Change in Industrial Designers' Jobs: The Case of Turkey, 1984-2018

KAYGAN P., Ilhan A. O., Ougur I.

DESIGN JOURNAL, vol.23, no.6, pp.821-841, 2020 (AHCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 23 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/14606925.2020.1802892
  • Journal Name: DESIGN JOURNAL
  • Journal Indexes: Arts and Humanities Citation Index (AHCI), Scopus, IBZ Online, ABI/INFORM, Art Source, Design & Applied Arts Index
  • Page Numbers: pp.821-841
  • Keywords: Industrial design, design jobs, job market, career, gender, Turkey, PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT, DOCUMENT-ANALYSIS, EDUCATION, WOMEN, WORK, ENGINEERS, CAREERS, GENDER, UK
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


This paper examines the change in the forms of employment of industrial designers between 1984 and 2018 in Turkey. The empirical data come from the graduates of the four oldest industrial design departments in the country. Utilizing multiple sources, we collected longitudinal data on forms of employment and duration of jobs for a total of 1205 individuals. Drawing on this data, we present a descriptive analysis of the changing job patterns in in-house employment, self-employment, freelance work, academic jobs and part-time teaching jobs. Our findings show that throughout the three and a half decades (1) in-house employment remains the main form of employment, in which UX-focused jobs emerge as a recent and consistently increasing subcategory, (2) the percentage of self-employed job types dropped significantly, and this lacuna was filled by freelance jobs, and (3) there is a considerable increase in women's participation in industrial design jobs, particularly in in-house positions.