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50/40 Years of Industrial Design Education at METU

Dear Alumni and Friends of METU ID,

The year 2019 is the anniversary of two important developments in the industrial design education history of Turkey; in this year we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first industrial design course in our country and the 40th anniversary of the foundation of our department.

The first industrial design course in Turkey was opened in the Department of Architecture, at Middle East Technical University (METU).  David K. Munro, an American industrial designer, who came to Turkey to develop an industrial design program within METU Faculty of Architecture with the support of the Agency for International Development (AID), opened the elective studio course ‘ARCH 361–Industrial Design’, in December 1969. Munro remained at METU until the summer of 1972. With the elective courses he gave, he enabled many students to experience industrial design processes, and wrote articles about the field in local journals and newspapers. The exhibition organized in 1972 entitled “The World of Industrial Design” was the first exhibition about the field in our country. Munro, who had a productive and constructive interaction with managers and instructors at METU, worked with our faculty members Serim Denel, Mehmet Asatekin and Güner Mutaf, who continued their distinguished contributions to the field in the years that followed. Besides the efforts of teaching staff, our administrators especially Kemal Kurdaş, Aptullah Kuran, Orhan Özgüner and Mustafa Pultar worked tirelessly for the foundation of our department. METU Department of Industrial Design was founded on May 8th 1979 and commenced its Bachelor’s degree in the fall semester of the same year.

We respectfully commemorate all our managers, academic and administrative staff who have contributed to and supported industrial design education at METU. We would like to say to all alumni and current students of our department: the years we spent together have given us hope and directed us towards innovation and renewal; we are grateful to have you. Over the decades, many academics from Turkey and other countries have voluntarily contributed to our education at undergraduate, graduate and doctoral level; we owe an endless thanks to all. We would not be able to realize many of our dreams about design education without the expertise of industry, non-governmental organizations, public institutions, and local and foreign societies; we wholeheartedly thank all external stakeholders that have contributed to the development and success of our design education and research.

We wish to meet with our students, alumni, colleagues and all our stakeholders for 50/40 years celebratory activities throughout 2019, and to continue taking steps that will make the industrial design community stronger both in Turkey and beyond.

With kind regards,

On Behalf of METU Department of Industrial Design Staff and 50/40 Years Committee,

Prof. Dr. Gülay Hasdoğan, Chairperson