Furniture design proposals for Syrian refugees

Cordan Ö.

A/Z ITU Journal of the Faculty of Architecture, vol.19, no.2, pp.415-427, 2022 (Scopus) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 19 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.5505/itujfa.2022.87533
  • Journal Name: A/Z ITU Journal of the Faculty of Architecture
  • Journal Indexes: Scopus, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.415-427
  • Keywords: Design, Furniture, Housing, Interiors, Syrian refugees
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


© 2022, Istanbul Teknik Universitesi, Faculty of Architecture. All rights reserved.Due to civil war and conflict in Syria, Turkey has welcomed more than 3.6 million Syrian refugees since March 2011. Most Syrians living in Turkey are ten-ants, and they move frequently for numerous reasons. Thus, Syrians’ attempts at remaking home are largely centered on furnishing. This study explores the crucial role of furniture in the process of remaking home and focuses on designing furniture for Syrian families’ immediate eating, sitting, sleeping, and storage needs via a workshop with design students from different design disciplines and universities in Turkey. This study aims to design furniture for Syrians living in Turkey according to their needs and cultural and behavioral habits. The study method was based on the cultural probe technique blended with ethnographic methods and a human-centered design approach to understand the users’ needs for design-ing. The findings showed that the students considered the cultural codes, beliefs, lifestyle, spatial needs, and tenant status of Syrian families to provide place attach-ment, sense of belonging, and familiarity and to develop adaptable, affordable, commemorative, customizable, mass-produced, and multifunctional, furniture and contemporary furniture and accessory design proposals. This study will con-tribute to developing user-friendly furniture and will promote further research based on users’ involvement in designing furniture for immigrant and refugee populations, such as Syrians.