4T 2017 Cross(-)abilities in design

12th International Design and Design History Symposium May 11-12, 2017 – İzmir, TURKEY


In the context of representing the other Gayatri Spivak once said:

“And I don’t think, really that we will solve the problem today talking to each other; but, on the other hand I think it has to be kept alive as a problem.”

The statement can be applied to many contexts of identification. Be it cultural, disciplinary, or individual identities, boundaries that define them are constructed rather than given.

Contrary to essentialist claims, they need to be constantly questioned, deconstructed and re-formed. This year’s symposium will question the boundaries of design and the possibilities to cross-over those boundaries. Hence the title, Cross(-)abilities in Design.

It is possible to read the term cross-abilities in two different ways. First as “Crossabilities in Design”, looking at the boundaries, norms and taboos in design practice, discourse and education. The second as “Cross-abilities in Design” investigating the partnerships and the changing focus of design disciplines in a global context. In both cases the use of the term “design” is meant to evoke an identity category rather than an a-priori corpus.

In exploring the problematic boundaries of design, encountering these two contested attributions are unavoidable. In this symposium we would like to invite papers that question both attributions and keep this duality as a problem.

The conference has three strands:

Crossing Cultures

With a concentration on the global and local contexts as well as glocal creations:

  • How can design turn into an emancipatory practice by questioning cultural norms
  • How are design discourses translated across cultures?
  • How can cultural difference, rather than diversity, be productively mobilized in design education?

Crossing Disciplines

With a concentration on multi-, inter-, and trans-disciplinary studies and practices in areas related to design:

  • How are design discourses affected by other disciplinary discourses?
  • How are the boundaries of design set in professional and educational institutions?
  • What are the limits of interdisciplinary collaborations in design practices?

Crossing Subjectivities

With a concentration on the user and designer profiles:

  • How do cultural generalizations, prejudices and stereotypes on identity affect design practices?
  • How can inclusive and accessible design be approached and broadened across different design disciplines?
  • How can the question of agency be addressed within design disciplines?


Abstract submission

Those who are interested in contributing papers to the twelfth 4T Symposium are invited to submit a title and an extended abstract of 500-600 words through EasyChair by January 31th 2017.
February 6th 2017 Registration to EasyChair is essential in order to submit abstracts. The symposium language is English, therefore all abstracts, presentations and papers should be in English. For any further enquiry please contact Cansu Karakız (cansukarakiz@gmail.com). Selected proposals will be announced on February 28th, 2017.

Important dates to note

Abstract submission deadline

Notification of accepted papers

February 28, 2017

Keynote Speaker

Christina Varvia

Researcher & Project Coordinator,
Forensic Architecture

Christina Varvia is an architect and the research coordinator for Forensic Architecture. She has graduated from the AA School of Architecture with a previous degree from Westminster University. Her previous research includes studies on digital media and memory as well as the perception of the physical environment through scanning and imaging technologies, research that she deploys through time-based media.

After having worked in architectural practice, Christina joined the Forensic Architecture team in 2014, where she developed methodologies and undertook video analysis that lead to the Rafah: Black Friday report, unpacking one day of war in Gaza, 2014. She has since coordinated the Saydnaya: Inside a Syrian torture prison project, FA’s Venice Biennale participation, as well as many other exhibitions and projects.


Early bird registration

  • Deadline: March 31, 2015, Tuesday
  • Full paper presenters: 200 Euro
  • Full paper presenters (For 4T members): 160 Euro
  • Gala dinner: 40 Euro

Standard registration

  • Deadline: April 17, 2015, Wednesday
  • Full paper presenters: 250 Euro
  • Full paper presenters (For 4T members): 200 Euro
  • Gala dinner: 40 Euro

Registration During the Symposium

  • Gala dinner: 40 Euro
  • Site seeing (Kemeraltı Design Tour): 100 TL including lunch, Tea & Coffee
  • Attendance only: 20 TL per day
  • Students (attendance only): Free
  • Member of 4T & Chamber of Architects (attendance only): Free

The registration fee should be deposited to the following account:

Bank: İş Bankası
Account Name: Tasarım ve Tasarım Tarihi
Account Number: 3481 0182548
IBAN: TR50 0006 4000 0013 4810 1825 48

Please send a copy of your bank receipt to Cansu Karakız (cansukarakiz@gmail.com).

We would like to remind you that those who fail to deposit the registration fee by April 14 will be excluded from the conference program.


Organizing board

  • Tevfik Balcıoğlu
  • Gülsüm Baydar
  • Şebnem Yücel
  • Ahenk Yılmaz
  • Ömer Durmaz
  • Ö. Osman Demirbaş
  • Gökhan Mura
  • A. Can Özcan
  • Dilek Himam
  • Gökçeçiçek Savaşır
  • Özlem Taşkın Erten


  • Cansu Karakız
  • Eda Paykoç

Scientific Committee

  • A. Can Özcan Assist. Prof. Dr., Izmir University of Economics
  • Ahenk Yılmaz Assoc. Prof. Dr., Yaşar University
  • Anna Maria Calvera Sague Prof. Dr., Barcelona University
  • Artemis Yagou Dr., Deutsches Museum, New Europe College
  • Clive Dilnot Prof., Parsons The New School for Design
  • Emily Pott Dr., The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts
  • Erika Cortes Maestra, National Autonomous University of Mexico
  • F. Dilek Himam Assist., Prof. Dr., Izmir University of Economics
  • Fedja Vukić Prof. Dr., University of Zagrep
  • Fredie Floré Assoc. Prof., KU Leuven
  • Gökçeçiçek Savaşır Assoc. Prof. Dr., 9 Eylul University
  • Gökhan Mura Assist., Prof. Dr., Izmir University of Economics
  • Grace Lees-Maffei Reader, Dr., University of Hertfordshire
  • Gülsüm Baydar Prof. Dr., Yaşar University
  • Guy Julier Prof., University of Brighton
  • Héctor Flores Magón y Jiménez Prof., University of GuadalaJara
  • Helena Barbosa Prof. Dr., University of Aveiro
  • Irini Pitsaki Senior Lecturer, Dr., Northumbria University
  • Jeffrey L. Meikle Prof., University of Texas, Austin
  • Jeremy Aynsley Prof., University of Brighton
  • John Wood Emeritus Prof., Goldsmiths University of London
  • Jonathan Mekinda Prof., University of Illinois
  • Jonathan Woodham Prof., University of Brighton
  • Kjetil Fallan Prof. Dr., University of Oslo
  • Manuela Antoniu PhD., Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine
  • Maria Moreira PhD., Senior Lecturer, Institute of Arts, State University of Rio de Janeiro
  • Marinella Ferrara Assoc. Prof. Dr., Politecnico di Milano
  • Ö. Osman Demirbaş Assoc. Prof. Dr., Izmir University of Economics
  • Ömer Durmaz Lecturer, 9 Eylul University
  • Özlem Taşkın Erten Dr., Izmir Greater City Municipality
  • Paul Atkinson Prof., Sheffield Hallam University
  • Pekka Korvenmaa Prof., Aalto University
  • Priscila Lena Farias Prof. Dr., University of Sao Paulo
  • Robert Lzicar Lecturer and Researcher, Bern University of Applied Sciences
  • Sara Kristoffersson Prof., Konstfack University College of Arts
  • Sarah Teasley Dr., Head of Programme, V&A/RCA History of Design
  • Şebnem Yücel Assoc. Prof. Dr., Yaşar University
  • Silvia Luisa Pizzocaro Prof., Dr., Politecnico di Milano
  • Tevfik Balcıoğlu Prof. Dr., Yaşar University
  • Tingyi S. Lin Assoc. Prof., National Taiwan University of Science and Technology
  • Vanni Pasca Prof., Ais/Design
  • Yasuko Takayama Prof. Dr., Shizuoka University of Art and Culture
  • Yuko Kikuchi Reader, Dr., University of the Arts London

Concept and design

  • Umut Altıntaş

Graphic applications

  • Orkun Destici


Thursday, May 11th, 2017 Friday, May 12th, 2017
08:45 – 09:15Coffee & registration  
09:15 – 09:30Opening talks  
09:30 – 11:00Session #109:30 – 11:00Session #4
11:00 – 11:15Coffee break11:00 – 11:15Coffee break
11:15 – 12:45Session #211:15 – 12:45Session #5
12:45 – 14:00Lunch break12:45 – 14:00Lunch break
14:00 – 16:30Keynote speech14:00 – 16:00Session #6
16:30 – 16:45Coffee break16:00 – 16:15Coffee break
16:45 – 18:15Session #316:15 – 18:15Session #7
18:30Take off for gala dinner18:30 – 19.30Closing reception
19.00 – 23.00Gala dinner  


İzmir Center of Architecture (İzmir Mimarlık Merkezi / Mimarlar Odası)

Symposium tour

Visiting the Bazaar and historic buildings of Kemeraltı, İzmir

Date: Saturday, May 13, 2017
Fee: 100 TL

The historical Kemeraltı district is the commercial and cultural center of Izmir and offers a unique experience of the vivid mixture of traditional and modern daily practices. Located on a 27-hectar area including Konak Square, Esrefpasa Street, Fevzipasa Boulevard and Anafartalar Street, the bazaar accommodates 15.000 stores. Being one of the oldest bazaars of the world, Kemeralti has been the axis for tourism, where historical mosques, churches, synagogues, fountains, inns, hotels, and Turkish baths are located. The Symposium Tour with a focus on the issues of “Ethics/Re-production” intends to manifest an extensive experience of the district through a variety of interesting elements of architecture, design, craftsmanship, fashion and gastronomy.

* The Tour is available for the registered conference participants. The price for the Tour Pack includes on-field guidance service, a printed map, light lunch and soft drinks.
** The minimum number of participants is 8 and the maximum is 20; if the number is failed to reach, the Tour will be cancelled.
*** The period of the Tour is approximately 5 hours (10:00-15:00). The route will follow the thoroughfares of the commercial and cultural centers of the city; therefore comfortable garment and walking shoes are recommended. The Tour is not suitable for participants that have difficulty in standing and walking in long periods. 4T Organizing Committee and the Committee of Conference Tour members will not be held responsible for climatic conditions, medical expenses, accidents, losses or other unexpected damage to property belonging to conference participants during the Tour. Participants are strongly advised to take their own responsibilities for such unexpected conditions.
**** Registrations for the Tour will be approved following the confirmation of the payment. If participants cancel or do not attended to the Tour, there won’t be any refunds. In case of cancellation of the Tour caused by unexpected situations, payments will be refunded by the Organization Committee.