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Made in Sishane
Asli Kiyak Ingin and Teike Asselbergs organized a workshop in October 2009 for a small group of designers within the framework of an ongoing project to create a neighbourhood-brand called Made in Sishane. Made in Sishane promotes the Istanbul district of Sishane as an area for creative people. Asli and Teike helped designers Bas van Beek, Lara de Greef, Frank Willems, Anita Bacic and Gerrie Starreveld to work with the unique local production network in the district. The work of the designers was exhibited in the lightshop 'Kendal' during the Galata Visibility Project.
Because between 11 and 16 October 2009 a Dutch trade mission came to Istanbul, a presentation of the research and work by Dutch participants of the workshop was organized. The Foreign Trade Minister Frank Heemskerk visited two master crafsmen in Sishane and the results of the workshop were displayed in the Dutch Consulate, both on the day of the trade mission and several days thereafter for the general public in the small chapel of the Dutch Consulate.
History of Sishane
Sishane is a small but extremely dense district in Istanbul specialized in light and electricity, its location is close to the landmark Galata tower. Sishane was an old commercial centre in pre-Ottoman and Genoese times. Due to its proximity to Galata Port, which was the main customs gate of the Ottoman Empire where all modern goods from the Western world entered the Empire, a 19th century type Silicon Valley developed in the district. In 1857 Beyoglu (of which Sishane is a part) became the first municipality of the Ottoman Empire, and in 1859 the first street lights appeared here. At the Beginning of 20th century technology based companies and shops became more important than other sectors in the district. During the 1920s the need for new technology in society increased the importance of the electrical and lighting shops to the extend that the area became nationally known and its name synonymous with lighting products.
Pre-capitalist and capitalist cultures mix in Sishane
It is usual that when a customer requires an item that the shop does not have on sale, a person from the shop goes out and takes the item from another shop in the district, in the meanwhile the customer is served free tea or coffee. Upon return, the shop-keeper who borrowed the requested item from the other shop, sells the item to the customer. Later in the day an apprentice of the other shop visits all the shops that borrowed products for clients and either retrieves the money or the product. Sometimes the owner of the shop even closes his shop and walks with the customer to another shop where the item is for sale. Shopkeepers sometimes tell customers that they should go to another shop where the item they want is cheaper, or give unasked negative advice about items they themselves have on sale in order to build relationships based on trust. Whole streets are lined with similar looking shops and the shops are not only on street level but all the way up to the 10th floor of buildings, most of which were originally houses.
The challenge of small scale production regions within Istanbul
Small scale production regions within Istanbul are currently threatened by a rapid clearance due to the consumption oriented tourism development. However, these regions, with their rich and flexible production infrastructure, have the potential to realize unique design ideas and to respond to the local design needs. If this potential is valued and developed, these regions can go through an urban development process which evolves from their inner dynamics. This is the reason why Made in Sishane project wat set up in 2006.
Aims of Made in Sishane
The Made in Sishane project first of all aims to get a better understanding of the networks in Sishane. The movement in the district is generally perceived as a chaos, but is in fact a sign of an important and a meaningfull communication and production network. Secondly it enriches the production networks with the participation of designers, artists and architects. Creative people become mediators to evaluate the possibilities for sustainable future developments and give testament to its intangiable heritage. Made in Sishane asks: How can design have a positive role in the sustainable development of a small scale production region? What kind of potentiality do the small scale production regions and the producers have for the designers?
Quote Asli Kiyak Ingin: Small scale production regions within the city are currently threatened by a rapid clearance due to the consumption oriented tourism developments. In fact, these regions, with their rich and flexible production infrastructure, have the potential to realize unique design ideas and to respond to the local design needs. If this potential is valued and developed, these regions can go through an urban development process which evolves from their inner dynamics. Made in Sishane interacts with the existing production network within the district. The movement in the district - which is generally perceived as a chaos - is in fact a sign of an important and a meaningfull communication and production network. Made in Sishane aims to get attention to this network and enrich it with the participation of the designers, artists and architects; and to expose the existing relationships between the aforementioned designers, artists and architects and the small scale producers in the district.
Design-Manufacture Relation on an Urban Scale: The Case of ªiºhane
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