IDEA Conversations 15 - Ozlem Tuna & Sibel Kutlusoy & Sinem Kirmizigul

At the fifteenth meeting of the IDEA conversations arranged as a serial by Industrial Designers Professional Organization (ETMK), the speaker was Özlem Tuna with his experience nearing 20 years. In the conversation that advanced under the moderatorship of Sibel Kutlusoy, ETMK student representative Sinem Kırmızıgül transmitted the questions that came from the students. The designer who considers advancing by labouring day and night for the area he/she interested, by departing from her experiences summarises her approach with this sentence: “It is required to seek what you can do good without fearing working very hard, searching and trying. Whereas knowing the kitchen of the work related to your determined area is an obligation”. Whole of the conversation is on the air in ETMK YouTube account.

Sibet Kutlusoy: What does it mean being both designer and entrepreneur? Is everything cakes and ale?

Özlem Tuna: In year 2003 I established my own company by leaving decision from jewellery sector. Early on, I almost didn’t know how will I do. I embarked on this adventure. I see that for few years I idled around. I established the brand of my name, prepared collections to the jewellery firms. Within years, I learnt that entrepreneurship is a business area in which it is required to keep few hats together.
You are designer, company has administration area, brand has a strategist, and you make the production, there are steps related to the production. Besides there is communication of all of these. It is required to fictionalize that much hats altogether. I manage my own company for 17 years. Whereas in last 7 years, I am conscious about these hats. In the beginning, I can say that I spent time mainly in designer role. Whereas in the entrepreneur and business management section again you are required to do it. For this you plan the process, determine the strategy. Who will undertake these wide variety roles here, by what kind of method progressed, it is required to foresee each topic? What I said to myself is every time “Follow your passion”. I say first to myself and later users follow your passion.

Sibel Kutlusoy: I think using porcelain in the scale of micro mosaic is a method special to you. I understand that you developed your own technique.

Özlem Tuna: I think to design on the historical peninsula and to spend time at the museums there with inspiration from mosaics I admire Empress Jewel. It is a product family on which 1 millimetre porcelain mosaic parts combine with silver, gold and diamond. The administration here has a history from year 2008 until today. The collection production continued first colouring the ceramic clay, we were oven baking by cutting with doctor lance. We tried adhesive materials, examined fixing methods. Until establishing my own porcelain workshop and production line in 2015, none of the ornament or object designed since year 2003 were not our workshop production. Together with establishing my own workshop method developing became easier. I coloured the clay, did trying with clay and I was able to manage all this process.

Sibel Kutlusoy: Place of the coffee in your life is big, what does it express? I know there is a story coming from your childhood related to the coffee seed. Could you please share with us?

Özlem Tuna: In our house, the coffee was being kept in jar as seed. When the coffee is cooked, it is grinded in the grinder, it was prepared as much as needed. Of course they would not give Turkish coffee when I was a child, I liked its smell very much, I caught my mother for a few time while she was eating coffee seed. Later I said to myself why shouldn’t I eat. I was putting coffee seed in my black apron and during lessons I turned the seed in my mouth and chew. I liked it so much. I still like it. I like to try coffee belonging to each culture. I started to actualize the coffee cups after my workshop has production line in year 2015. I formed sets aimed at various coffee cooking methods, they come to life in the collections with different themes.

Sibel Kutlusoy: In your collections, you give a design definition by yourself. How it is being a customer of yourself?

Özlem Tuna: From year 2008 up to know, I made international fair visits, certain customer is formed within years. I answer the question of what kind of product I want to convey having what kind of features to which country starting off from my existing sale connections. Who is my buyer in the countries I will transmit, what does he/she like or not like, what she/he purchases, I analyses them. Right after designing process starts. If we turn back before year 2015, when the target group is forming the product my brand in the years later is Özlem Tuna and I saw necessary to define the existing bond of it with me. I saw this as a communication method aimed at the user with a sincere and right approach. Therefore, I became myself as customer. I accepted the collection as course by saying what I want to transmit to the customer. I proceeded by looking for the questions of what should be the message it wants to give and how can I explain it.

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