Populist influences on design: Mediation of a new designer profile in Turkish advertising discourse

Özturan E.

Design Journal, 2023 (AHCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/14606925.2023.2292899
  • Journal Name: Design Journal
  • Journal Indexes: Arts and Humanities Citation Index (AHCI), Scopus, IBZ Online, ABI/INFORM, Art Source, Design & Applied Arts Index
  • Keywords: design and politics, Design culture, design labour, design mediation, designer, populism, Türkiye
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Aiming to illustrate the populist influences on design mediation, this paper explores the characteristics of a new and legitimate designer profile, persona, or myth recently constructed within the Turkish advertising discourse. To achieve this, three video advertisements that mediate designers and are influenced by the ‘domestic and national’ discourse—a representative of the national populist wave that recently dominated Turkish politics—were analysed. The analysis reveals how designers and their creative labour are portrayed to align with broader political climates, reflecting certain notions of national populism. These new, culturally and politically legitimate designers are portrayed not only as Turkish nationals and patriots but also as the ‘children of these lands’, living, thinking, and feeling like the average and ‘real’ people these political discourses claim to represent. In parallel, the analysis highlights the significant role of populism’s marked opposition towards foreigners and local foreigners while constructing and mediating these designer profiles.