Assist. Prof. Dr

Harun Kaygan

Vice Chairperson


Phone 90 312 2102231

Room 68

Research Interests

As a design researcher I specialize in design cultures and theory. In research and graduate teaching, I have explored the intersections of design disciplines with Science and Technology Studies, and with new materialist frameworks at large. I have research, teaching and supervision experience in qualitative in-depth research and first-person methods. In my current research, I have been looking into users’ bodies and bodily interactions within current design practices from a critical, new materialist framework. I am also the co-initiator and co-coordinator for the STS TURKEY Turkish Scholarly Network for Science and Technology Studies. My current research interests are as follows:

  • design theoretical and practical issues surrounding body and biopolitics,
  • design activisms; social design, participatory design practices and open-source approaches, and in these,
  • the use of new materialist theoretical frameworks; including actor-network theory and STS-inspired methodologies, new materialist feminisms, anthropologies of Alfred Gell and Tim Ingold.


PhD (2012) in Architecture and Design, the University of Brighton, UK
“Material objects and everyday nationalism in design: the electric Turkish coffee maker, its design and consumption” (link)

MSc (2006) in Industrial Design, METU, Turkey

BID (2003), METU, Turkey

Educational Practice

I have taught at METU, and at Atılım University and Leeds Metropolitan University, UK as part-time. I have designed and run design culture and history, and design studio and research courses at both undergraduate and graduate levels. I currently teach the following:

Design studios
ID 501 Advanced Project Development in Industrial Design

Undergraduate theoretical courses
ID 321 Design and Culture (formerly Meaning in Design)

Graduate electives
ID 707 Critique of Design I
ID 723 Design Cultures and the Human Body

You can find the course syllabi at the Design Cultures and Critique Blog.


GÜRDERE AKDUR, S. & H. KAYGAN. (2019) “Social design in Turkey through a survey of design media: projects, objectives, participation approaches”. The Design Journal, 22 (1), 51–71. (Accepted Manuscript version available for download here.)

KAYGAN, H. (2019) “Performing Turkish design in products, collections and exhibitions: expanding the archive, seeking depth”. Design Culture: Objects and Approaches, eds Guy Julier, Mads Nygaard Folkmann, Niels Peter Skou, Hans-Christian Jensen and Anders V. Munch. London: Bloomsbury.

KAYGAN, H., Pınar KAYGAN & Özümcan DEMİR. (2019) “A pen that ‘looks like a CEO in a business suit’: gendering the fountain pen”. Journal of Gender Studies, 28 (1), 86–96. (Paper available for download here.)

KAYGAN, H. (2016) “Electric Turkish coffee makers: capturing authenticity for global markets”. Objects in Motion: Globalizing Technology, eds. Nina Möllers and Bryan Dewalt, pp. 92–111. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press.

KAYGAN, H. (2016) “Material semiotics of form giving: the case of the electric Turkish coffee pot”. Design Issues, 32 (2), 78–90. (Paper available for download here.)

TAŞDİZEN, Burak & H. KAYGAN. (2016) “Ahlak dışı nesneler: Ulus’ta kentsel dönüşümün bir psikocoğrafyası” [Immoral objects: a psychogeography of urban transformation in Ulus]. Ankara Araştırmaları Dergisi, 4 (2), 89–103. (Paper available for download here.)

KAYGAN, Pınar & H. KAYGAN, eds. (2014) UTAK 2014 Bildiri Kitabı: Eğitim, Araştırma, Meslek ve Sosyal Sorumluluk, 10–12 September 2014, METU, Ankara. Ankara: METU Faculty of Architecture. (Book available for download here.)

KAYGAN, H. (2013) “Global design history”. Book review. Journal of Design History, 26 (1), 128–230.

KAYGAN, H. & Guy JULIER, eds. (2013) “Global design activism survey”. Design and Culture, 5 (2), 237–252. (Paper available for download here.)

KAYGAN, H. & Osman ŞİŞMAN, eds. (2013) “Tasarım ve biyopolitika”. Special dossier. Arredamento Mimarlık, 272 (October 2013), 106–119.

KAYGAN, H. (2010) “Milliyetin tüketimi: gündelik nesnelerde milliyet” [Consumption of the nation: nationalism in everyday objects]. Yeni Sol, Yeni Sağ, ed. Armağan Öztürk, pp. 443–472. Ankara: Phoenix.

KAYGAN, H. (2008) “Panopticon’dan Facebook’a: Foucault ve görsel kültür analizi”. [From Panopticon to Facebook: Foucault and the analysis of visual culture]. Toplumsal Üzerine Yeni Perspektifler, ed. Armağan Öztürk, pp. 91–112. Ankara: Dipnot.

KAYGAN, H. (2008) “Marketable emotions or engaging interactions: towards a conquest of emotionality”. METU Journal of the Faculty of Architecture, 25 (1), 177–190. (Paper available for download here.)

Conference papers

KAYA, Sezgi & H. KAYGAN. (2020) “Biosocial Dimensions in User Experiences of Self-Monitoring Devices in Type 1 Diabetes Management”, Chronic Living: Quality, Vitality and Health in the 21st Century, 23–25 April, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

KAYA, Sezgi & H. KAYGAN. (2019) “Tip-1 diyabet yönetiminde teknoloji kullanım pratikleri ve bu pratikler çerçevesinde şekillenen yeni kullanıcı profili üzerine vaka çalışması” [Technology use practices in Type-1 diabetes and a case study on the new user profile shaped around these practices], STS TURKEY 2019: Toplum için Bilim ve Teknoloji Çalışmaları Konferansı, 10–12 September 2019, ITU, Istanbul.

ÖZÇELİK, Ayşegül & H. KAYGAN. (2019) “Nesnenin iç yüzü: tamir pratiği ve amatör bilgisayar tamircilerinin deneyimi” [The inner side of the object: repair practice and the experiences of amateur computer repairers], STS TURKEY 2019: Toplum için Bilim ve Teknoloji Çalışmaları Konferansı, 10–12 September 2019, ITU, Istanbul.

KAYGAN, Pınar, İrem DİLEK & H. KAYGAN. (2019) “Industrial design students’ reflections on cross-institutional and distance collaboration”, Proceedings of DRS Learn X Design 2019 Fifth International Conference for Design Education Researchers: Insider Knowledge (9–12 July 2019, METU, Ankara), eds N.A.G.Z. Börekçi, D. Jones, F. Korkut & D. Özgen Koçyıldırım, Ankara: METU Faculty of Architecture.

AY, Utku & H. KAYGAN. (2018) “Between loyalty and autonomy: design, making and consumption of fan-made fandom products”, CCT 2018: Consumer Culture Fairytales, 28 June–1 July 2018, University of South Denmark, Odense.

DEMİR, Çiğdem & H. KAYGAN. (2018) “Bilimsel ve teknolojik perspektiflerin kesişim noktasında bir deneyim olarak doğa” [Nature as an experience in the intersection of scientific and technological perspectives]. STS TURKEY 2018: Toplum için Bilim ve Teknoloji Çalışmaları Konferansı, 10–11 September 2018, METU, Ankara.

GÜRTEKİN, Betül & H. KAYGAN. (2018) “Bir otoetnoğrafik anlatı: stüdyo ortamında kamera kullanımı ve bedenleşme” [An autoethnographic narrative: camera operation at studio environment and embodiment]. UTAK 2018 Bildiri Kitabı: Tasarım ve Umut (12–14 September 2018, METU, Ankara), eds G. Töre Yargın, A. Karadoğaner & D. Oğur, pp. 359–374, Ankara: METU Faculty of Architecture.

İLHAN, Ali O., H. KAYGAN & Şebnem TİMUR ÖĞÜT. (2018) “Uses of ANT in design research: towards a critical dialogue”. EASST 2018: Making Science, Technology and Society together, 25–28 July 2018, Lancaster University, UK.

KAYGAN, H., Özümcan DEMİR, Fatma KORKUT & Itır GÜNGÖR BONCUKÇU. (2017) “Encounters and shifting identities: students’ experiences of multi-stakeholder participatory design”, DMA 2017: Research Perspectives on Creative Intersections, 7–9 June 2017, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong.

KAYGAN, Pınar, Selin GÜRDERE, Arsev AYDINOĞLU, H. KAYGAN & Özümcan DEMİR. (2016) “ ‘Do you know what a sensor is?’: peer learning in interdisciplinary design teams”, Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching: Frameworks and Practice Conference, 7 April 2016, University of Sheffield, UK.

TAŞDİZEN, Burak & H. KAYGAN. (2016) “Between open-source and commerce: micropolitics of authorship and originality in a knitting community”. 15th Annual STS Conference: Critical Issues in Science, Technology and Society Studies, 9–10 May 2016, Graz, Austria.

TUNCEL, Yunus & H. KAYGAN. (2016) “Interactions in idle time: online-offline, public-private intersections in mobile interface use”, Leisure Studies Association Conference 2016, 5–7 July 2016, Liverpool John Moores University, UK.

AYDIN, Hatice S. & H. KAYGAN. (2015) “Replacement, displacement: materiality of cardboard on the street”. 4T: Design in Times of Turmoil, 14–15 May 2015, Yaşar University, Izmir.

IŞIK, Hande & H. KAYGAN. (2015) “Reading the body: assessing emerging health and wellness technologies and interactions”. 12th Annual Conference of the German Society of Design Theory and Research (DGTF): Reassembling Relationships: People, Systems, Things, 16–17 October 2015, Fachhochschule, Potsdam.

TAŞDİZEN, Burak & H. KAYGAN. (2015) “Immoral objects: a psychogeography of gentrification in Ulus”. 4T: Design in Times of Turmoil, 14–15 May 2015, Yaşar University, Izmir.

SÜNER, Sedef & H. KAYGAN. (2014) “Tasarım aktivizmi olarak katılımcı tasarım ve tasarımcının katılım deneyimi: ODTÜ Asistan Dayanışması örneği”. UTAK 2014 Bildiri Kitabı: Eğitim, Araştırma, Meslek ve Sosyal Sorumluluk, 10–12 September 2014, METU, Ankara. Ankara: METU Faculty of Architecture.

TUNA, Nur Nagihan & H. KAYGAN. (2014) “Beyond prevention: exploring the new technologies of graffiti”. 5T: Design and Resistance (Izmir: Yaşar University, 2017), eds. Tevfik Balcıoğlu & Gülsüm Baydar, pp. 162–175. 15–16 May 2014, Yaşar University, Izmir.

TUNCEL, Yunus & H. KAYGAN. (2014) “Abstracted objects: creating the soundscapes of Gezi Park”. 5T: Design and Resistance (Izmir: Yaşar University, 2017), eds. Tevfik Balcıoğlu & Gülsüm Baydar, pp. 106–114. 15–16 May 2014, Yaşar University, Izmir.

ÇELİKKAYA, Esma Burcu & H. KAYGAN (2013) “Gendering of toys by affordances: the case of Lego”. 5T: Gendered Perspective in Design (Izmir: Yaşar University, 2016), eds. Tevfik Balcıoğlu & Gülsüm Baydar, pp. 358–373. 9–10 May 2013, Yaşar University, Izmir.

SÜNER, Sedef & H. KAYGAN (2013) “Rethinking gender stereotypes: a queer eye to home”. 5T: Gendered Perspective in Design (Izmir: Yaşar University, 2016), eds. Tevfik Balcıoğlu & Gülsüm Baydar, pp. 56–69. 9–10 May 2013, Yaşar University, Izmir.

KAYGAN, H. (2011) “The delegation of tradition: investigating the nation in product development of electric coffee makers”. The 21st Annual ASEN Conference: Forging the Nation, 5–7 April 2011, London School of Economics.

KAYGAN, H. & Pınar KAYGAN (2011) “For a feminist sensibility in design: electric Turkish coffee makers”. The 2011 Design History Society Conference: Design Activism and Social Change, 7–10 September 2011, The University of Barcelona.

KAYGAN, H. (2008) “Tasarımda milli kimliğin varoluş koşulları” [The conditions of existence of national identity in design]. 3. Türkiye Tasarım Tarihi Topluluğu Konferansı: Kimliklerin Tasarımı, 12–13 May 2008, Izmir University of Economics.

KAYGAN, H. & Osman ŞİŞMAN (2008) “ ‘Cheapness is not a sense, George!’: an economic critique of design and emotion discourse”. The 6th Conference on Design & Emotion 2008, 6–9 October 2008, Hong Kong Polytechnic.

KAYGAN, H. (2007) “Nationality inscribed: an iconological analysis of Turkish design”. The 7th International Conference of the European Academy of Design: Dancing with Disorder, 11–13 April 2007, Izmir University of Economics.

KAYGAN, H. (2006) “Türkiye’de tasarım veya Türk tasarımı üzerine” [On Turkish Design or Design in Turkey]. 3. Ulusal Tasarım Kongresi, 19–21 June 2006, Istanbul Technical University.

KAYGAN, H. (2004) “Towards a conquest of emotionality”. The 4th International Conference on Design and Emotion, 12–14 July 2004, Middle East Technical University.

Thesis Supervision

I have supervised, examined and sat in doctoral advisory committees of several MS and PhD students. My students’ work can be found roughly under three titles: (a) research on communities of users and consumers, (b) research on existing social design projects, and more recently, (c) research on bodily interactions with products. My expertise lies with interpretative and critical research with qualitative in-depth methods, including participant observation and semi-structured interviews. I also have supervision experience with first-person research such as autoethnography and research through design.

List of completed supervisions are as follows:

Selin Gürdere, 2019, “Socially oriented design practices in Turkey: a critical analysis of participation and collaboration”, PhD Thesis.

Sezgi Kaya, 2019, “Bodily and biosocial user practices in type 1 diabetes management”, MS Thesis.

Azra Tuğçe Süngü, 2019, “Designing transitions towards integration: entrepreneurial capacity development for Syrians in Turkey”, MS Thesis.

Duygu Vatan, 2019, “Design for social innovation for rural development in Turkey: actor relationships in the Smart Village Project”, MS Thesis.

Çiğdem Demir, 2019, “Exploration of design for cohabitation with nature through nature experience”, MS Thesis.

Pınar Şimşek, 2019, “Designing for the new generation workspaces”, MS Thesis.

Utku Ay, 2017, “Design, making and consumption of football fandom products by a university-based football fandom group”, MS Thesis.

Burak Taşdizen, 2017, “Politics of the knitting pattern: ethnography of knitting practice and a women’s knitting community”, MS Thesis.

Ahu Yolaç, 2017, “Multiplayer online gamers’ subcultural interactions: body as a bridge in between real and virtual lives”, MS Thesis.

Ceren Köktürk, 2016, “Design guidelines for lunch box as compact home experience”, MS Thesis.

Yunus Tuncel, 2015, “Between work and leisure: interactions with products in public idle time”, MS Thesis.