Artun is a design historian whose research focuses on material culture in Turkey and South-eastern Europe with a special interest on collective memory practices through print or the built environment.
Artun has been awarded a PhD from the V&A/RCA History of Design programme in 2020. Since 2019, he has been working as a Senior Lecturer in contextual and theoretical studies within the programme of Graphic Design at the University for the Creative Arts.
As a PhD student and after, he has assisted various units within the V&A/RCA History of Design MA programme ranging from building theoretical skills to understanding historiography. Artun has also worked closely with the Design History Society as the Communications Officer from 2019 to 2022.
Artun's main research interests include practices of commemoration, the nationalisation of material culture and design resources in graphic design visual and print culture, and the built environment.
Artun’s research explores the negotiation of collective, national consciousness between official and public design practices, materialities and rhetoric. Particularly the slippages that occur between the official culture of commemorating and representing nation states as opposed to more individual practices of reminiscence through material culture. This involves the role of visual communication design in mediating and disseminating ideas on material constructs such as technology, architectural landmarks, ruins, the cultural landscape and monuments.
Current and recent projects
- Public reminiscence and official commemoration: the Paris Commune of 1871 and the Gezi protests of 2013. 2020. This research published in the Journal of Design and Culture in 2021 concerns the conflicting aesthetic discourses surrounding concocted urban areas from the Montmartre hill in Paris to Istanbul’s Taksim Gezi Park. It suggests that how we remember public spaces has more to do with how we adapt them to our lives as urban strollers than the political rhetoric imposed upon those spaces.
- Picturing National History: Turkey’s popular nationalism on the rise through the 1950s new print culture. 2022 (expected). This research to be published in the Journal of Design History offers a glimpse of Turkish popular nationalism in the 1950s. This was a relatively liberal period for the new nation state and coincided with a flux of American formats of popular print that were adapted for a reinterpretation of the imperial Ottoman past apt for national modernity.
- 'Ghosts of past re-entering the stage’: the transient attributes of Izmir’s persistent objects. 2022. This is a recent research project presented at the 2022 Design History Society conference, Design and Transience. The research focuses on an architectural form and object that is ubiquitous in Western Turkey and Northern Greek islands, the oriel window and its cast iron support. The research offers a biography of this mass-produced architectural element as part of a larger vocabulary manifesting public identity within the fractured Ottoman urban space. It also unpacks the contemporary revival of and attributed meanings to this vernacular architectural element in Turkey’s increasingly authoritarian cultural climate.
Publications, exhibitions, other outcomes
Özgüner, E.A. (2022, expected). Picturing National History: Turkey’s popular nationalism on the rise through the 1950s new print culture. Journal of Design History
Özgüner, E.A. (2021). Public reminiscence and official commemoration: the Paris Commune of 1871 and the Gezi protests of 2013. Design and culture, 13(2), pp.209-232.
Özgüner, E.A. (2020). What Remains, in After Decameron, ed. Riet Timmerman, Open Space Contemporary, ISBN: 978-1-5272-7949-0
Özgüner, E.A. (2019). Silent Dissidence, Writing Space, Open Space contemporary, online
Özgüner, E.A. (2014). Legacy in the Pocket: Reactivating Collective Memory by Co-Design, PAD Journal, ISSN 1972-7887, vol.12.9, December, online.
External Collaborations and Activities
2019–present, Senior Lecturer in contextual and theoretical studies, BA Graphic Design, University for the Creative Arts.
2018–2019, Associate Lecturer in contextual and theoretical studies, BA Graphic Design, Arts University Bournemouth.