The Role of Corporate and Collective Design Culture in the Intergenerational Transfer of Handcraft of Oya

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Geleneksel Yayincilik Ltd Stl

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Handcrafts are as old as human history and they are the manifestation of our creativity which differentiates us from other living creatures on earth. Handcrafts are the reflections of specific cultural worlds since each society leave their peculiar marks on them. They are artifacts that enrich and produce new meanings within the culture where they were born and having been fed. The technique of oya lace, produced with the help of tools such as a needle, crochet needle and shuttle, and silk threads has a particular place in Turkish folk culture. The handcraft of oya stands as a tool for non-verbal communication signifying togetherness and collective productivity. However, due to the adoption of global economic policies, the increase in the industrial production, rural-urban migration, and changes in the social structure taking place in the last forty years, oya culture has become a practice that's been limited with rural areas. Urbanized and well-educated women are losing their interest in oya culture. While the interest of urbanized women in oya production is decreasing, it is observed that they are eager to adorn themselves with oya. The reason of this is related with the integration of design culture and traditional oya lace production in recent years. There are three agents that play a major role in the prevention of interest to oya lace and sustain the culture of collective production in Turkey; productive cooperatives that emphasize social collectivity and productivity, corporate design brands and online websites developed by the practitioners. The aim of this article is to analyze these agents and discuss their efficiencies in the transfer of our cultural heritage oya lace to further generations. At the outset a literature review has been done on oya lace. Then, three samples were selected for each category to observe cooperatives, design brands and online platforms. In order to do situation analysis about oya lace cooperative directors, participants, and design brands employees were interviewed. Moreover, a case analysis was conducted with a sample group composed of five participants to evaluate the effectiveness of online platforms on learning oya production. The feature that distinguishes this study from the other studies within the field is that it raises concern over the current and future condition of oya culture and it is among the the first studies to approach the topic over the correlation of oya and design culture. Thereby, the transformation of oya culture peculiar to the 21st century has been depictured. According to the results of the research cooperatives and design brands make a great contribution to professionalization of design and production of oya culture instead of being a spare time activity by taking the lead in marketing, branding and praising organized womanly production. Design brands promote collaboration among producers and designers, while cooperatives bring different classes together to generate and enhance social interaction. Moreover, thanks to design culture artifacts embellished with oya gain functionality and generate a new culture.


Anahtar Kelimeler

Oya lace, handcrafts, traditional production, collective design, cultural heritage, intergenerational transfer of skills


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