On day five of Design Days in Istanbul, 400-plus students are put to work, given the task of conceptualizing and executing a features supplement cover in a couple of hours from nothing but magazine scraps, a few office supplies, and their imaginations.
The final results provide a spectrum of approaches as varied as the attendees, who have traveled from throughout Turkey but also countries including Japan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Zambia and beyond. The assigned cover story: how tablets and other devices are impacting children, and their parents, as summer vacation time begins.
A sampling of the work and the artists’ thoughts:
Mohammet Sivis, graphic design student, Marmara Universitesi in Istanbul: “I use technology in my own work and I’m not against it. But children are living in the clouds, and are not rooted. They don’t even know how a book smells.”
Meryem Yandik, student of Arabic language and literature, Ataturk Universitesi in Istanbul: “The tablet can reach the whole world. In the remote parts of Turkey there is nothing but through a tablet the children there can reach anything they want.”
Aynur Binicioglu, industrial design student, Meliksah University in Kayseri, Turkey: “My brother is 9 years old and he never shares his iPad. He only uses it to play games, for him the iPad is just another toy.”
Nurtaza Shokatayer, communications and journalism student, Suleyman Demirel University, Kazakhstan: “I tried to convey connectivity. Children are connected these days to all their devices. But they have to manage them well to manage their time. To fade the images of them using actual toys, I layered on wet napkins.”
Anseiur Erdogan, industrial design student, Meliksah University: “I wanted to change the child’s eyes because children are too integrated into the technology these days. The thought bubbles are made of ice cream to relate a holiday concept.”
It’s been an intense week for the students, with a series of presentations from Mario Garcia, National Geographic’s Fernando Baptista, type expert Juliette Cezzar, photographer Stanley Greene and many other design and journalism experts from throughout the region. Design Days concludes Tuesday with a series of presentations from Wilson Andrews of The New York Times, Melissa Bell of Vox, app developer Chris Courtney, MaryAnne Golon of the Washington Post, Andrea Levy of the Plain Dealer and Miranda Mulligan of National Geographic.
“I’m waking up every day so excited and full of enthusiasm,” Sivis said. “There’s so much energy here, we are inspiring each other.”
“This conference is giving me a different way to think about things,” Erdogan said. “I look at everything differently now.”