Globalising a design heritage strategy: from Finland's Artek to Turkey's Grand Bazaar

Fahrettin Ersin Alaca

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisMonograph

Abstract

This doctoral study argues that the historical assets of design, engraved in living forms of collective memory, can be effectively engaged in the service of the appropriation and promotion of slower modes of consumption as opposed to the dominant and systematic novelty mechanism of fast fashion. The hypothesis is that a sustainability strategy employing design heritage and encouraging durable consumption can be helpful to avoid conflicts of interest between the transforming business community and its customers. Therefore, a heritage management strategy is proposed that emphasises feasibility and taps into existing socio- and politico-economic networks while suggesting positive changes in consumer behaviour. Due to the commercial and cultural popularity of permanent valorisation in design, this special design phenomenon is chosen as a specific field of design heritage. The potentials of enduring artefacts are recognised, and the study proposes further that these artefacts may become vehicles to achieve the strategy identified. To this end, the study employs an interdisciplinary review of several relevant literatures, transferring concepts and categories into the context of design heritage management. The findings of this review are further engaged in the analysis of a real-world case: the 2nd Cycle project by the iconic Finnish housewares company Artek. The analysis illustrates how the long-established company’s cultural and historical products are reproduced and capitalised in conformity with emerging consumer aspirations and needs. Drawing links between permanent valorisation, product longevity, and ultimately sustainable consumption, Artek’s project provides inspiring results how design heritage may lead to enhanced social good while taking advantage of new economic opportunities, know-how, and human capacities. Subsequently, special attention is given to the potential cross-cultural transferability of the heritage management strategy represented by this Finnish case. For this purpose, Artek’s case is taken as a cultivation of new sensibilities capable of translating a diversity of historical capital possessed by different cultures into heritage. Considering the constant growth of economic capacities and alarming levels of consumer spending, developing countries, known as emerging markets, are chosen as adaptation areas. Turkey, for example, whose historical, social, and cultural structure is distinct from that of Finland, provides a favourably challenging test environment for the thesis’ applicability. Discussing the feasibility and necessity of the growing heritage-oriented ethos in Turkey, the country is presented as representative of large emerging market segments with a theoretical application case, that of Istanbul’s monumental Grand Bazaar. Inspired by the Finnish case and developed further with additional insight from cultural heritage management studies in tourism environments, a specific design heritage management strategy is outlined for the bazaar. Following in-depth interviews with a range of professionals who make their living in the bazaar, and responding to their insights, the hypothetical strategy is aimed to synthesise the various interests of the bazaar’s large network of stakeholders while promoting durable consumption. Finally, a list of guiding principles of cross-cultural adaptation are drawn for future adopters attempting to apply this study’s findings to different heritage contexts on a global scale.
Translated title of the contributionGlobalising a design heritage strategy : from Finland's Artek to Turkey's Grand Bazaar
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor's degree
Awarding Institution
  • Aalto University
Supervisors/Advisors
  • Korvenmaa, Pekka, Supervising Professor
Publisher
Print ISBNs978-952-60-7655-3
Electronic ISBNs978-952-60-7654-6
Publication statusPublished - 2017
MoE publication typeG4 Doctoral dissertation (monograph)

Keywords

  • design heritage
  • sustainable consumption
  • permanent valorisation
  • the Grand Bazaar
  • Artek
  • 2nd Cycle

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