Industrial Designers’ Society of Turkey (ETMK)

Industrial Designers’ Society of Turkey (ETMK) was founded in 1988 by a group of industrial designers in Ankara. Its Istanbul Branch was opened in 1998, the Izmir Branch in 2010, and the Ankara Branch in 2012.

ETMK organizes exhibitions to raise awareness about industrial design and increase the demand for professional services and gives awards to increase the quality of designed products. Since 1994, ETMK invites industrial designers and manufacturing companies to participate with their products and brings the designers and the industry together.

The very first product design exhibition ETMK organized was the Designers’ Odyssey in 1994, on its fifth anniversary. Designers’ Odyssey was the first product design exhibition in Turkey and appeared in September 1994 at Construction Fair in Ankara Altınpark Expo Center, and later in October 1994, within the scope of the International Symposium on Industrial Design organized by Middle East Technical University, Department of Industrial Design. ETMK'94 Design Awards were given in the categories of Industrial Products, Conceptual Projects and Student Projects in this exhibition where 33 designers participated with more than a hundred products.

ETMK visited President Süleyman Demirel in 1998 and presented its suggestions on establishing professional standards and introducing design to the industry. ETMK held the second Designers' Odyssey '98: The Adventure of Turkish Designers exhibition at Tüyap Beylikdüzü fairground in November 1998. In the exhibition, where 107 designers participated with 256 products, as a result of the evaluation of an international selection committee, ETMK '98 Product Design Awards were given. Additionally, ETMK '98 Encouragement Awards were given to the projects selected from the Student Projects Exhibition.

In order to promote Turkish design abroad, ETMK participated in the Tidex'95 International Design Fair, which took place in conjunction with the ICSID '95 International Design Congress in Taiwan in September 1995, and performed a slide show. The event was also covered in the Taiwanese press.

ETMK, took part with the Product Design Exhibition “Beyond Borders” at the “ADesign Fair 2003” fair held at the Lütfü Kırdar Convention and Exhibition Center between 10-14 September 2003. The main aim of this exhibition was to raise awareness about industrial design with its important role in global competition, to reveal the national repertoire in the field, and to enhance the relationship between the designers and the industry. The same exhibition appeared in Foreign Trade Complex in Yenibosna in the context of “Surplus Value” Design Exhibitions organized by Turkish Exporters Assembly in January 2004, and in Gaziantep in July 2004.

Upon Messe-Frankfurt’s invitation to Tendence Lifestyle 2004, ETMK participated in the event with Design from East to West – Designers from Turkey Exhibition. The exhibition met the Turkish audience in ADesign Fair 2004 between 4-10 October 2004 in Istanbul. ETMK supported the organization of the ADesign Fair Design of the Year Awards in 2004 and 2005 and gave the ETMK Young Designer Awards. In order to bring the increasing competitive importance of design for our country to our social agenda, ETMK organized the exhibition of “Making a Difference with Design in the 2000s” as part of the Marketingist 2005 Marketing Fair and conference at Tüyap-Beylikdüzü on 27-30 October 2005.

ETMK continued emphasizing the competitive role of design with “Winners by Design” Product Design Exhibitions in Marketingist Marketing Fairs in 2006 and 2007 and gave the ETMK Design Winners Awards. The awarded products were exhibited in Istanbul Technical University from December 6th to 22nd, 2006 together with the contemporary Finnish design examples in the “Global-Local Helsinki” design exhibition supported by The Embassy of Finland.

While celebrating the 20th anniversary of its establishment, ETMK developed an award acheme to emphasize the strategic importance of industrial design in our country. This scheme was put into practice by the Undersecretariat of Foreign Trade (today the Ministry of Trade), the Turkish Exporters Assembly (TİM) and ETMK within the scope of the Turquality program. Design Turkey awards, which has been held biannually between 2008 and 2016, and annually after 2016, evaluates the marketed products which are either designed, manufactured or branded in Turkey.

With the support of the Istanbul Development Agency, ETMK established the Industrial Design Virtual Museum in 2011 to bring together objects and archive materials presenting their production and design processes as well as their manufacturers and designers from the past to the present in the field of original product design in Turkey, and to share them with the global context.

Since 2008, ETMK has been a member of the following organizations, respectively:

  • T.R. Ministry of Economy, Design Support Committee (2008)
  • Turkish Design Advisory Council (2009)
  • World Design Organization (WDO) (2011)
  • Creative Industries Council Association (YEKON) (2012)
  • TOBB Creative Assembly (2017)
The association constantly monitors and directly influences professional developments that direct the profession in such national and international platforms, discusses them in meetings with broad stakeholder participation, and ensures that these discussions are transferred to the professional and educational contexts.

The association established the ETMK Student Council in 2016 with the aim of involving students in the professional organization. The school representatives elected by the students registered in the digital monitoring system of the association (ETSİS) as member candidates attend the meetings of Industrial Design Academic Council (ETAK), of which ETMK is a stakeholder member. In this way, ETMK enables students to express the problems they experience in the educational context in these meetings and creates a bridge between students and academicians.

ETMK supported the development of the accreditation system initiated in 2019 within ETAK in order to increase the quality of industrial design education programs. Thanks to the bylaw change it made in 2021, ETMK established the Industrial Design Accreditation Board (ENTAK) and in June 2022, applied to the Higher Education Quality Board (YÖKAK) to get authorization for accreditation.