Agrindustrial Design

Abstract: The term “agrindustrial” was introduced in İzmir as the title of the 1st symposium in April 2005 for the first time, and anticipated the current lines of research as defined by the European Union. Today the issue of food and agriculture along with their related activities is one of the main subjects of scientific research, as defined in priority by Horizon 2020, the instrument of the European Commission to support research and innovation for the period 2014-2020. This article gives brief information about what has been done and experienced within the events based on the theme of 'design in agricultural industries' thus 'agrindustrial design'.

1st Agrindustrial Design Symposium

On 27-29 April 2005, Department of Industrial Design at the Izmir University of Economics organized “Agrindustrial Design: 1st International Product and Service Design Symposium and Exhibition on Agricultural Industries: Olive Oil, Wine and Design”.

Designers, producers, researchers, and educators studying specifically on agricultural and geographical identity based products and services, wine and olive oil in the first case, were aimed to be brought together to constitute an international information and design platform sharing economical and scientific values. For three days at the symposium, there were 3 keynote speakers, 36 paper presentations, 1 panel, 11 exhibitions, and 1 workshop with the participants from Turkey, Italy, Spain, Thailand, England, New Zealand and Brazil.

The keynotes of this first symposium were Prof. Ezio Manzini, Prof. Ken Friedman and Prof. Nihat Aktan.

The issues discussed within 36 paper presentations were as follows:

1) The role of design in agricultural industries to develop value-added products and services (a variety of papers was on value creation within strategic design, do-it-yourself, agro-tourism, label design, fashion design);

2) Developing distinct brand identity and reflecting the geographical identity to the products and the services of agricultural industries (a variety of papers was on creating new networks, branding, product innovation, agro-industry, agro-tourism and boutique shops; all of which discussed geographical identity within different agricultural products such as olive oil, wine, tea, and rakı -aniseed alcohol drink- from different geographies such as Australia, Thailand, Brazil and Turkey);

3) Sustainability and ecologically applied designs in agricultural products and services (a variety of papers was on food-system innovation, organic fashion concept, organic life concept, sustainability of olive oil mills, eco-design in wine industry);

4) Exporting strategies, retail sale and e-business in terms of contemporary marketing methods, and their relationships within design (a variety of papers was on logistics, marketing, development of different agricultural industries –including Aegean agricultural sector- such as dried tomatoes, textiles, and new hybrid corn fodder);

5) Legal arrangements, intellectual properties rights, and design (a variety of papers was on historical legal arrangements, industrial rights and design experiences on olive oil and wine sectors in Turkey).

At the closing panel; design, and agricultural products and services were evaluated with economical, academic and industrial points of views. The sectors of label, glass-bottle, packaging and food-drink gave messages to each other.

During the symposium, the universities and the companies exhibited their projects and products. The universities were Izmir University of Economics, Istanbul Technical University and Dokuz Eylul University within Industrial Design, Fashion Design and Textile Design Departments. The companies that made exhibitions were Elda Marketing and Commerce with Efe Rakı, TARİŞ with Tariş Olive Oil, Sevilen Wines, Yazgan Wines, Alvisual –Visual Communication Systems with ‘Aion Olive Oil’, Külahçıoğlu Wine Coolers, and Gusto Magazine. There was only one workshop, which was about brand development.

2nd Agrindustrial Design Congress

Seven years later, on 26-28 April 2012, ‘Agrindustrial Design: 2nd International Product and Service Design Congress and Exhibition on Agricultural Industries: Mediterranean, Food and Design’ was organized at the Izmir University of Economics.

The organization had the same structure of triple concepts with three institutions, three organizers, one for each concept: ‘Design’ was coordinated by Asst. Prof. Dr. A. Can Özcan from Izmir University of Economics, ‘Mediterranean Design’ was coordinated by Prof. Marinella Ferrara from Politecnico di Milano, and ‘Food’ was coordinated by Prof. K. Nazan Turhan from Mersin University (from MU in the beginning, from IUE at the end).

Besides Politecnico di Milano and Mersin University; other partner institutions of the congress were DESIS Turkey –Design for Social Innovation and Sustainability, ASD –Packaging Manufacturers Association in Turkey, ETMK –Industrial Designers Society of Turkey Izmir Branch, PAD Journal, ABADIR –Accademia di Belle Arti, and TETÖP –Industrial Design Students Platform of Turkey. The congress was supported by TÜBİTAK –The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey; and the sponsoring companies and other supporting institutions were Aegean Exporters Association, ÇAYKUR –General Directorate of Tea Enterprises, IZTO –Izmir Chamber of Commerce, Anavarza Honey Company, Pamukkale Wines, ELDA Marketing and Commerce, Zeytin İskelesi Olive Oil Company and Yörük Süt Milk Company.

From olive oil, wine and design to food, Mediterranean and design; the concepts were more challenging both in scale and identity within this second event. Design was not the focus and driving concept as in the first event, but one of the three mainstream issues with food and Mediterranean. The locality of the first event has been transformed into a more universal and immediate issues, and the term Agrindustrial Design has been developed silently in between two events to be a concept accepted by a wide range of parties from designers to researchers, from engineers to managers both in academic and professional circles.

Following the same aim of the first symposium and giving an emphasis on the importance of cultural and geographical identity on the creation of design, this second congress was defined as the intersection of design and food fields, which was geographically framed by the Mediterranean region. Based on the concepts of Mediterranean, food and design; papers, workshops and exhibitions were invited to the congress. For three days at the congress, there were 4 keynote speakers, 9 sessions including 24 paper presentations and the closing panel, 2 poster presentations, 13 exhibitions and 6 workshops with the participants from Turkey, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Brazil, South Africa, Croatia, Finland, United Kingdom and USA.

The keynotes of the congress were Emeritus Prof. Victor Margolin from University of Illinois at Chicago, Prof. Mahir Turhan from Mersin University, Prof. Anna Meroni from Politecnico di Milano, and Prof. Keshavan Niranjan from University of Reading. The issues discussed within 24 paper presentations and the closing panel were as follows:

1) Places, rituals and cultures of eating: Wine consumption spaces by means of socialization –Alaçatı; lighting design in the environment of food shopping, cooking and eating; eating habits and changing dining patterns;

2) A Fusion: Food and Design in History, Culture and Fashion: Food museums –some Italian examples; history of oriental tobacco history and its products; food display by means of fashion, design of promotional rakı glasses;

3) Designing for Food Industry: Production process of chips making; innovative composite material for smart packaging –cold storage of perishable products;

4) Sustainable Food and Food Pedagogy: Innovative system for the production of sun-dried vegetables; participatory design in children’s diet –strategies to design public services.

5) Strategies for Local Food & Design Scenarios I-II: Strategic design applied to terroirs –a Brazilian genuine local cheese; sustainable economy and slow city concept –Seferihisar; global network –two perspectives on the value chain within the case of two Portuguese companies; alternative design understanding within permaculture –Marmariç case;

6) Food and Packaging Design: New aesthetic trends in food packaging; Agrodesign –design and business in Western Almería, Spain; resilient products for small-scale farming in South Africa;

7) Spaces, Rituals, Cultures of Eating and Drinking (Turkish session): Global interior design trends and local rituals of eating and drinking; the effects of Mediterranean culture on Turkish interior eating spaces; space, culture and identity –the effects of Mediterranean culture;

8) From Local to Global: Cultural Processes, Strategies (Turkish session): Experience and packaging design of figs; eating culture as cultural heritage –slow foods of Cittàslow Seferihisar; development of the agricultural industry and the export – a proposal;

9) Closing Panel –DESIS Turkey: DESIS (Design for Social Innovation and Sustainability) is a global network with the aim to promote design-led sustainable social changes. In this panel, Prof. Dr. Özlem Er, the coordinator of the ITU DESIS Lab (Istanbul Technical University, Department of Industrial Product Design), shared former projects that were carried out in Turkey which are in line with DESIS aims and methods. In addition, the co-organizers of the congress shared their views about the event.

The poster presentations were about design for new sustainable products –food industry and catering services; and tasting, eating and consuming –food design departures in ethic, aesthetic and technology.

During the congress; designers, academics and researchers from different institutions and universities exhibited their projects and products. There were student projects about displaying food and fashion, sustainable products within ‘agrindustrial design’ concept, present and past of Turkish tea culture, cultural exchange between Tunisia and Italy regarding the food and dining culture, poster presentations and can-packaging that were from design departments of Izmir University of Economics, Istanbul Technical University and Istituto Statale d’Arte ‘Vincenzo Ragusa e Otama Kiyohara’. There were projects about intersection of food culture and fashionable clothing, creative potential of Slow Fashion Movement within the contemporary fashion movement, Marmariç permaculture project, instant granulated drink packaging and scaled tea packaging by academics and researchers from Izmir University of Economics, Mersin University and Mersin Chamber of Industry and Commerce. There were projects of designers about fish skin compositions, old Izmir t-shirts by Aynizm Company, and olive harvesting machine by Nesne EMT Company.

The workshops of the congress were about finding creative solutions for becoming extinct local seeds, permaculture philosophy as a new design perspective, dresses by used papers, exploring emotions connected to food for product development, design approach to the food lifecycle by means of digital platforms for socializing, unexpected combinations of simple and local ingredients. The participants were from Slow Food Urla organization, Servili Garden Farming and Education Centre, Aynizm Company, Aalto University, and Iuav University of Venice.

All these experiences covering almost seven years seemed to prove at least one thing that there won’t be another seven years to realize the 3rd Agrindustrial Design event.

Dr. Elif Kocabıyık, Izmir University of Economics, Department of Industrial Design

Asst. Prof. Dr. A. Can Özcan, Izmir University of Economics, Department of Industrial Design


Ferrara, M., Özcan, A.C. & Turhan, N. (2012). Agrindustrial Design 2012: Mediterranean, Food, Design. In Proceedings from 2nd International Product and Service Design Congress and Exhibition on Agricultural Industries: Mediterranean, Food and Design. Izmir University of Economics, TR: Izmir.

Özcan A.C., Kocabıyık, E. & Tuna Ultav, Z. (2006) (eds.). Proceedings from 1st International Product and Service Design Symposium and Exhibition on Agricultural Industries: Olive Oil, Wine and Design book. Izmir University of Economics, TR: Izmir.

Izmir University of Economics. (2005) 1st Agrindustrial Design Symposium. TR: Izmir University of Economics. Retrieved November, 2012, from http: //

Izmir University of Economics. (2012) 1st Agrindustrial Design Symposium. TR: Izmir University of Economics. Retrieved November, 2012, from http: //

4 thoughts on “Agrindustrial Design”

  1. i want only to suggest a much more ample translatorings functions..

    spanish, french, dutch, german, afrikaan, russian, chinese and others

  2. for a stronger but in some and especially cultural terms coherent ways Russia could enter in europe

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