During ACCESS, I will present two iterations of the project “Gün”, which I have been facilitating in the past three years. I will talk about the first gathering that took place in Istanbul, Turkey during ISEA 2011, and a second one in Athens, Greece, which was part of the Home/s Exhibition at Benaki Museum in 2013.
“Gün” draws from the Turkish tradition of women’s social gatherings that involve conversation, activities and festivities accompanied by the serving of Turkish food. (“Gün” literally means day; sun; sunlight, sunshine; daytime; today, present; time; age, period; good times; date; at-home day.) “Gün(s)” are informal hubs of social networks where women exchange recipes and skills; share opinions and remedies, and discuss issues and concerns about their local communities. The gatherings often involve the collection of gold or money among the members of the social group and generate a micro-economy to support the host family.
At ACCESS, I will present an organizational framework—an informal network protocol— using social elements from the Turkish tradition. Elements such as “Remedy, Gossip, Teach, Persuasion, and Room for Surprise,” will be used to structure and catalyze an event space for discursive dialogue. The participants will collectively work on a visual document that can capture a social, cultural, historical or political narrative based on their shared interests. There will be 4 sessions, and each will take 30 minutes.
This project intends to challenge designers’ contributions to the formation of socially aware communities, and how design thinking can be utilized to build communities, organizations, neighborhoods, and networks that can transcend disciplinary boundaries. The current manifestations of “Gün(s)” are in the form printed publications, however the project is a good example of traditional design thinking and problem solving can be used in relation to abstract topics such as information theory, social networking, and protocol design while creating culturally grounded experiences.
I will be using this method at the next “Gün” event, and I believe that ACCESS will be a good opportunity to receive feedback from peers.