Learning by Doing

Teamwork and change of perspective through design

© Meltem Eti Proto
Impression from the exhibition of the Bauhaus project “Producing Together” in Istanbul

How has the centenary of the Bauhaus and its program around the world altered your very own idea(s) of the Bauhaus?

I find it very valuable to remember Bauhaus, which has influenced and guided the design world with the requirements of the era. I have been a student and then, Professor since 28 years at the Marmara University, Faculty of Fine Arts in Istanbul which was founded on the educational approach of Bauhaus school in 1957. I believe in the educational contribution of producing together is a strong reflection of the Bauhaus school in the Interior Architecture Department’s program in the Faculty of Fine Arts of Marmara University. 

The centenary of Bauhaus and its programs around the world reinforces my thoughts on learning by doing based on Bauhaus's innovative principles, in an era where the young generation is tech natives and spending nearly their entire lives immersed in digital technologies, where mobility are crucial to living and learning. I think that the issue of hand and thought coordination that we have always emphasized in design education is triggered by making is much more important today.

What new insights have you gained?

Our faculty also participated in Bauhaus's centenary with various projects. The first of these is the “MEMORY” project of the State School of Applied Fine Arts which is the most representative of the Bauhaus school in Turkey initiated by the curator of Prof.Dr.İnci Deniz Ilgın, a member of the Interior Architecture Department. This project aims to archive the State School of Applied Fine Arts’s experiences from the day which was founded sixty-two years ago and make them visible. This Project is a big win in terms of documenting the contribution to art and design education of Marmara University Faculty of Fine Arts in Turkey.

The other one was the project called “UNDERSTANDING BAUHAUS Producing Together” which I am the curator that aims to reproduce Bauhaus furniture icons. In this project, I think that many gains have been achieved in the process of producing 1/1 scale furniture with my Interior Architecture students. While students were making technical drawings of the furniture, they understood the ratio-proportion relationship of furniture that shaped the design world of the last century. They gained experience in understanding the importance of teamwork in the production phase, how technical drawing details transform to production and the dynamics of the master-apprentice relationship. Students also gained a deeper understanding of all stages of furniture production – from design to production, experienced the workshop spirit and improved their teamwork skills while learning details, design/material interaction and how to manage the production and assembly stages. During this study which we predicate Bauhaus principles in design education, students became familiar with issues related to design, production and communication and also learned about professional discipline. 

© Meltem Eti Proto
Impression from the exhibition of the Bauhaus project “Producing Together” in Istanbul
© Meltem Eti Proto
Impression from the exhibition of the Bauhaus project “Producing Together” in Istanbul

What perhaps unexpected perspectives on the Bauhaus have you learned during the last year?

The feedback from my students was an important achievement for me in the project ‘Producing Together’ that I was the curator.
Student reviews and feedback support confirm how beneficial and rewarding this project was:

– “First of all, we learned tangible and permanent data about the realization process of design.”

– “it was an incredible experience to see the stages of furniture production in a work environment.” 

– “While working together, we experienced looking at different aspects, trying different methods and interpreting them differently. We shortened the production process with true teamwork and task division.”

– “We learned the importance of acting together as a class and time management as a group. This work showed us how pleasant and effective the spirit of the workshop can be while enabling us to produce a piece of furniture successfully.” 

– “Teamwork and being involved in all stages of production was immensely satisfying.”

Furniture produced during the project has been exhibited in Istanbul and afterward is used around our department and experienced by everyone. The inclusion of this furniture in our faculty's collection will contribute to the continuity of the Bauhaus Ecole and will be an important outcome of the project. The project, which aims to ensure the continuity of the Bauhaus work discipline, will increase communication in campus life. With this project, we will continue to produce furniture designs from different periods and bring them to campus. The project is conducted by Prof. Dr. Meltem Eti Proto, Lecturer Yusuf Boncukcu and Res.Assist.Çağrı Uludüz. All the furniture in the project has been produced by our 3rd-grade students.

[Translate to English:] Frage 4

Thank you for the interview!


    [NF 2019]

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