Material Culture of Tea in Turkey: Transformations of Design through Tradition, Modernity and Identity

Ogut S. T.

DESIGN JOURNAL, vol.12, no.3, pp.339-363, 2009 (AHCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 12 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Doi Number: 10.2752/146069209x12530928086405
  • Journal Name: DESIGN JOURNAL
  • Journal Indexes: Arts and Humanities Citation Index (AHCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.339-363
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: No


Rituals are repeated acts reinforcing the sense of identity for the individual in society, building up the links with a shared past. The ritual of tea drinking along with the values, practices, the kinds of objects and customs associated with this tradition, is significant in Turkish culture. The reason to focus specifically on tea drinking and the involved objects is that tea is brewed in a certain way and the necessary devices have been designed and developed accordingly. With its historical, cultural and physical contexts, the whole event could be said to be standing at the cutting edge of tradition, modernity and identity in modern Turkish society. The problematic centring around these concepts of tradition and identity is their positioning in the modern world. The ways in which these traditions have been transformed, shaped and reinvented within the dynamics of modern Turkish society is the subject of further discussion.