atlas design collection, translating Mesopotamian cultural heritage and aesthetics  to our times, aims to integrate the social awareness and sustainable design economy with the rising values in the global design scene.

The project is managed under the directorship of Ömer Faruk Çelik, District Governor of Harran, and realized with ADEM (Family Support Centre) within the Governorship of Harran, dedicated to support women empowerment and encouraging women to take an active role in the social life and thus creating a social change. atlas design collection is curated by Bilgen Coşkun and Dilek Öztürk, founders of IN-BETWEEN Design Platform, with the works of designers Aslı Smith, Barış Gün, Begüm Cana Özgür, DAY Studio, INCOMPLIT and Şule Koç.

atlas is based on a social responsibility model supporting the local and Syrian women living in Harran to generate their economic independence by being at the core of the production process at the felt, wood, weaving and ceramic ateliers developed in ADEM (Family Support Centre) within the Governorship of Harran.

Multi-layered civilizations around Harran and Mesopotamian culture date back to 8.000 years which is known for its contribution in the fields of architecture, astronomy, mathematics, geometry, belief systems with its sophisticated societal interactions created through daily life rituals were taken as references in this project. In the scope of atlas, designers Aslı Smith, Barış Gün, Begüm Cana Özgür, DAY Studio, INCOMPLIT and Şule Koç translated these references into a collection addressing today’s langauge.

Process of the collection

atlas design collection is developed with a democratic approach bringing a diverse group of professionals together to open discussions and set the project framework collectively. This is why a commission was put together including academics and other professionals from design, archaeology and creative entrepreneurship who are Ömer Faruk Çelik, District Governor of Harran, Asst.Prof. Veli Şafak Uysal, Vice Dean of Istanbul Bilgi University Faculty of Architecture, Archeologist Prof.Dr. Mehmet Önal and Asuman Yazmacı, Founder of Şanlıurfa Entrepreneur Women Association.

In the scope of the project, six product and textile designers were selected by the curators who are Aslı Smith, Barış Gün, Begüm Cana Özgür, Doğanberk Erdemir and Yeşim Eröktem of DAY Studio, Şule Koç and Öykü Özgencil of Incomplit. The curatorial and designer team worked on the project between September 2017 and March 2018, starting with the site visits and researches in Harran. The curators went through a research process and defined the design values, design criteria and production criteria. Following this, the process was evolved with design and production follow ups, meetings, juries and presentations.

The methodology is based on generating a know-how to translate the historical and cultural references to a contemporary design language addressing the ways of urban living styles of today.

Concept of the collection

The standing point of atlas collection is based on taking unique references from the sophisticated culture, aesthetic and knowledge of Mesopotamia through ages. 

In the curatorship of in-between the collection is translated into a product line which can be integrated to a contemporary living concept. The collection aims to create a dialogue between the global design scene and a region full of design references.

Social aspect of the collection

The social responsibility aspect of the project was built on a model supporting the local and refugee women living in Harran to generate their economic independence by being at the core of the production process in the workshops built in Harran as a part of ADEM (Family Support Centre) within the Governorship of Harran. These women will make their living with being involved in the sales revenues. In order to make this sustainable, one of the main criteria in developing this project was that the whole collection should be able to produced in these particular workshops and address the current consumer habits.