVM differs from a site with only a chronology because of this approach. Virtual exhibitions and activities that will change every 3-4 months will continue to be held. Currently, Galeri T (Gallery T) period furniture designs of Türkiye Mobilya Tasarımında Dönüm Noktası: Kare Metal (A Turning Point in Turkish Furniture Design: Square Metal) firm are being exhibited.
Other than our temporary exhibitions, we plan on creating a special area for children and forming an online forum where interested parties can connect. The interactive medium that is presented by the transformation that we want to create in this designed system is exteremely important.
If I have a collection, how can I support IDVM?
We contacted the owners of products that are in our current collection. They are very motivated and willing to give us new images, to share the current conditions of their products and to tell us about their processes.
We think of IDVM as an area to reach the facts about the sector, hence the more correct information we get from a product’s owner, the better for us. IDVM can be seen as a platform that is open the every kind of support about the topic. Reaching someone who has a collection and who is working on this subject is an added value for us. The site’s collection policy might be helpful in giving information about who can help how. Furthermore, we ask for collectioners to be directed towards us and them to share their collections with us.
What about its permanence?
This site which was an IDST project will always be supported by the society. It can be said that IDST stands on volunteer work since its founding. As the only museologist and industrial designer or as a volunteer member of IDST, my supportfor this virtual museum will continue. Besides, we don’t need tens of staff for keeping a web site alive, a few people can take care of this.
When will we have a real design museum?
Since the founding of the İstanbul branch of IDST (the end of 1990s) we have wanted a real museum. But IDST can’t do it alone. It needs the support of industrialists that improve with design or sectoral societies or exporters assembly. If someday the state comes up with a socialising project on design and museum, maybe then, it can progress through the support of the state.
It is important to be able to show the virtual museum to institutions that want to support these kinds of projects but cannot make up their minds. A location and support are musts for a real museum. But most importantly an inter-disciplinary cooperation that will support each other must be established.
While industrial design is so intermingled with the economy and industry, everyone in this sector must be able to work together. With the contributions of other disciplines’ professionals, we can create a long-awaited unity.
Creative Industries Society is founded, next year International Design Alliance (IDA) will be in İstanbul. In this journey, it should be possible for the museum to increase its scope and advance with the support of everyone.
For a real design museum, all disciplines have their responsibilities. A connected, shoulder to shoulder journey seems mandatory.