Dr. Aysun Aytac is a design researcher and design educator with an extensive background in industrial design and international experience. She combines theories and approaches from material culture, visual culture, visual ethnography, everyday life, culture & design, everyday life creativity, objects as cultural products, design thinking and design education to explore interactions between people and artefacts. Her particular study focus is on how objects give expression to -or are becoming part of- our culture as they enter into our daily lives. She argues that the expected and unexpected relations, interpretations and interventions, i.e., the experiences between users and the products/services, provide essential insights needed by designers to guide them design better products and services.
Her doctoral research into the appropriation of the domestic bathroom in Turkey provides insights into the use, organisation and experience of the domestic bathroom in the context of Turkey. This work illustrates how design research focuses on human interactions to place the users and their experiences in the centre of an investigation to generate a better understanding of people, their values, and their lifestyles, thus of society. She has presented and published papers on this and similar topics at the 4T Design and Design History Society Conference, the UTAK National Design Research Conference as well as at the Cumulus Conference and the Journal of Yasar University.
Besides teaching, her professional experience includes being an advisor to the University Visual Identity Project in Izmir Institute of Technology and participating in the redesign of the spatial use of the Faculty of Architecture building. She has also led some graphic design projects focusing on corporate identity. As one of the few female industrial designers in the automotive industry, she also designed light alloy wheels in an international company for two and a half years.
Dr. Aytac joined Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts in 2020 and is a member of the Competence Centre Design & Management. Previously, she worked as design educator and researcher at the Department of Industrial Design, Izmir Institute of Technology, Turkey where she taught core and elective courses at graduate level. From 2017 to 2019, she held a position as guest researcher at the Bern University of Applied Sciences in Communication Design. She also held positions as visiting researcher and/or lecturer, for example in Switzerland (University of Zurich, Department of Social Anthropology and Cultural Studies) and in Italy (University of Ferrara).
She holds a PhD degree in Industrial Product Design from Istanbul Technical University, Department of Industrial Product Design, master's degree from Izmir Institute of Technology, Department of Industrial Design and bachelor's degree from the Middle East Technical University, Department of Industrial Design.
2020 - ... Research Associate - Lucerne School of Art and Design, Competence Centre Design & Management
2009 - 2017 Full-time Lecturer - Izmir Institute of Technology, Faculty of Architecture, Department of Industrial Design (Izmir - Turkey)
2006 - 2009 Part-time Lecturer - Izmir University of Economics, Faculty of Fine Arts and Design, Department of Industrial Design (Izmir - Turkey)
2004 - 2006 Industrial Designer - CMS Light Alloy Wheels (Izmir - Turkey)
Lecturing & Research Mobility
2017 - 2019 Guest Researcher - Forschungsschwerpunkt Kommunikationsdesign, Hochschule der Künste Bern
2016 (3 mo) Visiting Researcher (Approved Research Project) - Institut für Sozialanthropologie und Empirische Kulturwissenschaft, Universität Zürich
2011 (3 days) Visiting Lecturer (Erasmus Exchange Programme) - The Department of Architecture, Univerity of Ferrara, Italy
2008 - 2015 Ph.D, Istanbul Technical University, Faculty of Architecture, Department of Industrial Product Design (Istanbul, Turkey)
Thesis Title: Appropriation of the Bathroom in Everyday Life: Towards a Cultural Analysis of the Contemporary Bathroom and its Elements.
2002 - 2005 Master of Industrial Design, Izmir Institute of Technology, Faculty of Architecture, Department of Industrial Design (Izmir, Turkey)
1997 - 2002 Bachelor of Industrial Design, Middle East Technical University, Faculty of Architecture, Department of Industrial Design (Ankara, Turkey)